NS film incentive fund cap has some flexibility, government says

Click to play video: 'Government clarifies stance on Nova Scotia film fund'
Government clarifies stance on Nova Scotia film fund
WATCH ABOVE: Members of Nova Scotia’s film industry protested outside the Westin Nova Scotia, where members of the Liberal Party were gathering for their annual meeting. Global’s Legislative Reporter Marieke Walsh has the details – Apr 1, 2016

A meeting between Screen Nova Scotia and the province on the Film and Television Production Incentive Fund has clarified that the cap on the fund available for film makers has some flexibility.

The incentive fund was created last year, after the province axed the Nova Scotia Film Tax Credit in the 2015 budget.

“We care about this industry. We’re proud of their success and we recognize the value to the economy and the jobs the industry creates for Nova Scotians,” business minister Mark Furey said in a release.

RELATED: Premier quashes call for external review of film tax credit

The release also states that the industry has been in “a period of adjustment” since the new fund was introduced.

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However, industry representatives were expecting more substantive changes to the fund would be announced on Friday. Screen Nova Scotia had been asking for a number of changes, including adding any unspent money from previous years to the next year’s fund. For example, less than $3 million of the $10 million fund was allocated during 2015-16, Screen Nova Scotia wanted the remaining $7 million to be added to this coming year’s budget but Furey said no.

Earlier this week, a study suggested that those working in the province’s film industry were working less and making far less money than they were before the Film Tax Credit was eliminated.

The government says it wants to continue to meet with Screen Nova Scotia representatives in order to keep an eye on the spending, commitments and any new projects they could invest in.

The release states that if productions should come up and the fund is getting close to its $10 million cap, they will look at providing more resources to productions on a “case-by-case basis.”

Recently, the government committed more than $800,000 from the fund to the new Trailer Park Boys productionTrailer Park Boys Out of the Park: Europe.

“We want the world to know we’re open for business and that means moving forward together with confidence and optimism,” Furey said.

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The government also says it is continuing to work with Screen NS, the government and Nova Scotia Business Inc. to make administering the money as simple as possible.

Screen Nova Scotia received $475,000 in November so it could hire an executive director, develop a strategic plan and other operations.

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