It was almost seven-years ago when the Saskatchewan Film Tax Credit was axed, an industry that once saw multi-million dollar movies made now is barely hanging on.
“We’re not gone, we’re just smaller,” ACTRA Saskatchewan Union Branch Representative Mike Burns said.
“We certainly are productive and we are still creative, and the industry is funded by Creative Saskatchewan which does a good job with the resources that they have. Unfortunately, resources they have are under what required to attract larger productions here.”
The province’s Creative Sask. gives the film industry two million dollars through grants. A study commissioned by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce and Sask Film that was done in 2012 said the industry generated $44.5 million in economic spinoffs and created about 850 jobs when the tax credit was available.
“We do continue to see activity in the province although it has declined, some film producers have chosen not to film in Saskatchewan, but overall we have not seen an impact in our provincial economy when it comes to that,” Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sports Dep. Asst. Minister of Stewardship Candace Caswell said.
“In Manitoba, they had a $220 million in business in 2018, in Alberta, almost $300 million, this isn’t small business this a big business,” Burns said.
While the industry still sees independent and low budget films using what Saskatchewan has to offer, Burns hopes to see bigger budget films make their way back to the province.
It would take a plot twist in this year’s provincial budget, which the premier has already said it’s going to be tight.
“We think eventually there will be a bigger and better film industry here again,” Burns said.