Tennessee is trying to steer more money to smaller video producers. A spokesman for the Department of Economic and Community Development says the downsizing will avoid competing with other states for big-budget movie productions.
Previously, grants from the state’s film commission were available only to projects with budgets over a million dollars. The new program is still being finalized, but the threshold has been dropped to $200,000, according to ECD commissioner Bill Hagerty.
“The overall result for the state is a reduction in the amount of subsidy paid. But we made it much easier for smaller, independent local film companies to take advantage of the credit.”
The state legislature repealed a long-standing film tax credit this year and instead put $2 million in the state’s grant fund. Hagerty says the move streamlines what has been a complicated process for smaller filmmakers to navigate.
States with more generous film incentives like Louisiana and Michigan have critics who argue luring productions away from California tends to create only a short-term stimulus.
While Tennessee is turning attention to local producers, the biggest beneficiary this year is a big-budget, Hollywood transplant. The TV show “Nashville” has received $7.5 million so far.