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  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024 6:44 PM | Anonymous

    The Multimedia Jobs Act is a bipartisan legislative initiative to revive the Michigan film industry after incentives dissolved in 2015.

    LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Multimedia Jobs Act passed out of Michigan's economic development and small business house committee with 10 votes in favor and 2 passes. 

    This marks an important move forward for filmmaking in the state. 

    The vote comes after a February hearing where college students, industry professionals, and lawmakers testified to the importance of reviving a new and beneficial film incentive program to the state.

    Read the rest of the story at WZZM13.

  • Tuesday, April 23, 2024 11:47 AM | Anonymous

    Legislation supports talent retention, economic growth

    LANSING, MI – In a significant bipartisan move, the Michigan House Committee on Economic Development and Small Business today approved the Michigan Multimedia Jobs Act.

    MMJA Passes House Committee

    The legislation (House Bills 4907-4908) aims to invigorate the state’s economy, foster job growth, and retain local talent. Bill sponsors are Reps. Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield) and John Roth (R-Interlochen - pictured, center).

    “These pro-job bills are designed to diversify our state economy by investing in our workforce and help us compete with states that already provide incentives, leading to a stronger Michigan.” - Alexander Page, Legislative Director, MiFIA

    The Michigan Multimedia Jobs Act introduces a transferable tax credit designed to promote Michigan-produced films, television shows, digital streaming productions, photography and commercials. By encouraging investment in the state’s creative sector, this legislation seeks to position Michigan as a competitive hub for multimedia production. The Act is expected to produce approximately $6 billion to $8 billion in direct spend during the Act’s first 10 years

    “These pro-job bills are designed to diversify our state economy by investing in our workforce and help us compete with states that already provide incentives, leading to a stronger Michigan,” said Alexander Page of the Michigan Film Industry Association, a strong advocate for the bills.

    Over 40 states and cities as well as 100-plus global programs have multimedia programs in place. The Act’s key provisions include:

    • Tax Credit for Michigan-Produced Content: Film and television production companies hiring Michigan residents will receive a 30% tax credit. The Act sets a $50,000 minimum qualified spend for commercials, commercial photography, and short films, and a $300,000 minimum spend for feature films and TV shows.
    • Building a Marketplace for Michigan-Based Projects: Rather than a rebate, the program offers a credit against unrealized state tax revenue. This approach ensures that the cash remains within Michigan, benefiting local businesses and communities.

    “We are looking for films that are $10 million to $40 million, where they are hiring local businesses,” said David Haddad, MiFIA chair. “This is an infrastructure bill in addition to jobs, jobs, jobs, and did I mention jobs?"

    MiFIA and the legislation’s proponents believe the Act will create a thriving ecosystem for filmmakers, boost local economies and keep Michigan talent within the state. They have been actively engaging with lawmakers to ensure bipartisan support for this critical legislation.

    For more information, visit

  • Wednesday, January 24, 2024 10:56 AM | Anonymous

    Michigan lawmakers are discussing a new set of tax incentives for film, TV, and commercial production to help bring jobs to our state. David Haddad, Chair of the Michigan Film Industry Association, joins WJR's Guy, Lloyd, and Jamie to talk about why these tax credits are necessary.

    Listen to this story from WJR Radio featuring MiFIA Chairman, David Haddad.

  • Monday, January 22, 2024 10:51 AM | Anonymous

    Representative John Roth on CBS News Detroit Story

    A new story by CBS News Detroit explains that It could be lights, camera, action once again in Michigan as lawmakers consider bringing new tax credits for television shows and films produced in the state.

    "In the first year, we expect to have $3 to $500 million injected into the economy," said David Haddad, chairman of the Michigan Film Industry Association.

    Haddad says Michigan is a great location for film, TV and commercial production because of the state's diverse landscapes and metropolitan areas.

    "Here we have a qualified crew base, qualified infrastructure in a global market we lose work," Haddad said. "So these these incentives are very important to make us competitive again."

    The goal, he says, is to help Michigan compete with states that have similar incentives, like Georgia and Pennsylvania. According to the Michigan Film Industry Association, 40 states already have some kind of film tax incentive on the books.

    Read the rest of the story and watch the TV news report at CBS News Detroit.

  • Wednesday, November 01, 2023 11:56 AM | Anonymous

    WNMU-TV put the spotlight on efforts to revive Michigan's film industry. Some proposals working their way through state legislature, if approved, would bring back financial incentives for film, TV and media productions completed in Michigan. We learn more about it from Alexander Page of Michigan Film Industry Association, the lead organization pushing for passage of the Multimedia Jobs Act. View the Program at WNMU-TV.

  • Thursday, October 19, 2023 12:59 PM | Anonymous

    Read the entire story at Fox 17

    By Jamie Sherrod, Fox 17 Grand Rapids

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Many students study filmmaking here in the state of Michigan, but they often go elsewhere for work. That’s because Michigan is one of a few states that doesn’t have a film incentive. New legislation introduced is hoping to change that.

    Dave Benoit enjoys the freedom of creative directing. It’s a passion that almost took him to Atlanta.

    “I had friends, I had video opportunities already lined up for me, I had sets that I was going to be on. I had so much going for me at that time. I had nothing here,” said Benoit.

    “We're not on an even playing field and that means that any time that a production is looking for a location, they skip over Michigan as a potential place to film their project,” said Bill Latka.

    He’s on the board of the Michigan Film Industry Association, and says more than 40 states and cities have incentive programs. Latka is hoping to bring them back to Michigan with the Multimedia Jobs Act legislation.

    "Any spend that happens in a state, they can apply for a percentage of that to be returned to them as a refundable tax credit,” said Latka. “So, it's a way to really let producers know that Michigan is open for business in a new, exciting creative area.”

    The Multimedia Jobs Act would provide a 30% tax credit for hiring Michigan residents and 20% for nonresidents; a $50,000 minimum qualified spend for commercials, commercial photography, and short films; a $300,000 minimum spend for feature films and TV shows among other things.

  • Thursday, August 24, 2023 3:53 PM | Anonymous

    From Bridge Michigan
    Lauren Gibbons
    August 23, 2023

    Clint Eastwood directed and starred in “Gran Torino,” a 2008 film shot in several metro Detroit locations. Michigan previously offered rebates for filmmakers who brought their productions to the state. In 2015, the program was shuttered over concerns that the return on investment was minimal. (Shutterstock photo by Stefano Chiacchiarini '74)

    Clint Eastwood directed and starred in “Gran Torino,” a 2008 film shot in several metro Detroit locations. Michigan previously offered rebates for filmmakers who brought their productions to the state. In 2015, the program was shuttered over concerns that the return on investment was minimal. (Shutterstock photo by Stefano Chiacchiarini '74)

    •  Pending legislation would offer filmmakers up to 30 percent tax credits for filming in Michigan, hiring Michigan workers
    • Backers say the revamped plan is based off successful programs in other states, would encourage new investment in Michigan
    • Critics say any economic benefit from more movies in the state won’t be worth the lost revenue

    A group of Michigan lawmakers are hoping to roll out the red carpet for more film, television and commercial projects by once again offering incentives to producers who work in the state. 

    House and Senate legislation introduced this summer would create a transferable tax credit for Michigan-based multimedia projects, ranging from traditional film and television productions to other work, such as commercials, corporate media and music videos.

    Eligible companies could get back 25 percent of total spending in tax credits for filming in Michigan and up to 30 percent if the project incorporates the Pure Michigan logo and other Michigan film industry affiliates, capped depending on the length and duration of the project. 

    A separate credit would offer 30 percent of total spending for hiring Michigan residents or 20 percent for hiring nonresidents. 

    If a company obtained credits but doesn’t have a Michigan tax liability, the legislation as proposed would allow those credits to be sold to a Michigan-based business.

    It wouldn’t be the first time Michigan officials have attempted to lure film productions to the state with incentives. Michigan began offering incentives in 2008, and attracted large-scale projects such as “Transformers” and “Batman v. Superman” to in-state filming locations. 

    But the film incentive program offering rebates of up to 42 percent of filmmakers’ in-state production costs was shuttered in 2015 during the Rick Snyder administration amid criticism that the return on investment for Michigan taxpayers was minimal. 

    Supporters of the new plan argue that this version is a “complete 180” from incentives Michigan offered in the past, crafted after extensive research into other states’ programs with the intent of keeping the money in Michigan. 

    “There's no money drawn from a fund, there's no checks cut, there's no budget line items, we're not financing or bailing out movie studios,” said Sen. Dayna Polehanki, D-Livonia, the main sponsor of the Senate legislation. “The credit goes directly back into the Michigan economy.” 

    As of 2022, at least 35 states offered tax incentives for film production, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Many companies simply won’t work in states without an incentive option, said Alexander Page, legislative chair of the Michigan Film Industry Association. 

    “We're totally being left on the sidelines,” Page said.

    Page and other industry advocates see the legislation as a job creation opportunity and a boon for a slew of local businesses working with production companies in filming locations, noting one film production on average involves about 60 local vendors. 

    To obtain the credit, companies would need to keep, among other things, records of the number of in-state workers hired for the project, any outside vendors involved and spending receipts, as well as spend at least $50,000 for shorter projects and at least $300,000 for feature film productions.  

    Under the legislation, the program would end 10 years after implementation unless lawmakers gave the go-ahead for it to continue.

    Lawmakers haven’t yet held a hearing on the bills, but opposition is already emerging. Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, in a social media post, likened the legislation to a Hollywood handout. 

    James Hohman, director of fiscal policy for the free-market Mackinac Center for Public Policy, said he doesn’t see much of a difference from what Michigan incentives offered companies before — save for the ability to transfer credits, a development he had concerns with. 

    “We shouldn't be laundering film subsidies through other people's tax returns — this is kind of worse for both film producers and for taxpayer transparency,” he said. 

    Hohman said lawmakers should look to the past before considering film incentives again, arguing that paying filmmakers to make movies in Michigan didn’t provide lasting economic benefits. “We spent a half a billion dollars without getting a lasting or sustainable film industry,” he said. 

    Michigan screenwriter, author and former production executive Christopher Cosmos argued film incentives are a bipartisan issue, noting that states across the political spectrum have implemented similar programs. 

    “There are so many people and young people, especially, who don't want to leave this state, so many with ties who want to move back,” he said Wednesday. “If we don't pass anything, we risk falling even further behind our peers and bleeding and losing even more ridiculously talented people who would love to be living and working here."

    Rep. John Roth, an Interlochen Republican and a lead sponsor on the House version of film incentive bills, said he understands the concern about reintroducing incentives. 

    But he sees a robust film program as a way to keep young creatives in Michigan — including his daughter, who is currently studying film production in Michigan and is planning to leave for work opportunities elsewhere when she finishes her degree at Grand Valley State University. 

    “I think it's kind of silly if we're teaching these courses in our universities that we don't have any jobs for them,” Roth said. “I think we could actually have an industry. But we have to incentivize to begin with to get people interested.”

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  • Wednesday, August 23, 2023 2:42 PM | Anonymous


    Lights, camera – Michigan is hoping to be back in action in the film industry with a new bipartisan plan to create the Michigan Multimedia Jobs Act.

    The legislation would create a tax credit to promote Michigan-produced films, television, digital streaming productions and commercials. The House bills, HB 4907 and HB 4908 , are sponsored by Rep. John Roth (R-Interlochen) and Rep. Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield), respectively. The corresponding bills in the Senate, SB 438 and SB 439 , are sponsored by Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia).

    "This is a business, an industry, that was born in the United States. Dominates still in the United States, for 100 years," Polehanki said. "This is a very serious, lucrative industry, and we're not part of it in any meaningful way."

    As introduced, the legislation would create a transferable tax credit for media projects filmed in Michigan. The credit would start at 25 percent of the total amount spent and rise to 30 percent based on the inclusion of "filmed in Michigan," "Pure Michigan," "Michigan Film and Digital Media Office," and "MIFIA" logos somewhere in the project.

    The legislation also would create a tax credit worth 30 percent of spending for hiring Michigan residents and 20 percent for hiring nonresidents to work on a project.

    The legislation is a "complete 180" from Michigan's previous incentive program, Polehanki said, which gave filmmakers rebate for up to 42 percent of production costs.

    The state's previous incentive program existed between 2008-15, but it was gutted as ineffective. In 2008, the state issued about $38 million in incentives to filmmakers. The amount peaked in 2010 at $155 million, but a Senate Fiscal Agency paper published the same year found that the $100 million spent by the state on film incentives generated slightly less than $60 million in economic impact.

    "This legislation is not a rebate," Polehanki said. "We're not financing or bailing out movie studios. It's a transferable credit. … It benefits them because it's transferable so you can sell that tax credit to any Michigan company that does own taxes. It could be an automaker, brewery, small business. The only way any Hollywood production is walking out of Michigan with money is to sell a tax credit to someone who needs it."

    The program also is structured in such a way so that one company can't dominate the space, Polehanki said.

    Roth said he was part of the previous film credit program, and the problem was that those incentives allowed too much money to leave the state during production.

    "The problem with those credits was that yeah, they brought money into the state, but they also took money out of the state," he said. "What we're trying to do with these new credits is produce the films, the documentaries, the commercials, whatever it is, in Michigan. The problem with the old credits is that we just didn't get a foothold on the production side of it."

    The new credits will aim to emphasize the production side of filmmaking.

    "All the states around us and southern states, like Georgia, are really heavy into it, and Michigan has nothing. I think we've got to incentivize it a little to get it going," Roth said. "Once we get it going, maybe we can have a small industry here."

    More than 40 states offer some sort of film credit program. Roth said the point isn't necessarily to draw in the existing industry, but to give Michigan students who are interested in the industry a place to start at home.

    "Why are we teaching this at Grand Valley and Michigan State if we have no jobs to offer afterwards?" he said. "My youngest daughter will be a senior at Grand Valley this fall, and she's in film production. I know that she's already looking at what state she can go to, to have her career. … We're taking younger folks out of Michigan into other states when I think we could promote film production again."

    Before, Michigan was promoting itself as a beautiful filming location. Although that remains true, it's not the emphasis of the new proposal, Roth said.

    "Now, we have to actually produce jobs in the state with the film business," he said. "I'm not trying to bring Hollywood into Michigan. We're never going to get Hollywood into Michigan. We're going to produce our own stuff."

    Roth said he wanted to see the Big Three automakers film more of their commercials within the state. Right now, he said Michigan wasn't competitive enough for that to happen.

    "They go to other states to film their commercials," he said. "They've got the mountains in the background, the ocean, when we have some beautiful territory in Michigan where they could be filming these commercials around, so we need to start bringing some of that home."

    Roth said Pure Michigan is the only entity that has promoted filming in Michigan, but the program is receiving less funding in the budget this year, and so he thought it would be a good idea to incentivize film production in Michigan in other ways.

    He said there's already been some pushback about not wanting Hollywood in Michigan and the failure of the previous tax credits to attract the film industry.

    "There's opposition already forming … saying we don't need film credits in Michigan, and we don't want Hollywood here. I guess I would agree somewhat with that. We want our own Michigan production," he said.

    The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is opposing the bills, calling it a "race to the bottom," in an article published in Michigan Capitol Confidential, a news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

    Roth said he had talked to them about the differences between this legislation and the previous Michigan film tax credits.

    "They're still not necessarily onboard, but I think they're starting to get a little more perspective on what it is," he said. "We have to compete."

    Economists are often skeptical of film industry incentives because the industry can be hit or miss.

    "Economists never like (film incentives). They never do well in the economic impact studies," said Ellen Harpel, founder of Smart Incentives, last week during the National Conference of State Legislatures summit. "But boy, are they popular."

    Roth agreed that the industry isn't necessarily an easy economic win.

    "It is hit and miss, to some point, but filming our own commercials in the state, that shouldn't be hit or miss, that should be every year," he said. "I've heard them say that the jobs are often transient and short-term, well, that's because we have nothing to offer. … We've got to have opportunity."

    The new film credits will aim to keep money in Michigan, Roth said.

    "We need to promote the jobs that go into this and can stay in Michigan," Roth said. "Our young people are leaving our state. … We want our youth to stay at home. We've got to give them the opportunity."

    The legislation isn't likely to come up when the Legislature returns in September, but Roth said he was hopeful it could come up before the end of the year or in early 2024.

    "We've got a little bit of tweaking and work to do yet. I don't think we're there, but I think we're close," he said.

    Polehanki said she was hopeful that the Senate would take the bills up in the fall.

    "We're beautiful here, but a lot of places are beautiful," she said. "They're not going to come without an incentive. It's just not how it is. It's not how this business works. Unfortunately, they're going to make money and save money where they can."

    – By Elena Durnbaugh

  • Monday, August 21, 2023 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    Author: Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press

    Stakeholders and lawmakers backing bills to revive a state-backed incentives program to attract media projects say Michigan has been a virtual nonfactor in the film and commercial industry since the previous iteration of the program was gutted in 2015. 


    Furthermore, supporters of bills introduced in July to create an incentive program for film and video production in Michigan say bringing media projects back to Michigan can help spur job creation in the state. The proposal is not without critics, however, as some in Michigan view the plan as a poor use of the state’s potential tax revenue.

    Lawmakers have dubbed the matching legislation in the state House and Senate to create a revamped film incentives program in Michigan the Multimedia Jobs Act. The word “Multimedia” is a key distinction, backers say, as the proposed incentive program would apply to such efforts as commercial filming and professional training videos, in addition to traditional film and television projects.

    As introduced, the bills: 

    • Create a transferable tax credit for media projects filmed in Michigan, starting at 25% of total spending and rising to 30% based on the inclusion of “filmed in Michigan,” “Pure Michigan,” “Michigan Film & Digital Media Office” and “MIFIA” logos somewhere in the project. As a transferable tax credit, a company who receives the credit could later sell the credit to another entity with a Michigan tax liability should the company who originally received the credit not have any tax liability of its own. 
    • Create tax credits worth 30% of spending for hiring Michigan residents, and 20% for hiring nonresidents to work on a project. 
    • Outline eligibility requirements for companies to receive the tax credit. To be eligible, companies would have to keep track of the individuals they hire from the state to work on the project, maintain receipts of what spending they do in Michigan and which vendors they work with, as well as other economic data. 
    • Set minimum spending levels for projects — commercial and advertising projects, as well as films 20 minutes and shorter would have to spend at least $50,000 in Michigan to be eligible. Film projects longer than 20 minutes would have to spend at least $300,000.
    • Define which media projects wouldn’t be eligible: Projects with “obscene matter,” news and sports broadcasts, political advertisements, radio programs, weather programs, fundraisers, reality television and more wouldn’t be able to receive the credit. 
    • Would establish a 10-year “sunset” for the incentives program, meaning the program would be shuttered 10 years after its implementation. Supporters say this sunset clause would allow lawmakers to fully gauge if the incentive program had an adequate economic impact. 
    • Set caps on how much in tax credits the state could distribute under the program: For projects shorter than 20 minutes, a maximum of $25 million in credits could be approved in the first three years of the program; followed by a maximum of $50 million in credits in the next three years; and a maximum $75 million in credits for the final four years. For longer projects, the maximum credit allocations would be $100 million, $150 million and $200 million for the three time periods. Any money left over could be carried over to the next fiscal year. 


    The credits would be distributed based on the money spent by a company filming in Michigan rather than an all or nothing approach, said Alexander Page, legislative chair of the Michigan Film Industry Association (MIFIA). The group is a key backer of the legislation and had input on the crafting of the bills, Page added. 

    At least 35 states, plus Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, currently have some form of incentives for the film industry, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. MIFIA places the figure even higher at 41 states. Both totals are down from a peak of 45 states in 2010, with the economic downturn around that period being cited as a reason for some states rolling programs back, per the NCSL.   

    When crafting the legislation, Page said, MIFIA looked at incentive programs around the country to discern what would work best if implemented in Michigan.  

    “We talked to other states to see what worked and what didn’t,” he said. “We worked with the Motion Picture Association, with (accountants) to see what worked and what didn’t. We also wanted to work with economists and the state to find out what was the best way of getting the return on investment to be more Michigan-centric, that’s the reason why it’s multimedia jobs.” 


  • Wednesday, July 19, 2023 4:42 PM | Anonymous

    WILX News Report - Bringing Film Industry Back to MichiganIt’s because of the Multi-Media Jobs Act, and its sponsors sit on both sides of the isle.

    LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There’s an effort to lure the film industry back to Michigan. Newly introduced legislation at the state capitol would provide tax incentives, with similar goals to those offered in Michigan from 2008 to 2015.

    Michigan’s old film incentives brought projects like Batman V Superman, Real Steel, Transformers, and a Miley Cyrus music video among many others. However, critics of the old tax cuts called them “Hollywood Hand-outs.”

    Now, that old law has been re-worked and re-introduced, to specifically benefit Michiganders. In the past, film productions brought thousands of jobs to Michigan, and that could be coming back in the near future.

    Supporters of the new bill say they’re feeling really good about getting the spotlight back on the Mitten. Their bill is called the MultiMedia Jobs Act, and its sponsors sit on both sides of the aisle.

    While the old law drew criticism, a writer for the new bill says it’s nothing like what came before it.

    “We have one of the most beautiful landscapes in the entire country. We have lakes and rivers, we have urban and we have rural, we have all four seasons. We have probably the best physical location you can shoot at,” said Alexander Page, who helped draft the MultiMedia Jobs Act through the Michigan Film Industry Association.

    Hollywood and Michigan may seem worlds apart, but Michigan was one of the hottest destinations for filming blockbusters for a short period of time.

    “You know you could go to the bakery in Ann Arbor, and Drew Barrymore would be there getting scones when she did her directorial debut here. The state of Michigan allowed Michael Bay to shut down sections of our highway, and do huge stunts,” said Curtis Hall, a Senior Producer with Ahptic Productions, “We did a music video with Miley Cyrus, and it was a very large production.”

    Read the rest of the story and watch the video report at

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