N.W.T. finally gets a film production incentive program

Rebates now offered on travel, labour and goods and services

The Government of the Northwest Territories is now offering rebates to film production companies that choose to shoot in the territory.

For years, the N.W.T. was one of the few places in Canada that had no film production incentive program.

Pablo Saravanja, a filmmaker in Yellowknife, says it’s a step in the right direction.

“The kind of opportunity that this rebate allows for us as a local producer is to maybe leverage that subsidy, that rebate, to get other co-producers from other places, more money and more skills and maybe better networks to come and work with us,” he said.

“It’s not a fishing expedition to get outside productions to come here to show us how it’s done.”

In 2011, N.W.T. writer Richard Van Camp wanted the film adaptation of his novel The Lesser Blessed to be shot in the territory. But filming in the N.W.T. was deemed too expensive and the $2.2 million film ended up being shot in Sudbury, Ont., because of the province’s film incentives.

In 2009, the movie The Timekeeper, about men working to complete the Great Slave Lake Railway to Pine Point, N.W.T., was filmed in Quebec for the same reason.

The new rebates are available for things such as goods and services, travel and on-set training.

Up to $250,000 a year will be given out. For productions to be eligible they must spend at least $100,000 in the N.W.T. The rebates are higher if producers choose to shoot outside of Yellowknife.


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