Productions get $10M in film grants from N.C.

Three productions will receive funds from North Carolina’s new Film and Entertainment Grant this year, state officials announced Friday.

The grant, which took the place of the previous film incentives package, allocates a total of $10 million to the productions.

It essentially depletes all of the existing annual funding dedicated to the initiative.

The grant provides financial assistance to attract “productions that will stimulate economic activity and create jobs in the state,” according to a news release from the office of N.C. Secretary of Commerce John Skvarla. “Companies receive no money up front and must meet direct in-state spending requirements to qualify for funds.”

“The grant recipients reflect a good mix of productions that will film on our coast, in our mountains and in a major metropolitan area,” Skvarla said. “These productions will showcase our state’s amazing diversity of resources.”

Half of the grant amount, $5 million, is going to a single production: “Under the Dome,” a CBS drama now filming its third season that is based on a Stephen King novel. The series is set in a small fictional town called Chester’s Mill that has been isolated from the outside world by a mysterious force. It is filmed in Wilmington, Southport and surrounding areas.

Another project, which will receive $4 million, is an as-yet-untitled television project from Lionsgate Television, the company behind such shows as “Mad Men,” “Orange is the New Black” and “Nashville.” It is expected to shoot in western North Carolina this year.

The third project is “Late in the Season,” a sports drama that will be shot largely on the campus of Davidson College. The production will be based in the Charlotte area and has been approved for $1 million in incentives.

The three productions are expected to have direct in-state spending of more than $60 million this year.

The elimination of the previous incentives package has led to fewer production companies coming to North Carolina and has caused some other television series that had been shot in North Carolina, including “Sleepy Hollow” and “Banshee,” to move to other states that provide more robust incentives programs for their new seasons.

Rebecca Clark, executive director of the Piedmont Triad Film Commission, said the funding announcement comes as no surprise.

“While I’m disappointed that none of the films qualifying for the incentive are filming here, I am happy to say that we do have two projects currently shooting in the Piedmont Triad, ‘Shifting Gears,’ an independent feature that will be shooting all over the Piedmont Triad region, and ‘My Big Fat Fabulous Life,’ a TLC series that is currently shooting in Greensboro and the Triad,” Clark said.

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