Film Tampa Bay Travels to Tallahassee for Hillsborough County Day
February 16, 2016
On February 10, Film Tampa Bay traveled to Tallahassee to host a press conference with Senator Nancy Detert on the film and digital media industry’s economic importance to Hillsborough County. Film Commissioner Dale Gordon and Senator Detert sought to educate the public and state legislators about the more than $650 million and hundreds of good jobs Florida’s film, television and digital media industry have lost since 2013, when the state’s film incentives funds ran out. “What’s especially painful about the loss of these productions is that states like Georgia and Louisiana are winning multimillion dollar projects and jobs for their local industry professionals shooting films that depict iconic Tampa locations like Ybor City,” said Gordon. “The simple reason is because they offer incentives and Florida doesn’t. Hillsborough County is losing out on an estimated $30 million in positive economic impact on Live by Night, a new Ben Affleck film that takes place in Ybor City. Last year, we lost $20 million on additional production that could have been shot in Tampa for The Infiltrator. These lost projects hurt local families and businesses and harm our ability to attract the best and brightest industry talent to Tampa Bay and Florida.” Gordon was accompanied by an illustrious group of government and business leaders including Hillsborough County Commissioner Ken Hagan, representatives from Port Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Community College, and executives from several Ybor City companies. Transportation was generously provided by Tom & Lauren Pepin. Film Tampa Bay’s message struck a chord and resulted in a proposed legislation package passing Committee the next day. The challenge of getting the Florida film incentives fund replenished is far from over, though. Film Tampa Bay’s champions will continue to advocate for the industry all during session, so stay tuned for more updates on their progress next month.