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STATEWIDE--Creating incentives for film and other media production companies to work Indiana is the purpose of a bill being heard by the Indiana General Assembly this legislative session. 

The bill would allow the newly-established Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC) to make a film incentive program to entice media companies to make their films in Indiana. It passed the full Senate earlier this Senate and the bill will be reviewed by the House next. 

Tony Samuel, President of Samuel Solutions Group, tells Inside Indiana Business having a program like that would be a big boost to Indiana. 

“There is so much more revenue that will be generated that it’ll be worth offering that incentive, but it’s just a matter of doing it right for Indiana,” said Samuel. “So this bill tasks the State Budget Agency to look at these other 32 states and come up with a plan that’s competitive, but still fiscally responsible for Indiana.” 

He says media production is a $300 billion industry and Indiana is only getting a small piece of that pie. 

“Compared to Ilinois, for example, they generate almost $2 billion per year in wages in media production. We’re only at less than $250 million. Kentucky is about $800 million. Pennsylvania (is at) about $900 million. So there’s more that we can do but every state has incentives that attract producers to that state and we don’t have one in Indiana; we need one to be competitive with other states.”

Since 2016, Samuel says Indiana has lost $100 million in business, half of which involved the Madam C.J. Walker series on Netflix, which was filmed in Toronto instead of Indianapolis. 

He also mentioned the film “The Fault in our Stars,” which is set in Indianapolis but was filmed in Pittsburgh. 

If Governor Holcomb signs the bill into law, not only would an incentive program be made, but also the IDDC would be able to hire a film commissioner. It would go into effect July 1, 2021. 

32 states have some form of incentive program. 

(PHOTO: Thinkstock/Kanzefar)