The California Film Commission reported that applications for this year’s $100 million tax credit lottery rose more than 30 percent to 497, compared to 380 on the first day of the application period last year. Applications were accepted Monday from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Film Commission’s office in Hollywood. Film Commission staff members, with assistance from a Cal Fire deputy state fire marshal, conducted the lottery after a brief interruption due to a bomb scare.
The number of projects selected initially for a tax credit allocation dropped to 23, compared with 34 last year. The remaining 474 applications will be placed on a waiting list. As in prior years, it is expected that a significant number of wait list projects may be allocated tax credits, as approved projects withdraw due to scheduling delays or other production-related factors. When a project withdraws, its credits are reassigned to the project next in line on the waiting list. A complete list of approved projects will be released on July 1.
“This year’s dramatic growth in the number of applications reaffirms that California is the preferred choice for projects of all types and sizes,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch. “The industry wants to base productions in California, but incentives now drive those decisions.”
The state’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program was enacted in 2009 to help curb runaway production. The lottery is used to select projects at random, given that demand for California tax credits far exceeds supply.
The lottery establishes a queue order to determine which projects will receive tax credits before the entire $100 million is exhausted.