Friday, August 1, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

No "silver lining" in PA film tax credit for Oscar winners

When the star and director of "Silver Linings Playbook" went hat in hand to Gov. Corbett for film tax credits to shoot a movie based on the 1970s ABSCAM scandal in Philadelphia - where it occurred - there was no rooting around the sofa cushions for spare change to help them.

No "silver lining" in PA film tax credit for Oscar winners

When the star and director of "Silver Linings Playbook" went hat in hand to Gov. Corbett to lift the cap on the state's film tax credits to shoot a movie based on the 1970s Abscam scandal in Philadelphia - where it occurred - there was no rooting around the sofa cushions for spare change to help them.

In fact, Corbett didn't even attend the meeting at the governor's mansion.

So David O. Russell and Bradley Cooper made their case to his staff.

And the answer, was "no," according to the online news service Capitolwire.(Paywall) 

The filmmaker was seeking $4.5 million in film tax credits to make a movie about the federal corruption probe that netted a U.S. Senator and five U.S. Congressmen by the time it was over in the early 1980s. But the money had run out for 2012-2013.

Pennsylvania’s credit is currently capped at $60 million, but it was increased to $92 million in 2012-13 after a distribution method was changed to allow borrowing from future credits.

The film industry is hoping the success of “Silver Linings Playbook,” which was shot in Philadelphia and was nominated for eight Academy awards will help increase funding for the tax credit program.

Sharon Pinkenson, director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, wants to bump the cap to $150 million in order to better plan for long-term and future projects, Capitolwire reports.

In 2012-13, the tax credit funded eight feature-length films, one documentary, eight television episodes, one television pilot and two television series, according to DCED.

Created in 2007, the state's film tax credit program has awarded nearly $300 million in credits to production companies, which has led to a $1.4 billion jolt to the state economy and created 18,000 jobs, according to state figures.

The yet-to-be titled Russell movie stars Cooper, his "SIlver Linings" co-star Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale and Amy Adams.

It is being shot in Massachusetts.

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About this blog

Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis and Amy Worden in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based right in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.



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