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Minnesota pumps more money into film incentive program

June 01, 2013|By DiAngelea Millar
  • Cinematographer Roger Deakins on the set of Joel and Ethan Coen's "Fargo." The 1996 movie had filming locations in Minnesota.
Cinematographer Roger Deakins on the set of Joel and Ethan Coen's… (Michael Tackett / Gramercy…)

Minnesota has a new Snowbate to entice film and TV productions.

The state’s new Film Production Jobs Program, known as Snowbate, has been voted into law. Minnesota lawmakers recently agreed to increase annual funding for the rebate program to $10 million from $500,000 starting July 1. 

Film producers also will now be eligible to receive a rebate of up to 25% for work done in the state, which is competing with dozens of other states that offer film rebates and tax credits.

Snowbate was part of a larger bill signed into law May 23 by Gov. Mark Dayton, adding more funding for programs that aim to create jobs and strengthen the state's economy. The revised film program is designed to attract filmmakers to the Minnesota, supporting not only films but also TV production, commercials, documentaries and other production and post-production work.

The state's incentive program was one of the least competitive, but the increase in funding turns it into one of the top 15, said Lucinda Winter, director of Minnesota's film and TV program.

“This makes it possible for us to compete internationally for film and television production, generating high-wage jobs and private spending in Minnesota,” Winter said.

Minnesota drew $28 million in direct investment from film companies between 2007 and 2011, when the state invested $4.6 million in its film program.

“With a competitive film incentive, Minnesota will once again be a destination for filming," Winter said. "Without a competitive incentive, it’s virtually impossible to attract production here.”


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