For Immediate Release April 14, 2015
The Island Media Arts Cooperative and the PEI film community have been working diligently over the last several years to build the film sector in PEI and it is very encouraging to hear recent comments from political parties interested in discussing investment in our sector.
IMAC, the representative of PEI’s film sector, is made up of Emmy and Gemini award winning filmmakers and TV producers. We are a rising industry with our own successes that could make our mark if a PEI government would collaborate with us on developing a sustainable media incentive program.
A media incentive program for the PEI media industry would be instrumental in ensuring that PEI projects are made in PEI. Incentives such as labour rebates are key to triggering off Island funds that allow projects to be made. There are currently off Island funds set aside specifically for PEI media projects that aren’t being used because the trigger funding that would be provided by a provincial media incentive program is not in place.
A thriving media industry shows a return on investment through the creation of high tech jobs and on Island spending in the form of goods, services and taxes. Return can be as much as three times the investment as seen in Nova Scotia.
Investment means retention of young professionals and their families.
Investment means Island stories and landscapes get put on the screen to get PEI known around the world as a destination to explore.
The PEI media sector knows the hardships of Nova Scotia’s current situation first hand. For example, Jason Arsenault, an Island filmmaker, is in development with his project “Wharf Rats”, a $2 million feature film. Jason and the production company he is working with would like to shoot the PEI story on the Island, however without the initial investment from the province this can’t happen.
“I think what can be stated for certain … is that this company has taught me that without a credit there’s no sense in me pitching Island based stories to producers that can afford to make real projects. So for my career to grow and be Island based, there needs to be a tax credit. Otherwise, I need need to start thinking about leaving those themes behind.”
2014 saw Jason Arsenault and Island filmmaker, Mille Clarkes, receive the first BravoFactual grant to shoot a documentary. Harmony Wagner and Jason Rogerson also won a Telefilm microbudget grant to shoot their feature film Kooperman. With an incentive program in place the activity in this sector could increase exponentially.
IMAC is actively pursuing opportunities to meet with all political parties and discuss with them the benefits of investing in the film industry on Prince Edward Island.
For further information contact
Nils Ling, Board President, 902-940-0147
Renee Laprise, Executive Director, 902-892-3131