Film industry ditching Utah for other states – Lack of incentives costs Utah film industry’s economic boost

At least 20 and perhaps three dozen television movies or other film productions are not being shot in Utah this year because the state could not match financial incentives offered by other states and Canada.

That assessment Monday by Utah Film Commission director Aaron Syrett concerned members of the Tourism Task Force, a group of legislators examining whether the state can do more to promote its tourism industry, including the film component.

Those lawmakers concurred that a $1 million incentive program approved last session was helpful, but still inadequate to keep Utah competitive with other states for film business.

Most of that $1 million was spent early in the fiscal year that started July 1 – roughly half went to makers of "The World’s Fastest Indian," a movie due out this winter starring Anthony Hopkins as a New Zealand motorcyclist who set speed records on the Bonneville Salt Flats – leaving the fund virtually depleted with eight months left to go.

By Mike Gorrell
The Salt Lake Tribune

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