PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The battle over Pennsylvania’s film tax credit shifted from Harrisburg to Philadelphia on Thursday. Some of the biggest players in the film and tourism industry made their pitches to lawmakers.
Let's Make More Movies in Philly!!@MNightShyamalan makes his case on this #halloween2019 @NatashaCBS3 has the story on Eyewitness News! #TaxCredits @GPFO @pinkerina @DianeHeery pic.twitter.com/33rkhKwJfE
— Ukee Washington (@UkeeWashington) October 31, 2019
The Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee gathered at the Museum of the American Revolution to hear testimony from those in the film industry.
M. Night Shyamalan, a Philadelphia native who is committed to making his films in this region, loaned his voice to an issue very personal to him. He’s fighting to attract more filmmakers to the commonwealth.
Shyamalan, who’s behind recent mega-hits like “Glass,” gave compelling testimony during a hearing in front of Pennsylvania lawmakers in the city.
Shyamalan recounted a very personal moment with his nephew, an aspiring screenwriter to drive home how film tax credit caps are stifling the city’s film industry.
“He said, ‘What’s your advice?’ and I said, ‘Move to Atlanta.’ That’s my nephew and I was scared to have him move here because there wouldn’t be enough work here,” Shyamalan said.
Shyamalan and others in the industry are lobbying to have film tax credits either uncapped or increased to attract more opportunities for movies and TV productions as many are finding better opportunities in places like Atlanta and other cities.
“If they can raise the tax credit, I think the entertainment industry will grow tremendously in Pennsylvania,” the director said.
Shyamalan says giving filmmakers more incentives to create projects in Pennsylvania is a win-win for the commonwealth.
“More movies, more TV shows and we can become an entertainment hub,” Shyamalan said. “I think it’s a great industry for us. It’s very visible and it showcases Philadelphia in all different aspects — small towns, big cities and we can feel a lot of pride because of that.”
Right now, the film tax credit is capped at $70 million. Critics say that’s enough to lure TV and film productions. Meantime, Shyamalan and others in the film industry in Pennsylvania will be lobbying to have tax credit changes made during the governor’s next budget.