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Broward County Film Summit Casts Broward as Film Friendly in Florida

BROWARD COUNTY, FL- With a new Film Commission, named Film Lauderdale, Broward County has become a film-friendly community, with new incentives to attract the lucrative film and television industry.  The priority is to create high paying jobs, bring in new sources of revenue for businesses big and small, and brand Broward County nationwide.  That's the takeaway from the Broward County Film Summit held today. 

"We're bringing film back to Broward. We're in the center of the tri-county area.  We have numerous locations ideal for productions and we have a talented film and television core here," said Broward Commissioner Steve Geller. "My number one goal is to bring high-paying jobs to Broward County." Geller sponsored initiatives that created the new Film Commission and film incentives that were passed unanimously by Broward Commissioners.

"The Film Commission has created a new permitting process.  Our office will be the point to contact for film, television and production companies wanting to do business here. We speak "production" and we speak "government" and are the conduit between the film and television production community and government entities to ensure a streamlined process," said Film Commissioner Sandy Lighterman.  As a result of the new Film incentive program, the new Film Commission currently has six projects in works. 

Also announced at the Summit are conceptual plans by the Fort Lauderdale Film Studios Initiative to build a 350,000 square foot sound stage complex.  Preliminary plans will include 10 soundstages, production and post-production offices, warehouse and mill space, and a commissary.  The $150 million studio would be located on 61 acres north of Sunrise Boulevard and east of Northwest 31st Avenue, on what's known as the Wingate property in Fort Lauderdale.

"If all goes as planned, we are expected to open within an estimated eighteen months. The film incentives are the first step on the table and then our production studio will be able to service them.  We're also planning to build a film school on the site," said Fort Lauderdale Studio Initiative Director/Producer DJ Viola. 

The Television, Film, and Entertainment Incentive program is a performance-based rebate program that is based on Broward County-centric criteria. Each project's eligibility will be determined on a case-by-case basis. After the incentive application is approved and an agreement is signed, the incentive will be distributed as a rebate after the production provides proof of their local spending. Projects must have a minimum investment of $400,000 with rebates capped at $175,000. Sixty percent of the filming must be in Broward County, 50% of the vendors must be County based-businesses and a minimum of 55% of the main casting and crew must be based in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.

Well-known movies and television series filmed in Broward County include Mortdecai, Rock of Ages, Caddy Shack, Cape Fear, Striptease, The Glades television series, Graceland television series, Waves, Three Months, and Beach Bum. 

Detailed information on the Film Commission and incentive programs can be found at FortLauderdaleFilm.org 

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