Roll credits: Ciresi, Tomlinson seek to attract more film, TV production to PA

HARRISBURG, May 21 – Stressing lights, cameras and bipartisan action, state Reps. Joe Ciresi and K.C. Tomlinson introduced legislation this week that seeks to attract more film and television production companies to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

By increasing the cap on the “Film Industry Incentive” from its current $70 million to $125 million, the bill from Ciresi, D-Montgomery, and Tomlinson, R-Bucks, would be an important first step in the state meeting the demands of the film and television production industry wanting to film in Pennsylvania.

“Film production has economic effects that go beyond the industry,” said Ciresi, who serves on the House Tourism & Recreational Development Committee. “Local retailers, restaurants, hotels and other businesses that provide products and services during production benefit, while there are also potential long-term tourism benefits as sites can turn into cultural landmarks.”

According to a report from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, the Film Production Tax Credit received 860 applications with 509 productions approved or awarded tax credits between the program’s inception in 2007 and the end of 2020.

From Ciresi and Tomlinson, H.B. 1432 would rebrand the Film Production Tax Credit as the Film Industry Incentive and increase the funding, allowing the commonwealth to attract more interest from film and television production companies. Ciresi and Tomlinson serve as the House co-chairs of the Bipartisan Film Caucus.

“The downstream economic benefits of film production have heightened competition among states looking to attract filmmaking, and the current $70 million tax credit level has failed to keep pace,” Tomlinson said. “Because of this, an untold number of film projects -- even projects that are set in Pennsylvania but filmed elsewhere -- are lost to other states that are enjoying the economic advantages of the industry.”

Ciresi and Tomlinson pointed out that Pennsylvania has benefited across the state from the Film Production Tax Credit with films like “Creed” (Philadelphia and Delaware counties), “Concussion” (Allegheny County), “Southpaw” (Indiana, Washington and Allegheny counties), “Unstoppable” (Allegheny, Blair, Beaver, Cameron, Centre and McKean counties), “Home” (Lancaster County) and “I Am Not Okay With This” (Fayette County). 

Said Ciresi: “We know from firsthand experience that these companies want to film in Pennsylvania, but right now our program cannot support their efforts. Increasing the Film Industry Incentive will bring more projects to the state and, thus, a larger economic impact, more jobs and more revenue to the commonwealth.” 

After its introduction, H.B. 1432 was referred to the House Finance Committee for further review. 

More information is available by contacting Ciresi’s office at 484-200-8265 or Tomlinson’s office at 215-750-1017.