LANSING – The Michigan Film Office announced today that the feature film The Citizen has been approved for a film incentive from the state. The film, which follows the trials of a Lebanese immigrant on his journey to become an American citizen, is inspired by true events and will be directed by Michigan filmmaker Sam Kadi. Kadi will also produce the film, along with Chris Wyatt. The Citizen will shoot in the metro Detroit region.
“As we work to attract the best projects to the state, it is especially rewarding when the filmmakers driving those projects are located right here in Michigan,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office. “This project will significantly utilize the film crew and infrastructure as well as locations here in the state, making it a great fit for the incentives.”
The Citizen was awarded an incentive of $561,204 on $1,336,200 of projected in-state expenditures. Kadi, a long time Michigan resident, has shot several short film projects in the state, including the award winning short drama Raised Alone.
“It is extremely gratifying to have this project qualify for the incentives,” Kadi said. “From the beginning we set out to make this film as Michigan-centric as possible and I am both glad and grateful I am able to shoot my first feature film in my home state.”
The Citizen is the fifth project approved under the new policy and guidelines issued by the Michigan Film Office. In 2011, seven projects have been approved with $10,600,345 in incentives being awarded on $25,583,702 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 617 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 142 jobs.
All pending and future applications receive a thorough review by a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) committee comprised of the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, the Senior Vice President of Policy, the Vice President of Business Development and the Director of the Michigan Film Office.
The current statute is used to guide approval decisions. Preference is given to projects that best meet the following criteria:
1. The production is financially viable.
2. Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, film labs, etc.).
3. The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production.
4. Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state as a tourist destination.
5. Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan.
The film incentive program will continue to be jointly administered by the Michigan Film Office and the Department of Treasury and all projects must be approved in concurrence with the state treasurer. Since the incentives took effect in April 2008, the Film Office and the Department of Treasury have approved a total of $371,666,159 in film incentives on $946,956,806 in total qualified expenditures by productions in Michigan. This represents 212 projects that have been approved to date, including 137 projects that have actually wrapped in the state.
The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan, as well as infrastructure development and workforce training.
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