LANSING – The Michigan Film Office announced today that Have a Little Faith, a made-for-television movie, has been approved for a film incentive from the state. The film is based on the #1 bestselling book by Mitch Albom and follows his journey to find faith with the help of his childhood rabbi and a Detroit pastor. The project is expected to shoot in Detroit and surrounding areas.
“The city and spirit of Detroit play an integral role in Have a Little Faith, so it is only fitting that this movie be shot in the very place that helped to inspire this story,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office. “In addition to hiring Michigan crew and vendors, this project also presents an opportunity to showcase Michigan to a wide-spread national television audience.”
Have a Little Faith was awarded an incentive of $2,355,945 on its qualified Michigan expenditures and is expected to hire 226 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 53 jobs. Albom is a columnist at the Detroit Free Press as well as an author and radio and television broadcaster. Have a Little Faith is his first non-fiction novel since Tuesday’s With Morrie.
Have a Little Faith is the seventh project approved under the new policy and guidelines issued by the Michigan Film Office. In 2011, nine projects have been approved with $12,988,399 in incentives being awarded on $31,271,545 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 886 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 196 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 $374,054,213 in film incentives on $952,644,649 in total qualified expenditures by productions in Michigan. This represents 214 projects that have been approved to date, including 138 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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