Virginia film industry grows 16 percent in 2013

film2Governor Terry McAuliffe announced today that the total economic impact of the film industry in Virginia in 2013 was $382.5 million, providing $19.4 million in state and local tax revenue for the Commonwealth.  This is a 16% increase from 2012 when the economic impact was $328.4 million.   In 2013, a total of 2,014 full-time jobs were available in the film industry.

Among the major projects filmed in Virginia in 2013 were Killing Kennedy for the National Geographic Channel and the amc television series TURN: Washington’s Spies.  Feature-length films included The Field of Lost Shoes, filmed in Lexington and Richmond, and Big Stone Gap, filmed in wise county.  Significant TV production activity occurred in the Hampton Roads area, locally-produced indie feature films worked around Roanoke and Lynchburg, and northern virginia hosted a portion of the major motion picture Foxcatcher – releasing this weekend.

“I am pleased to see Virginia’s film industry growing, which helps boost our local economy,” said Governor McAuliffe.  “Bringing jobs and revenue to the Commonwealth is my top priority, and the sixteen percent increase shows that our incentive program has been successful in generating more business and jobs for the Commonwealth.”

Many productions filmed in Virginia benefit from incentive programs designed to support the Commonwealth’s film production industry while making the filming experience in Virginia as economical and efficient as possible for production groups that choose Virginia for their projects.

Virginia has two separate incentive funds. One is the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund, which is a grant fund. The other is the Virginia Motion Picture Tax Credit fund, which is a refundable tax credit program.  In addition to the incentive funds, the Commonwealth also has a Sales and Use Tax Exemption that applies to the purchase of production related supplies and equipment.

“Film and television production provide solid, good-paying jobs, and the industry has proven to be important for the diversification of our economy.” said Maurice Jones, Secretary of Commerce and Trade.  “This is an asset we have that we need to maximize for continued growth.”

“We are particularly interested in continuing to bring episodic television series to Virginia,” said Andy Edmunds, Director of the Virginia Film Office.  “These productions stay longer, hire more Virginians, and provide a greater impact on the economy.  With the support of the Governor and the General Assembly, I believe that TURN: Washington’s Spies will be the first of many major TV series that will choose Virginia.”

The economic impact data was collected in a November 2014 study by Fletcher Mangum of Mangum Economics, based on information from the Virginia Employment Commission and the Virginia Film Office.

The Virginia Film Office is a division of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. Tourism is an instant revenue generator in Virginia. In 2013, visitors spent $21.5 billion, supporting 213,000 jobs and contributing $1.42 billion in state and local taxes.


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