In The News

Studios, Guilds Agree to Extend Return-to-Work Safety Protocols to June 30

“The current contract was scheduled to expire April 30, but the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the industry’s top guilds — including SAG-AFTRA, IATSE, the DGA, the Teamsters and the Basic Crafts — have agreed to keep the current protocols in place for another few months.

That will give them more time to hash out the details of the updated on-set protocols, and work through questions like, “Should vaccines be mandatory on film and television sets?” As of now, they are not — but strict safety protocols, including mask-wearing, social distancing and frequent testing, are being followed to keep COVID-19 from spreading.” – Hollywood Reporter

LD 1334 Public Hearing scheduled for Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 9:30am

LD 1334, An Act To Promote Economic Development through Increased Film Incentives

SUMMARY that appears at the end of the bill as printed:

“This bill makes multiple changes to the tax credits available to visual media production companies operating in the State.  The bill makes the available tax credits refundable, increases the credits for certain expenses incurred in Maine and for hiring residents of Maine and offers additional credits for visual media productions that are located in certain Maine counties, are set in Maine or have a lead cast member, writer or director who is a Maine resident.  The bill also reduces the total expenditures needed to qualify for the credits, extends the time period for visual media production companies to certify with the Department of Economic and Community Development and sets a $500,000 limit on the total value of the tax credits that increases to $1,000,000 after January 1, 2026.  The bill makes other changes necessary for these provisions.”

Join a Film Incentives Legislation and Maine Media Makers Panel Discussion

Monday, May 10, 2021, from 7:00 – 8:30pm

The panel, moderated by MFA Advocacy Committee Chair Louise Rosen, consists of the bill’s legislative sponsor, Representative Suzanne Salisbury of Westbrook; the citizen advocates behind the bill, Erik Van Wyck and Daniel Stephenson; and a certified public accountant who specializes in film incentives, Irene Wachsler. They will break down the legislative jargon for you, field your questions about what it means for the Maine media industry, and guide you through the legislative process and how you can make your voice heard on this issue.

“Maine Voices: Film-media community has room to become a far bigger part of Maine’s economy”

The Maine Film Office has been saying this (loudly) for years and it’s great to hear more voices echo the message:  Maine’s film/tv/media industry is a viable – and important – part of Maine’s economy.  The film industry supplies value-added benefits and is inextricably linked to Maine art, business, tourism, and other industries. The value-added resources offered by the industry help get the Maine message out there and can be a valuable resource for the State’s recovery efforts and Economic Development Strategy.

The headline above is from Portland Press Herald’s “Maine Voice Columns”.  I encourage you to read the column and join the conversation.  Our collective voice is much louder than our individual voices.


Restaurant Revitalization Fund application portal opens on Monday, May 3 at 12 p.m. EDT (not just for restaurants)

Who can apply?  Some of the eligible businesses work with the film industry.   Eligible entities who have experienced pandemic-related revenue loss include:

  • •   Restaurants
  • •   Food stands, food trucks, food carts
  • •   Caterers
  • •   Bars, saloons, lounges, taverns
  • •   Snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars
  • •   Bakeries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • •   Brewpubs, tasting rooms, taprooms (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • •   Breweries and/or microbreweries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • •   Wineries and distilleries (onsite sales to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • •   Inns (onsite sales of food and beverage to the public comprise at least 33% of gross receipts)
  • •   Licensed facilities or premises of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

SBA will begin accepting applications via the application portal on Monday, May 3 at 12 p.m. EDT. The application portal will remain open to any eligible establishment until all funds are exhausted.

In preparation, qualifying applicants should familiarize themselves with the application process in advance to ensure a smooth and efficient application. Follow the steps below.

• Register for an account in advance at starting Friday, April 30 at 9 a.m. EDT. If you are working with Square or Toast, you do not need to register.

• Review the sample application, updated program guide and cross-program eligibility chart on SBA COVID-19 relief options.