DiCaprio's "Akira" Among Features Set To Receive Calif. Tax Credits
Amy Lemisch, executive director of the California Film Commission
Latest round of films to generate an estimated $408 million in qualified expenditures
  • HOLLYWOOD, Calif.
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According to the California Film Commission, 18 film projects, including the big-budget Akira, have been selected for the latest round of tax credits under the state’s Film & TV Tax Credit Program 2.0.

Together, the projects (10 non-independent, eight independent) will generate an estimated $408 million in qualified expenditures (defined as below-the-line wages and payments to in-state vendors). Overall in-state production spending will be significantly greater than qualified spending with the addition of above-the-line wages and other production expenditures that do not qualify for tax credits under Program 2.0.

Based on data provided with each tax credit application, the projects announced today will employ an estimated 2,575 crew, 812 cast, and 29,000 extras/stand-ins (the latter measured in “man-days”) over a combined 740 shoot days in California.

Set in Tokyo in the year 2060, Warner Bros.’ Leonardo DiCaprio-produced Akira will generate an estimated $92 million in qualified spending. This figure includes $43 million in wages to 200 below-the-line crew members and more than 5,000 extras/stand-ins. With a tax credit reservation of $18.5 million, the project is scheduled to film entirely in California over the course of 71 filming days.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to shoot Akira in California,” said Ravi Mehta, Warner Bros. Pictures EVP of physical production and finance. “The availability of top-notch crew members, plus the wide variety of location choices and predictable weather are second to none.”

With the addition of Akira, California has attracted a total of 13 big-budget feature films under Program 2.0. Such large projects were targeted specifically by California’s expanded tax credit program due to the significant boost they provide to the economy.

“Big-budget film projects bring big employment and big spending, and we’re able to bring them home to California more cost-effectively than other locales that don’t have all that we have to offer,” said California Film Commission executive director Amy Lemisch.

Akira is just the latest in a growing list of big-budget film projects that have found California offers the best value despite the availability of more aggressive financial incentives in other states and nations. It’s also one of a growing list of California tax credit films to bring production jobs and spending to regions across the state.

More than half (10 out of 18) of the latest projects announced plan to shoot outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Zone. They are on track to spend 279 filming days in counties statewide. Topping the list are Tucker Tooley Productions’ Flying Horse with 50 filming days in Sacramento, and the teen drama The Sky is Everywhere (Post Its LLC) with 40 filming days in Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Marin, and Alameda counties. For the most recent round of films, California will double for locales ranging from post-apocalyptic Tokyo to small-town Texas.

“This latest round of tax credits demonstrates how Program 2.0 enables indie and studio projects to remain in California and tap our unmatched talent and infrastructure,” Lemisch added. “The filmmakers represent diverse projects that will shoot in locations across the state–-from Napa Valley and Lake Tahoe to San Diego county.

A total of 55 film projects applied for tax credits during the February 25–March 1 application period. The list of most recently selected projects is subject to change, as applicants may withdraw from the program and their reservation of tax credits is reassigned to one or more other projects currently on the waitlist.

The next application period for feature film tax credits will be held June 17-21, 2019. 

In addition to Akira, Flying Horse and The Sky is Everywhere, the new round of 18 films consists of Can I Be Honest (Good Films Collective), Captain Infinity (Jayhawker Holdings), Covers (Focus Features Productions), Cry, Baby (Cry Baby Productions), Dancing Stallion (Centurion Project), Double Take (Paramount Pictures), Everything Everywhere All at Once (Hotdog Hands LLC), King Richard (Star Thrower Entertainment), Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Newsub 101 Productions), Psycho Killer (Pariah), Revenge (Solutions Media LLC), Stand Up (Endeavor Content, LLC), Stillwater (New Line Productions), Two Days (Paramount Pictures) and Untitled Wonderland Project (Wonderland Sound and Vision).


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