Written by Shona Smith on Jun 7, 2021. Posted in Incentive News

Oklahoma Increases State Film and TV Incentives

The changes include an increase to the incentive cap and eligibility threshold and more than triples its annual budget. It have been designed to attract higher impact film and television productions to the state. Oklahoma is currently hosting Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, its largest feature project to date.

The "Filmed  in Oklahoma Act of 2021" replaces the state’s film incentive programme "Compete with Canada Act" that has been in place since 2001.  The new legislation means that a base 20% rebate will be offered to qualified film and television productions working in Oklahoma, with additional uplifts for filming in rural municipalities/counties, qualified soundstages, post-production and television pilots/seasons.

Eligible productions must have a minimum budget of at least $50,000 to qualify. While the former Oklahoma Film Enhancement Rebate Program had an annual funding cap of $8 million, the ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021’ increases the state’s annual funding cap to $30 million with a sunset date of June 30, 2031.

“I have watched many people work very hard over the years to bring this to fruition and am honoured to help lead Oklahoma into a new era of opportunity – one which will not only benefit urban areas, but rural communities as well,” said Chairman Roger Thompson of the Senate Budget Appropriations Committee who previously helped enhance the former film programme in 2019. “The more I learn about the film and music industries’ ability to diversify our state’s economy, the more excited I get about championing further growth.”

In addition to Martin Scorsese’s Killers of the Flower Moon, the largest feature project ever to shoot in Oklahoma, two major Lionsgate projects The Unbreakable Boy and American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story have recently wrapped after filming back to back. FX Network’s Reservation Dogs is also currently in production, the first full-season scripted series to shoot in Oklahoma.

“It is my privilege to serve the greater community of Oklahoma, as well as work alongside our state’s thriving film industry, which creates local jobs and stimulate positive economic impact throughout the state,” said Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Matt Pinnell. “The passage of this new film program is on par to carry forward the record-breaking trajectory we’ve seen in recent years, and will bring expanded, positive impact while continuing to add value to Oklahoma’s overall state image.”

In terms of studio infrastructure Oklahoma City’s Prairie Surf Media where largest clearspan soundstages in the Midwest, and Green Pastures Studio home of the Oklahoma Film and TV Academy welcomes much production. There are further developments in the works including the Red Clay Studios to the Northeast of the state.

Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) estimates that the 33 film and television productions that qualified for the state’s incentives in July 2020-June 2021 will have a direct fiscal impact of USD161.7 million in the state. Recent and forthcoming releases shot in Oklahoma include Academy Award winning Minari from A24, Reagan, Stillwater, Wild Indian, and Asking For It.

“The passage of the new film bill was only possible because of the determination by countless individuals, including past and present statewide leaders, film and music industry professionals, our innovative small businesses and amazing community partners who dedicated themselves to finding win/win solutions,” said OF+MO Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. “The newly retooled film program will not only boost economic activity in both rural and urban communities, but it will propel Oklahoma towards a Top Ten state as a production hub for film, television and music.”

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