Increasing number of N.S. residents leaving province for film jobs
Members of the Nova Scotia film industry are continuing to blame the province removing the film tax credit for filmmakers moving away from the Maritimes.
Actor, writer, and director Shelley Thompson just returned from a shoot in Toronto where nearly half her crew were former Nova Scotians.
She says producers are going to cities like Sudbury and Hamilton instead of Halifax.
“I think the screen industry is working very hard to keep its momentum going, but it's hard,” said Thompson.
According to Nova Scotia Business Inc., 16 productions have been approved for funding, while 13 other applications are being processed. Screen Nova Scotia says at best, this year's production could hit 50 to 60 per cent of previous years.
With the Canadian dollar hovering below 80 cents U.S., film production could hit record levels in Canada this summer, especially in Toronto and Vancouver.
“Over the last six years, we averaged out about 125 million in production volume,” said Screen Nova Scotia chair Scott Simpson.
There are rumours this year could become busy, but some worry if the film boom does hit Nova Scotia, it will leave a false impression of how well the $10-million film incentive fund is working.
“Everyone now is waiting to see what happens when the industry bursts through the $10-million ceiling,” said consultant Bernard Smith.
Government has said the fund's budget could be reassessed if that happens, but nothing is guaranteed.
Smith says more should be done.
“I would like to see the province reappraise the film industry before they lose too much of it,” he said.
Meanwhile, those working in the industry here say they want to send the message that Nova Scotia is still open for business.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.