Grant application backlog has Alberta film industry worried

CALGARY (660 NEWS) – Alberta’s film industry has found itself on some unstable ground after a backlog of grant applications started to grow because the provincial government delayed the release of its budget.The province says the budget will not be released until they hear back from a ‘blue-ribbon panel’ it struck to look into government finances.Producers in the industry continue to wait for their applications to be processed and have begun to look outside of Alberta to work.Damian Petti with IASTE Local 212 says some have already left.“I personally know of three projects that have decided not to shoot in Alberta because of the uncertainty that is arriving because of this backlog,” Petti said.Petti adds the UCP government made promising commitments about converting the grants to a tax credit during the election which was supported heavily by the industry.“This industry represents so much opportunity for jobs. I think we need to view this as an investment in jobs, technology, and growth and this is precisely what was promised in the (election) platform for the UCP, it was very specific to the screen industry.”If the problem is not fixed he says it will be very difficult for the province to recover. read more