In response to statistics that the BC Film Commission released today, the BC Producers' Branch of the Canadian Film and Television Production Association has expressed their concern about the 40 percent drop in B.C. domestic production levels in 2009 compared to the previous year.
While foreign production expenditures in B.C. increased from $841 million in 2008 to $1.09 billion in 2009, domestic levels decreased from 174 productions spending $365 million in 2008 to 155 productions with expenditures of $217 million in 2009 (which is half of the domestic production expenditures in 2007 at $407 million).
"Today's figures represent a staggering downturn in B.C.–owned domestic production that will continue unless measures are undertaken to address this challenging situation," B.C. Producers' Branch chair Rob Bromley stated in a press release. "We are disappointed that an increase to the tax credit supporting B.C. companies was not included in recently announced changes to the provincial tax credit program."
Liz Shorten, managing vice-president, operations and members services, pointed out that support of domestic projects can help to stabilize the industry. "Domestic production, owned and controlled by companies headquartered in B.C., is not subject to Canadian currency fluctuations or competition from other filming locations, and is therefore key to maintaining an infrastructure and keeping jobs in B.C."
Accordingly, the B.C. Producers' Branch is seeking a response from the government about their recommendations for increases to Film Incentive B.C. and the implementation of an Intellectual Property Development Fund to stimulate domestic production. NDP arts and tourism critic Spencer Herbert has also recommended the latter.
The B.C. Producers' Branch of the CFPTA is a non-profit trade organization that represents over 75 British Columbian companies in the film, television, and digital media industry.