North Carolina TV, film industry expected to break spending record


North Carolina’s filmmaking industry is expected to spend a record-breaking $409 million this year, Gov. Roy Cooper said.

The revenue from TV and film production is the largest the state has seen since it launched the North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant program in 2014. It also beat the previous record of $373 million in 2012.

This year’s productions are expected to create 25,000 jobs in the state.

“We’ve all worked hard toward this banner year for North Carolina’s film industry,” Cooper said Thursday during a news conference at EUE/Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington. “With our resilient communities and local businesses, and our growing reputation for inclusion and diversity, North Carolina will continue to provide a beautiful stage for film projects of all sizes in every corner of the state.”

The North Carolina Film and Entertainment Grant program offers a 25% rebate to production companies on expenses ranging from $250,000 to $3 million. Production companies must meet direct in-state spending requirements to qualify for grants.

TV series can receive grants up to $12 million a season. Feature-length films can get up to $7 million, and commercials can qualify for no more than $250,000. Officials said the program continues to attract more production companies to the state.

To date, 18 productions have been awarded the grants in 2021, including Lionsgate Studios’ “Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret,” Netflix’s “Along for the Ride” and Blumhouse Entertainment’s “The Black Phone.”

“Our consistent message of a strong workforce coupled with a stable and reliable rebate program has been heard loud and clear by production executives and has resulted in these economic developments wins for North Carolina,” North Carolina Film Office Director Guy Gaster said. “There is a high demand for content and our state is proving that we are among the best in helping to bring these stories to life on screens of all sizes.”

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