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State tax incentives worth up to $1 million were offered Thursday to five film projects that are expected to provide jobs to 240 Utahns and add $4.2 million to the economy.
"The diversity of the projects this month shows Utah's attraction as a production hub," said Utah Film Commission Director Virginia Pearce after the Governor's Office of Economic Development board approved the incentives.
"Our talented crews and variety of locations make Utah a perfect fit for everything from television series to indie features and documentaries."
The largest incentive, up to $516,281, went to a documentary that director Steve Olpin is making about puzzle artist Eric Dowdle, a Utah resident, for the documentary television series "Painting the Town." In production through early December, the documentarians will spend $2 million in the state, hiring a cast and crew of 37.
A digital series with "an interweaving cast of 20- and 30-somethings navigating the complexities of dating and relationships in the modern age of social media" received the next largest incentive $305,125.
To be produced between May 1 and June 9, "Relationship Status" will have a cast and crew of 75 led by Director Elizabeth Allen Rosenbaum. Its projected spending is $1.2 million.
Producers Kristin and Stephen Shimick, who made "Once I Was a Beehive," got $100,000 for a feature with a modern take on Louisa May Alcott's classic, "Little Women."
Their version focuses on the four March girls as they transitioned from little girls into young women. With a cast and crew of 58, the show directed by Clare Niederpruem is likely to generate $500,000 in spending in Utah.
Two of the five recipients were funded through a new Film Commission program to "encourage up-and-coming, Utah-based producers and directors to keep their smaller projects" here, Pearce said.
The first is a thriller, "The Appearance," about Mateho the Inquisitor, "a rational man of science" who must look into the possibility of witchcraft causing the unexpected death of a medieval monk.
GOED awarded $59,200 to the film by director Kurt Knight and producers Lauren Spalding and Jennifer Kirkham. They will oversee a cast and crew of 34 making the show through mid-April, spending almost $300,000.
The second locally driven project involves helping the rock band Imagine Dragons produce a music video that features lead singer Dan Reynolds and Swedish actor and martial artist Dolph Lundgren in a "futuristic retro 1980s boxing match."
Directed by Matt Easton and shot at the Park City Film Studio, the video received an incentive of $26,000 toward its expected local cost of $130,000. It will employ 23.