A Rotating Cast at Montana Film Office


3 Key Members have Departed over 6 Months as Film Tax Credits expire



High turnover is affecting the Montana Film Office, as three key staff members have departed over the past six months. In the past, movies such as The Revenant have shot scenes in Montana. Montana established its film office in 1974 and began offering credits in 2005. The incentive program did not thrive for long, as other states had more enticing credits. The credits ended in 2015 when the program was not renewed.

Tax Credit Ends, but Grants Remain to Entice Productions

Although the credit has ended in Montana, grants are being used as a tool to attract filmmakers. The Montana Big Sky Film Grant was created to build partnerships with filmmakers and production companies by providing seed funding to enable the creation of jobs related to filmmaking production and supporting the filmmaking community.
The Feature Film and TV Grant funding consists of an in-state spend exceeding $300,000 and shoots at least 50% of principal photography in Montana. In addition, if a filmmaker is a resident of Montana and has a validated credit as a Producer, they can apply for a resident filmmaker allocation up to $50,000 for a project that meets the grant criteria and shoots at least 50% of principal photography in Montana.

Other funding consists of a development grant which can apply for allocations up to $50,000 and a festival grant of up to $5,000 allocated for marketing assistance and travel.

The Big Sky Grant awards up to $1 million a year to productions chosen with funding provided by Montana’s bed tax
on tourism. The Montana Film Office has never maxed out the grant, but in this year in particular, was only allowed access to $500,000.

Rachel Gregg, the Public Relations Coordinator for the Montana Film Office, estimates that the office helped generate $10 million in local business last year from seven feature films and approximately 100 smaller projects shooting in Montana.

The state continues to invest in film productions, according to Sean Becker, administrator of the Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development. There have been no significant changes to the budget.

Need another reasons to film in Montana? No Sales Tax and No Minimum Spend! Want to learn more about Montana’s current incentive programs? Drop us a note to filmcredits@kpm-us.com, or give us a call at (781) 849-5357 to talk to one of our film tax credit practice leaders