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Governor McDonnell, MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd, and Lincoln Producer Kathleen Kennedy Highlight Economic Benefits of Film Industry in Virginia
Author:  MPAA
Date:  11/08/2011

Spielberg’s LINCOLN has Estimated Economic Impact of $35 Million

Governor Bob McDonnell, Motion Picture Association of America Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd and renowned producer Kathleen Kennedy highlighted the economic benefits of film production in Virginia during a midday press conference in Richmond at In Your Ear Studios. The press conference followed a visit by the Governor and Dodd to the set of the new Steven Spielberg film “LINCOLN,” of which Kennedy is a producer. The movie is currently filming scenes at Virginia’s historic State Capitol. 
 
“Film production means job creation,” said Governor McDonnell.   “Here in Virginia we are committed to partnering with the film industry to bring more productions to the Commonwealth in order to create more good jobs for our citizens. Today Richmond and Petersburg are bustling with the production of Steven Spielberg’s “LINCOLN,” which will have an estimated economic impact of $35 million in our state. The big screen is big business, and we want that business right here in Virginia.”
 
MPAA Chairman Dodd reinforced that message saying, “there are more than 1,100 businesses – mostly small businesses – in Virginia working in the production sector and because of the bipartisan efforts of Gov. McDonnell to secure production incentives, we are here today to tell the story of Virginians working in this vibrant industry.”
 
LINCOLN is currently being shot on location at the State Capitol in Richmond and at locations in the greater Richmond-Petersburg area, including the Executive Mansion.  It is based on the book, “Team of Rivals” by historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and stars Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and James Spader.
 
While a candidate for Governor in 2009, McDonnell promoted investment in the film industry in the Commonwealth as one of many ways to help spur private sector job creation. In the 2010 session of the General Assembly, the Governor’s first in office, McDonnell put forward legislation to make Virginia more attractive to film makers. Virginia now has $4 million in the Governors Motion Picture Opportunity Fund; a new $2.5 million refundable tax credit program (the state’s first ever) which began on January 1st of this year, and exempts productions from paying the Virginia sales tax. The economic impact of the film industry in Virginia in 2010 was $344 million with 2,700 Virginians actively working in the sector.

A video of the event is available here.