With the ceremonial signing of SB 608 creating the ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021’ held earlier today, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has by proclamation declared August 3 as ‘Film Day’ in Oklahoma.
“I am optimistic that the success of our thriving film and music industries will continue to flourish through this incentive program,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “These rebates will attract productions that lead to a diversified workforce, high quality jobs and increased revenue for ancillary services. Film and music provide opportunities for Oklahomans, and I look forward to the continued expansion of these valuable industries.”
Oklahoma’s film and television industry has seen consecutive, record-breaking success and historic firsts within recent years, supporting both local and independent filmmakers as well as major motion pictures and television series from studios such as A24, Apple Studios, Lionsgate, Amblin Entertainment and FX/Disney. Over the last decade, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO), which now administers the state’s film incentive program under the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, reports that the state’s film and television industry has generated positive economic impact in 125 cities spread among more than 50 counties statewide and created over 20,000 local career opportunities. Most recently, in Fiscal Year 21 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021), OF+MO estimates the 33 film and television productions qualified for the state’s incentive will create more local career opportunities with a direct fiscal impact of $161.7 million. Among the dozens of films to be recently produced in Oklahoma, successes include the forthcoming releases “Reservation Dogs”, “Killers of the Flower Moon”, “American Underdog: The Kurt Warner Story”, “The Unbreakable Boy”, “Reagan”, “Wild Indian”, “Agnes”, “Unplugging”, “Ida Red”, “Out of Exile” and “God’s Not Dead 4”, as well as the newly released films “Stillwater”, “The Girl Who Believes in Miracles”, and this year’s Academy Award-winning film “Minari”. Additionally, Oklahoma’s local film infrastructure continues to expand providing more opportunities for business recruitment with the opening of companies like Prairie Surf Media and Green Pastures Studio to name a few. With support from local film offices and more statewide communities becoming certified ‘film friendly’ through OF+MO’s Oklahoma Film Friendly Community Program, Oklahoma is open for business and primed to showcase some of the country’s most diverse terrain spanning the state’s 12 distinct eco-regions.
“With the support of our state and city leadership including Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, we’re incredibly honored to celebrate ‘Film Day’ in Oklahoma, recognizing the accomplishments of our dedicated local film workforce, infrastructure, educators and communities who’ve all played in an invaluable role in the success of the film, television and music industries in Oklahoma,” said OF+MO Director Tava Maloy Sofsky. “We look forward to ushering in a new era with the creation of the ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021’ as well as welcoming new business to the state in the weeks ahead as we begin processing applications with the opening of this new incentive program.”
Film and television projects interested in applying for production incentives under the ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021’ may do so beginning August 10, 2021, via the forthcoming program application portal available on the Oklahoma Film + Music Office website.
As authorized by Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, SB 608 established the ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021” further increasing the state’s total film incentive cap and eligibility threshold to host major motion pictures and television series. The program offers a base rebate of up to 20% to qualified film and television productions working in Oklahoma. Additionally, the ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021’ offers uplifts for filming in rural municipalities/counties, qualified soundstages, post-production/music services and television pilots/seasons. Eligible productions must have a minimum budget of at least $50,000 to qualify. Authored by Senator Chuck Hall and Representative Scott Fetgatter, the ‘Filmed in Oklahoma Act of 2021’, which replaces the state’s previous film incentive program known as the ‘Compete with Canada Act’, will allow Oklahoma to successfully retain its current independent film production clientele, many of whom are repeat customers or local filmmakers, while simultaneously working to attract higher impact studio productions to the state.
“I am thrilled to celebrate Oklahoma’s vibrant film and music industries and this historic milestone. I commend Tava and her team for laying a strong foundation and setting the stage for economic development in our state, as well as Oklahoma’s passionate film and music community on the passing of this incredible incentive,” Secretary of Commerce and Workforce Development Scott Mueller said. “Their continued efforts will result in high quality jobs for Oklahomans in this exciting field and help to further diversify Oklahoma’s economy.”
For more information on Oklahoma’s film infrastructure, workforce and other resources, including the rebate portal application opening on August 10, 2021, visit okfilmmusic.org.
About the Oklahoma Film + Music Office: Under the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, the Oklahoma Film + Music Office (OF+MO) works to promote the state as a viable hub for film, television and music production as well as further develop opportunities for workforce, business and community growth within these sectors. For more information on the Oklahoma Film + Music Office, including the state’s film incentives and additional resources, visit okfilmmusic.org.