- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) - Supporters of a measure that enhances Kentucky’s tax incentives for filmmakers are hoping the legislation will boost Paducah’s film industry.

The Paducah Sun reports (http://bit.ly/1TXH8vN ) the measure passed last spring increased Kentucky’s existing income tax credit for films from 20 percent to 30 percent for each production’s Kentucky-based spending, with an extra 5 percent incentive for using Kentucky resident labor or filming in an “enhanced incentive county.”

The bill also cut in half the spending thresholds for productions to qualify for incentives.

The cutoff for feature films and TV shows was cut from $500,000 to $250,000 and only $125,000 for Kentucky-based production companies. For commercials the cutoff dropped from $200,000 to $100,000, and for documentaries the threshold is now only $20,000, down from $50,000 - and only $10,000 for Kentucky companies.

These incentives make Kentucky more competitive with states like Georgia and Louisiana, which have some of the best production incentive packages in the country, said Chris Bower, who has been producing and acting in films for about a decade.

Bower was named Paducah’s “Film Concierge” by the local Convention and Visitor’s Bureau following the passage of the legislation.

A few years down the road, Bower and the Paducah CVB hope Paducah can snag a big production that could drive tourism in the future.

“We saw an opportunity to create a portal to complement those incentives so that we could really promote the venues for production and filming we have here in Paducah,” said Laura Oswald, Paducah CVB marketing director.

“We already have the River’s Edge International Film Festival, which is such a great opportunity to connect people with filmmakers, and Maiden Alley (Cinema) is doing great work getting people more interested in the art of filmmaking. This takes it all a step further.”

Bower said he wants to build a resource database that will show filmmakers exactly what the Paducah area has to offer.

He said there’s a multimillion dollar independent film production looking to film in western Kentucky next spring, and the Paducah-made “Dooms Chapel Horror” has been picked up for worldwide distribution in the fall of 2016.

The film, produced by Bower and directed by Maiden Alley Cinema’s co-programmer John Holt, has been selected for film festivals around the world. Now the challenge is getting local, non-filmmaking people on board with the idea, Bower said.

“Most people are used to a certain way of life here, and it doesn’t usually involve something as outer space as filmmaking,” he said. “They just have to understand that it’s a real thing, that this can happen here, and once they do there’s no limit to the potential a film can have thanks to the support of this community.”

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Information from: The Paducah Sun, http://www.paducahsun.com

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