Letter from the Director
As the saying goes: no news is good news.
It’s been over a year since we’ve written an up to date newsletter, and it’s not as if we don’t care. Peter and I have been working non-stop, and we know that you would rather have us scouting your locations, facilitating road closures, getting your free permits, answering calls from the media about your almost-disasters and lobbying state legislators to get you that “up to 20% tax credit” that you need to make the decision to shoot here.
And we would have put off writing “Winter 2005” even longer because of the messages that are piling up, location files screaming to be put away and marketing materials that we need to create, but we keep receiving e-mails from some of you asking us “where’s it at?” Apparently a couple of people actually read this.
So enjoy reading about our year (and a couple months). We believe it will be another incredibly productive one in 2006. We have big dreams, bigger plans, and are asking for a bigger budget come next fiscal year. You can help by shooting here and promoting Tucson as a production location. Let us know how we can help.
Shooting in Tucson (and Arizona) is Less Taxing
You’ve been asking for it for years. Now you’ve got it. Let the shooting begin.
We could write a screenplay about what it took to get this bill passed through the state legislature. The major characters would be the members of the Arizona Film & Media Coalition with its President, Michael McGinn, and its Legislative Liaison, Michael Kucharo who hired the full time lobbiest (Brenda Burns), who worked with the Senator (Toni Hellon – R Tucson), who gained the support of Governor Janet Napalitano, who had met with the Producers (Mark Sennet and Kelly Van Horn – ABC’s Desperation) who had rallied their local crew who, along with the Coalition, rallied the entire Arizona production and Tourism communities to write the letters, show up at the sessions and, well, you get the picture. Oscar material? Probably not, but dramatic, with a cast of thousands nonetheless.
The Motion Picture Production Tax Incentives went into effect this month. The new program offers tax credits and a sales-tax exemption to qualified companies that film here spending $250,000 and up on local goods, services and Arizona crew. The incentives position Arizona as one of the top four or five draws in the country, according to Harry Tate, director of the Arizona Film Office. In an interview with The Arizona Republic, December 12, 2005, Tate says the program will affect the local industry immediately. You can find more information here.
Subtitles Not an Issue: Puro Mexicano: Tucson Film Festival was Puro Success
The Tucson Film Office was one of the initiators and organizers of the first Puro Mexicano: Tucson Film Festival which was held November 4 – 6 in downtown Tucson (another reason why we’ve been muy muy occupado). A presentation of the Fox Theatre, the newly restored 1929 Southwest Art Deco Movie Palace (where the festival will be held November 3 – 5, 2006) Puro Mexicano was a success fabulosa thanks to the dedication of the PM: TFF Steering Committee (see photo) and the support of the PM:TFF sponsors. With three theater venues including the ever popular outdoor Cinema La Placita, several Arizona premieres including the moving VOCES INNOCENTES, the hilarious LADIES NIGHT and the popular MATANDO CABOS, 20 special guest filmmakers from Mexico City, Los Angeles, and New York City (who I will name in a minute because we are so honored that they came) and a couple of parties that people are still raving about (just wait until next year…bigger…better…at the Fox!).
Our special guest and honoree was one of the most recognized faces in Mexico, Pedro Armendáriz Jr. Pedro has worked with most of the major Mexican directors since the 1970s, including Arturo Ripstein, Felipe Cazals, Guillermo del Toro, and Carlos Carrera, he has also performed in the U.S productions of Tombstone (1993), The Old Gringo (1988), The Magnificent Seven Ride!(1972) and The Mask of Zorro (1998), And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2002), Once Upon a Time in Mexico (2001), The Mexican (2002) Casa de los Babys (2003) and Amistad (1997). In every decade since the 1970s, Pedro's work has been recognized in Mexico by Ariel nominations for best actor and best supporting actor. We were thrilled to have him here.
Our other guests, in no particular order, were former Tucsonan Carlos Moore, Location Manager (BUBBLE) turned Production Designer, Carmen Cuba, Casting Director (The Butterfly Effect, BUBBLE), Dennis Leoni, Executive Producer (Showtime’s RESURRECTION BLVD.), Marilyn R. Atlas, Producer (REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES), Eren Isabel McGinnis and Ari Luis Palos, Mexican-American documentary filmmakers, (BEYOND THE BORDER), Rudy Joffroy, Assistant Director (TITANIC, THE THIN RED LINE) and a Writer/Director in his own right (EL CAMINO DEL DIABLO). Other guests were Gabriela Tagliavini, the talented Director (LADIES NIGHT), Jorge David Magaña Molina, Coordinator of International Festivals at IMCINE, Jessy Vega of IMCINE, Sarah Hoch, President of Guanajuato’s International Film Festival, Expresión en Corto, Dr. Octavio Marin, Producer and NALIP Signature Programs developer, Kimberly Myers, VP Development at Maya Pictures, Tery Lopez, Producer (INNOCENT VOICES) and Manuel Garcia Saldivar who handles acquisitions for Vanguard Cinema.
For more information on last year’s festival, click here.