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Could Florida be the next Hollywood? New bill could draw movies and shows to Sunshine State

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A bill that would attract filmmakers to Florida was approved at a committee meeting with lawmakers on Monday.

Cinema advocates say it could bring thousands of jobs back to Florida during the pandemic.

If you watch more entertainment at home, surf channels, or use streaming services, you are not alone.

Film Florida executive director John Lux says the demand is greater than ever.

“The more content we can produce here in the state of Florida, the more money we’re going to put into the economy,” said Lux.

But Lux says there are currently no tax incentives to film in Florida, so teams often travel to Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana and Texas.

“So we just want to be competitive and if we know we can be competitive we can do great things for the Florida economy,” Lux said.

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would create a discount for companies filming here.

Cosponsor Senator Linda Stewart believes she has a good chance of succeeding this year because of the pandemic.

“Different types of movies and sitcoms. Everything we see on TV, we have to have it here, ”she said.

She says a targeted rebate program for movies, TV and digital media would force a business to find the money to hire locals and invest in the community.

“Sixty percent of the cast and crew have to be residents of Florida, so we’re providing these jobs to Floridians,” said Stewart.

According to Film Florida, the state has lost more than 70 major film and television projects that are said to have spent more than $ 1.3 billion in Florida.

Lux says that could change with the rebate program.

“They are going to spend over $ 20 million in this local area,” Lux said.

“So now is the time to take this opportunity?” FOX 35 reporter Valerie Boey asked.

Lux said: “Now is absolutely the time to take advantage of this.”

And by reviving the film and entertainment industry, he says it will help the tourism industry.

“Help tourism by putting the state on big and small mobile screens, as well as unemployment, high-paying jobs. When people see things in movies and TV, studies show tourists follow.” , he said.

The bill still has to pass two more committees before heading to the ground for a vote.

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