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Location versus budget… It’s a filmmaker’s eternal dilemma. Rohini Nag brings you a a fabulous destinations that don’t pinch. And for deeper insights into why they work, Q&A with Sandy Lighterman, Film and Entertainment Commissioner, Miami-Dade County Office of Film and Entertainment. Here are some tempting facts and figures you might like to save for future reference What benefits does the Film Commission or the government offer foreign film producers? Film Miami is cooperation between the two Greater Miami Film Offices: Miami-Dade County, and the City of Miami Beach and several county municipalities to offer a one-stop permitting system. The one-stop permit process allows our production clients the ease of applying for permits for several jurisdictions all in one place. Each jurisdiction requires a separate certificate of insurance. Also, each jurisdiction approves and signs their own permits. How can a filmmaker approach you with a project to be shot in your region? They may email us ([email protected] [email protected] or call us on 305-375-3288. We have a database of over 900 locations. We can put location photo packages together if filmmakers provide a description or location breakdown. Is there any potential for co-production for Indian film producers? Miami Dade County is a governmental entity and doesn’t have the resources to enter into co-production agreements.

What, according to you, makes the destination exquisite for filming an Indian film? We have diverse locations, deep infrastructure for support and ancillary businesses that service the entertainment production community, exceptional and well-trained talent and crew base, spectacular weather and beautiful natural light Why should an Indian filmmaker shoot their production in your region? Besides our diversity, we have Miami and Miami Beach, which are very attractive to filmmakers and celebrity talent as a tourist destination What are the tax incentives? Are there any different tax benefits if a producer associates for multiple projects? The State of Florida (www.filminflorida.com) has a tax credit film and entertainment production incentive programme. The programme’s funds have all been reserved for projects currently shooting or ones that are about to start production. Please check with the State Film Commissioner, Niki Welge or the Los Angeles liaison to the State of Florida Film and Entertainment Office for the status of the funds in the programme: [email protected] [email protected]

Can you share some anecdotes about film production in your region?

We have had TV series such as: Burn Notice, Magic City, Graceland and The Glades filmed in Greater Miami. Additionally, we have hosted feature films such as: Ironman 3, Rock Of Ages, Step Up 4 and Pain And Gain.

Are there any special rebates that can be availed for short-scheduled shoots?

No rebates at the county level. Our office can assist with permits within 24 hours of your shoot date on unincorporated county property, county-owned property (some areas like the airport and seaport take longer), such as facilities or parks and for some of the 15 municipalities that we issue film/photo permits for (some are faster than others). Our Spanish language telenovela industry is thriving with Telemundo, Venevision and Univison shooting in the Greater Miami area on a constant basis. Additionally, we are always busy with the production of television commercials.

Which Indian films have been shot here in the past?

In 2008, Dostana featuring Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Priyanka Chopra was shot in Miami.

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