New rebate program aims to bring more filmmakers to NWT

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The territorial government has introduced a new program to encourage more film production in the Northwest Territories.

The NWT Film Rebate Program provides financial rebates for the purchase of goods and services, travel to and within the territory and wages for the training and hire of local residents.

The initiative, which was created by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment, also includes an increased incentive for productions filming outside of Yellowknife.

“The NWT film and television industry has enjoyed extraordinary successes in recent years and the GNWT is committed to being a supportive partner in its ongoing growth,” said Investment Minister David Ramsay in a press release.

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“In addition to encouraging on-location filming, this program will foster partnerships with our territorial film industry, lead to the purchase of goods and services, and the hiring of local residents.”

Amos Scott, president of the NWT Professional Media Association, is encouraged that the GNWT is taking the film sector seriously.

“It’s something that we’ve been advocating for over a number of years now,” Scott told Moose FM. “It’s important for the territory to finally have some form of rebate program that encourages film activity in the NWT.

“It’s equally as important for the local industry to gain professional experience and to become part of the larger film industry in the country.

“In the nature of producing these types of projects, every bit of money helps so it’s a good start.”

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Scott says the NWT was lagging behind its provincial and territorial counterparts in terms of promoting itself as an attractive shooting location.

“The NWT is the last place in the country to offer this type of programming. We’ve always argued that the film industry is something that’s good for any economy and it’s great that the government is taking us seriously enough to make us part of the economic equation here in the territory.”

Production companies are encouraged to submit their proposal packages by April 15.

Application forms can be found here.

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