The Montana Film Office is in the middle of an exciting run. Two films made in Montana premiered at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival last month and Winter in the Blood, the much-anticipated adaptation of James Welch's classic novel, premieres today at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
So, how does Montana entice all those filmmakers to come to our neck of the woods? Cash.
The L.A. Times noted as much in a "Business Behind the Show" story that ran in advance of the Winter in the Blood screening.
It's not enough to offer tax rebates and credits to lure filmmakers. Now Montana has joined a handful of states offering outright cash to get Hollywood's attention.
In addition to breathtaking mountain scenery and pristine wilderness, Montana is touting its Big Sky Film Grant, which provides up to $1 million in cash per fiscal year to Montana-based film and TV productions.
The article goes on to explain that Montana offers the funding quicker than most other state rebates, and the cash grants supplement "an existing refundable tax credit of 9% on production-related expenditures in Montana and 14% on spending for local crew and talent."
To be clear, this is an example of spending money to make money — or, more specifically, create jobs in the state. A film production requires tons of labor, from on-set to catering.
The article adds that Winter in the Blood received a $25,000 cash grant.
Los Angeles Business News, in an article titled "A River of Cash Runs Through It," reported that 20 films received grants last year.