Tribeca Opening Press Conference

Improved tax breaks for New York filmmakers, and Tribeca celebrates cinema's social melting pot.

by Amber Wilkinson

There was plenty of cause for filmmakers to celebrate at the Tribeca Film Festival opening press conference today, when New York Governor David A Paterson announced the state is to triple its tax credit for filmmakers.

Paterson is to sign legislation afternoon to raise the tax credit from 10 to 30 per cent in a bid to compete with places as diverse as Canada and Connecticut, which have contributed to an erosion of the film business flowing into New York, thanks to their systems.

As New York offers an additional five per cent credit this will take the overall rise to 35 per cent - so expect a lot more shooting in the city in the coming years.

Making the announcement, Governor Paterson, said: It is vital to our state's economy that New York remains a premier destination for film and television productions.

The entertainment industry plays an important role in fostering economic growth by promoting our state on movie and television screens across the world and creating thousands of jobs for New Yorkers."

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, added: "Film and television play a major role in New York City's place as a world-class centre for culture and the industry's continued growth will play an important role in our efforts to diversify the economy."

The overall message at the press conference this morning was the celebration of diversity - and New York's particularly long-standing role in that celebration.

Speaking about it, Bloomberg said that whereas other cities' cultural diversity was more like a "mosaic" New York's is "a mix".

Also at the press conference this morning was Bourne Identity Doug Liman. On hearing about the governor's move, he ripped up his speech saying it had rendered his redundant. He went on to announce the members of the various festival juries. Big names in the frame this year include David Bowie, Whoopi Goldberg and Matthew Modine.

Speaking about the festival, co-founder Jane Rosenthal said: "We love film. Whether through making films or organising the festival it has energised our lives in many ways. The festival has grown, too. I am proud to say has earned a small part in New York's cultural scene. We hope to inspire and entertain our audiences."

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