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Independent Filmmakers Coalition launches 'Film Lab' as Missouri brings back film incentives

Programs could grow local production industry
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Posted at 6:53 AM, Jul 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-14 09:43:04-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Filmmakers, actors, writers and directors in the Kansas City, Missouri, area should receive a helping hand thanks to several initiatives underway to benefit the local industry.

This month, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed a bill into law giving production companies rebates on taxes they spend while working in the state.

It takes effect Jan. 1, 2024. This is the state’s first incentive program for filmmakers since 2013.

Separately, this month the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City is fundraising for its Film Lab. The program will act as a kind of apprenticeship for roughly 20 mentees interested in working in film.

A group of professional filmmakers and actors will guide and mentor the participants through all aspects of creating a short film.

The coalition needs $4,000 to properly launch the Film Lab. It is collecting donations online though an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign.

People interested in being both mentors and mentees can apply online. Organizers hope to launch the program in August, and screen their completed comedy film by November.

“Not only are they [Film Lab mentees] going to be granted a hands-on learning experience, they also get to be surrounded by industry professionals. It becomes a networking aspect as well,” explained Jamie Morrow, an IFCKC board member.

IFCKC members are optimistic Missouri’s incentive program will provide more opportunities for actors, writers, cinematographers and other industry members in the state like StageportKC, which rents studio space. Their goal is to make sure local professionals benefit from the program as much as larger, out-of-state production companies.

“I think the timing is amazing,” said IFCKC president Trevor Martin. “I think everybody can say Kansas City is really hitting it’s stride right now. We’re on the public map. What better time for Kansas City than now to have these incentives?”

The Kansas City Film Office offers local incentives aside from the state of Missouri.