About MiFIA

The Michigan Film Industry Association (MiFIA) is a nonprofit industry association representing Michigan's film, television, and media industry. We're a membership organization with an all-volunteer board giving a voice to the hard-working women, men, and companies that create film, television, commercials, streaming content, and other media in Michigan.

We provide grassroots advocacy with a mission to create a pro-jobs, pro-economy film incentive program for Michigan.

A film incentive will allow our state to compete with the 40 other states and territories with film incentives. A viable and sustainable film incentive is critical to attracting outside investment that creates and sustains good-paying jobs and a robust film production community.

On a film set in YpsilantiCast & Crew on a TV Commercial Set in Ypsilanti

about the film incentive

  • Bipartisan film incentive bills were introduced in the Michigan House and Senate in February, 2022.
  • The bills are now working their way through various committees, so language and provisions are subject to change.
  • Read the text and track the progress of the Michigan Film Incentive bills here: SB0862, SB0863HB5724HB5725

The bills are first and foremost a Michigan jobs program - not a Hollywood handout.

A successful state film program excels when TV, film, advertising commercials, and corporate videos are all included. Each market helps builds support for the other.

FAST FACTS

Provisions in the Film Incentive Bills

  • Only verified qualified expenditures that have been spent qualify for the incentive. This allows Michigan to receive both the economic impact in the state as well as collect the taxes on those expenditures before a tax credit is issued.
  • Money is never issued by the state.
  • Only a State of Michigan Tax Liability may be offset.
  • A $50K qualified spend for projects less than 20 minutes, or $300K for 20 minutes or more must be spent in Michigan (live action or animation).
  • 30% Credit for qualified Michigan residents.
  • 25% Credit for qualified Michigan-based vendors.
  • 20% Credit for qualified non-resident personnel expenditures.
  • $500K salary cap for person per project.
  • Above the line (producer, director, writers, etc.), below the line (crew, post-production) and talent qualify.
  • Post production done in the state will count if the minimum spend requirement is met.
  • If a marketer uses a Michigan-based advertising agency to develop the commercial and it films in the state, a portion of the creative development Time of Staff would qualify.
  • Commercials and Industrials have their own allocated bucket of tax incentives.
  • Industrials and Corporate Videos qualify.
  • Multimarket distribution is NOT a requirement.
  • Allows 3rd parties to apply on behalf of the copyright holder.
  • CPA verification required.
  • 48 hours prior to 1st shoot day, applications must be submitted for content under 20 minutes, or 5 days for content 20 minutes or more.
  • Transferrable once to up to 10 assignees within one year from the credit being issued (allows credit to be sold via a broker, typically at a discount of 80-90 cents on the dollar).
  • There is a $1,000 non-refundable application fee for projects less than 20 minutes, or $2,000 for projects greater than 20 minutes. 


Cast & Crew on an Industrial Set in Metro Detroit

How the Incentive is Redeemed

Incentives Cap Over TimeParticipants can use tax credits against their own State of Michigan tax liabilities or the tax credit can be sold to an assignee that has a State of Michigan tax liability. If participants don’t have a State of Michigan tax liability, they can sell it via a broker for typically 80-90 cents on the dollar to an assignee with State of Michigan tax liability. This helps both Michigan companies and the applicant/copyright holder that produce in Michigan.

The commercial production film incentive as currently proposed has its own allocated bucket of money. All of the year's unused allocations rollover to the next year.

The Commercial/Corporate video cap grows from $2 million for each of the program's first three years, then $5 million for the next three years, and $10 million in the remaining four years of the program.

The Film/TV cap grows from $50 million for each of the program's first three years, then $75 million for the next three years, and $100 million in the remaining four years of the program.

Why Michigan Needs a Film Incentive

Map of Other Film Incentives

39 states and Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands
& Washington, D.C. have film incentive programs.

Over 40 states have film incentive programs. Of these, 25 states and Puerto Rico have advertising commercials as part of their programs.

Illinois, Minnesota, Ohio & Pennsylvania all have film programs that include advertising commercials.

Michigan is not on an even playing field with the nation, let alone with its neighboring states. Our state misses out on opportunities to host film, TV, advertising, and corporate video projects. Some of the competition also comes from overseas where marketers are finding financial benefits through lower production costs.

Proposed legislation in Michigan has the potential to elevate our state as a leader in film production and not stand idly by while its robust production industry loses out to more competitive states.

MiFIA has consulted with professionals who’ve helped craft other state’s film incentive legislation. The proposed legislation was built from the ground up and has been scrutinized for the successes and failures of other states’ programs.

Cast & Crew on Film Set in DetroitCast & Crew on a Film Set in Southeast Michigan

Why an Incentive is Relevant for Michigan

Historically, Michigan has had a robust commercial and corporate industrial production market. The current trend in advertising has shifted much of its focus away from broadcast to content marketing, such as web video production. Including the corporate industrial component ensures that much of that business will continue to grow and remain in the state.

Marketers often require of their agencies that a certain percentage of their commercial production be done in those states offering incentives.

Commercial production helps create infrastructure. It builds the labor force and brick-and-mortar businesses to build a thriving production community.

The film industry in Michigan has a fairly robust infrastructure that already exists. These incentives will only add to the strength of our base of resources. Editorial facilities, stages, and prop houses will grow. An incentive also impacts other industries that directly support the production industry: carpenters, catering, location rentals, hair, makeup, hotels, and restaurants, to name a few.


The Legislation Has Strong Bipartisan Support

Bipartisan Supporting LegislatorsSenators Adam Hollier (D - Detroit) and Wayne Schmidt (R - Traverse City), and Representatives Jack O'Malley (R - Lake Ann) and Kyra Bolden (D - Southfield) are sponsoring the incentive bills.

Legislators are beginning to understand the urgent need for creative solutions to our economic predicament and see the opportunity with a film incentive program. Other states, including neighboring states, have already reinstated film incentives or increased their offerings. Demand for production is high and growing, with marketers, TV, film, and streaming services looking for content.

Michigan has a budget surplus due to suspending programs and reduced spending during the COVID pandemic. Federal funding is also heading our way to boost the economy. A film incentive is very timely as it will undoubtedly boost jobs and stimulate economic activity.

A pending $8.5 billion federal government grant for Michigan will boost jobs and economic activity with the state.

Now is the time to act!


Cast & Crew on a TV Commercial Set in Traverse City

Michigan Film Industry Association (MiFIA)
117 E Kalamazoo St

Lansing, MI 48933

(517) 580 - 7710

mifia@mifia.org

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