This year we wanted to pull back the political curtain and give our community a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes in Olympia. While it may sometimes seem like there’s not a lot of activity on our bills, there’s actually lots (and lots) of activity happening in district and at the state Capitol. Read on to get an insiders look at how we worked together this month to KEEP FILM IN WA!
As you may have heard, the State Legislature, having failed to resolve its protracted budget negotiations during the first two special sessions, was called into a third special session by Governor Inslee last week. At this point, negotiators are facing some very real consequences: Unless the final budget is settled by this Friday June 30, Washington State will enter a partial government shutdown, which would mean a furlough for many state employees and the closing of state parks, among other things.
The renewal of the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP), currently set to sunset on Friday June 30, holds the status of Necessary to the Implementation of the Budget (NTIB), which means that it has continued to be in play throughout the special sessions and that we still have time to advocate for its renewal. We’ve collected a list of legislators who are acting as key budget negotiators during this session. Please contact them today, regardless of whether they represent your home district, and ask them to include a renewal of the MPCP in the final budget.
Speaker Frank Chopp (43, D)
Representative Pat Sullivan (47, D)
Representative Kristine Lytton (40, D)
Representative Larry Springer (45, D)
Senator John Braun (20, R)
Senator Randi Becker (2, R)
Senator Kevin Ranker (40, D)
Senator Jamie Pedersen (43, D)
Senator Sharon Brown (8, R)
Press Coverage in June
As the campaign has pressed on into the extra innings of special session after special session, it’s energizing to see that the public support for the bill has not let up, and that publications from around Washington have continued to highlight our cause.
The Spokesman Review, which has covered our campaign extensively, recently published a piece which, drawing on insight from Representative Marcus Riccelli and WF Executive Director Amy Lillard, explains the current situation in Olympia and brings to readers’ attention to just how much is at stake if we lose the film incentive.
We were especially motivated to see the incredible lineup of talent that signed onto this open letter from Seattle’s Women in Film, addressed to Representative Kristine Lytton and published on the Stranger SLOG. These filmmakers have been instrumental in putting Washington Film on the map, and it was through the support of the MPCP that they were able to launch their careers. The support for the program voiced in this letter is meaningful and significant and exactly the message that legislators in Olympia need to hear.
And this article by Valerie Stimac reminds us that film can play the role of ambassador for our state’s tourism industry by highlighting Washington’s natural beauty. Anyone who’s seen Captain Fantastic knows how photogenic our state can be.
The Launch of Our Latest Infographic
With all the discussion of the film incentive, people often forget that if the Motion Picture Competitiveness Program goes away… so does the official State Film Office. In our latest Keep Film in WA infographic, launched just this week, we wanted to draw attention to the vital institution at the heart of film production and educate readers on its importance.
The central role this office plays in production isn’t widely known beyond film community, but this infographic lays it all out. Click here to see the whole image, and please share it with legislators and remind them that if the MPCP is allowed to expire, this institution will go away, making Washington the only state in the nation without a Film Office.
Culmination of Faces of Film and Production Spotlight
As you reach out to key budget negotiators listed above, please don’t forget to draw from the content we’ve created throughout the past months. With dual campaigns Faces of Film and Production Spotlight, we’ve sought to highlight the people and places (respectively) that constitute Washington film.
In Faces of Film, we’ve been profiling individuals from our state’s film industry, getting to know a little bit about what they do and hearing about the role that the film incentive has played in their careers. Filmmakers, Stunt Coordinators, Makeup Artists, Locations Scouts, and others have all shared their stories and given a human face to this industry. These are our neighbors and friends, working people whose livelihoods are at stake if the MPCP is allowed to expire. A complete lineup of all our profiles can be found here.
One thing people seldom realize is that film production takes place in communities across the state, not just in hubs like Seattle and Spokane. To illustrate that fact, we set out to feature one production from every single one of Washington’s 49 legislative districts. Independent films, TV-shows, new media projects, and commercial productions have all been featured in Production Spotlight, and all 49 projects are available to browse on the Keep Film in WA website right here.