Nova Scotia’s screen industry continues to suffer under McNeil government

January 10, 2016

The closure of Filmworks’ and Special Effects Atlantic’s offices must serve as a wake-up call to the McNeil government that improvements are needed to the capped Film and Television Production Incentive Fund, says Dartmouth South MLA Marian Mancini.

Special Effects Atlantic Ltd. employed highly trained crews with state-of-the-art special effects equipment, working on a variety of productions from Lizzie Borden to The Trailer Park Boys. Owner Gary Coates is now closing their facility.

Filmworks first opened its doors 30 years ago. They laid off their employees in August and owner Sheila Lane has now announced they are “essentially shutting our doors for the foreseeable future.”

“For the first time in 20 years Filmworks struggled to find work. Producers were always looking for our help in casting for their new projects. This fall, I had had no inquiries from prospective clients. So this winter, I am closing our downtown office until things improve and am actively looking for employment outside Nova Scotia,” said Lane.

Mancini says Stephen McNeil’s reckless decision to cut the film tax credit has cost Nova Scotia hundreds of good jobs. She says the Liberal government can’t just sit back and allow the current decline to continue.

“This industry operates in a very competitive environment and the McNeil government has created a great deal of uncertainty for investors by slashing the film tax credit,” says Mancini. “For the new Film Incentive Fund to be more effective the government needs to listen to the industry and make significant changes including lifting the cap.”

Mancini adds, “As a Casting Director, Sheila Lane’s resume, which includes Haven and the Healer is impressive. It’s a real sign of trouble when someone of her calibre can no longer make a reasonable living here at home.”