Film studio set to open in Canton - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Film studio set to open in Canton

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CANTON, Miss. (AP) - A movie studio is opening in Canton this month, taking advantage of an expanded state rebate program aimed at attracting the film industry to the state.

Mississippi Film Studios sits on 31 acres with a 36,000-square-foot sound stage. In addition to higher rebates, a new law expands what qualifies as distribution and production to include new technology.

Mary Beth Wilkerson, who oversees the Mississippi Film Office, told The Clarion Ledger that the new law will enhance the state's ability to support local projects and to be more competitive with Louisiana and other U.S. locations to attract movies.

The law increases the current rebate to 25 percent for qualified local spending and nonresident cast and crew payroll for a film project. The rebate goes up to 30 percent for Mississippi resident cast and crew payroll. The rebate cap for each project remains at $8 million.

The change brings the state up to the level of Louisiana, said Nina Parikh, associate manager of the film office.

"It's certainly more likely that filmmakers will not only look at Louisiana seriously, but also look at Mississippi seriously," Parikh said.

The expanded program added streaming video and Internet delivery as qualified distribution. New technology areas such as animation, 3D applications, video game cinematics, visual effects and motion capture were added as qualified production.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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