Mississippi Film Alliance raises money ahead of Senate vote on incentives

Published 11:52 pm Monday, February 26, 2018


JACKSON — A new Mississippi nonprofit’s fundraising effort garnered more than $50,000, just days before state lawmakers vote on a bill that one local filmmaker said could be vital to the future of entertainment in the state.

The recently incorporated Friends of the Mississippi Film Alliance, a fundraising arm of the MFA, held the fundraiser Saturday at Parlor Market in Jackson and raised thousands toward job creation for Mississippians working in the entertainment industry.

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Attendees included numerous celebrities, such as star of the upcoming movie “Ma” being filmed in Natchez Octavia Spencer and its director Tate Taylor, as well as state senators and representatives to include Speaker of the House Philip Gunn.

Local filmmaker John Norris, who is producing “Ma,” said he has worked with numerous state leaders to pass House Bill 1132, which would effectively reinstate a 25-percent incentive rebate for non-Mississippi residents that work on crews of movies filmed in the state. That incentive was eliminated beginning July 1, 2017 in an effort to prevent taxpayer dollars from flowing out of the state to non-residents.

Norris claimed passage of the bill would create millions of dollars for film jobs in Mississippi in 2018 alone.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill today, weeks after it advanced from the House on Feb. 8.