Orange County leaders consider offering incentives to lure filmmakers to Central Florida

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Orange County officials say Central Florida has lost more than $150 million in film and television productions in recent years.


On Tuesday, Orange County Commissioners moved forward with a plan to bring productions back to the area.

County leaders are considering offering a new filmmaker incentive to lure more of them back.

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It was about 25 years ago when Central Florida billed itself as the Hollywood of the East, but the state hasn’t invested in film incentives in about a decade.

While states like Georgia saw an explosion, Florida phased out film incentives, citing a poor return on the investments.

However, the county now has a new plan that is expected to bring the productions back.

“We have so many great studios in the back lot of Universal right now, and we need these decision-makers to come through for us,” local actress Franny Titus said.

Orange County Commissioners voted to move forward with their Central Florida Film incentive on Tuesday, meant to attract talent, promote local businesses, and showcase the county as a whole.

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“What we’re doing now and seeing how the community all banded together and filled out that room and spoke their just shows me we might bring it back,” local Actor Christopher Charlestin said.

The plan aims to fill a hole left when the state cut film incentives back in 2016. Currently, counties like Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade already have similar initiatives in place.

“It’s perfect timing,” Artistic Director for All the Lines Studio and Incubator LLC Kimberly DiPersia said.

The program is performance-based and will go to a particular project once all spending has been verified.

Some of the requirements include the company spending at least $400,000, having 60 percent of production days in Central Florida, and 55 percent of the cast and crew being local residents.

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The plan is similar to one Republican in the Florida Senate proposed several years ago. That plan never passed.

As for Orange County, their plan is still in the early stages and will be discussed again later this summer.

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