Second Nevada film tax incentive application could happen soon

The Nevada Film Office may soon see its second film tax incentive application come from a local source.

In March, Lola Pictures is set to produce a movie by Mexican filmmaker Gerardo Naranjo directing his first English-language film. Included in the package is Dakota Fanning, who will star in this coming of age ’80s film about a punk band roadie. Lola Pictures founder Chris Ramirez said he will complete the five-page application for film tax credits for the movie.

“It’s been a long road to getting one of our own in,” Ramirez said.

With plans to hire a 90 percent local crew and shoot 100 percent in Southern Nevada, Ramirez is pretty positive about his chances.

“We’re very certain we’ll get it,” he said.

The new project works, Ramirez noted, because it takes place in a nondescript area while on the road with a punk band. He’s planning to use areas such as Red Rock, Lake Mead and Overton that have different geographical looks to show the band making progress across the country.

Ramirez’s partners in Lola Pictures are Tony Hsieh and Fred Mossler. This project is being financed in-house for an undisclosed amount, but it’s under $5 million.

Down the road, expect another film from Lola Pictures about one very famous former Las Vegas college basketball coach with an affinity for white towels. Ramirez’s company is in the process about purchasing the man’s life rights.

Officially, the Nevada Film Office hasn’t received a second application for film tax incentives.

Nevada’s film tax incentives are meant to attract major motion picture, television and commercial productions that shoot at least 60 percent in-state. If they do, the productions can earn transferable tax credits of 15 percent to 19 percent of their qualified production expenses, including Nevada cast, crew, labor, gear, rentals and purchases. Productions must spend at least $500,000 in-state, and each production is capped at $6 million in credits.

Eric Preiss, director of the Nevada Film Office, said his department has received a good amount of interest in the tax credits.

“I feel that in time we’ll see those applications coming in,” he added.

The first official application came in from Sony Pictures for its “Mall Cop: Blart 2” film, seeking $4.2 million in credits. There’s a public hearing on the matter Feb. 24 at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.

In fiscal year 2013, 561 productions filmed in Nevada bringing a total revenue of $68 million to the state.

“In general (the incentives are) creating more buzz, more work. We’re a little busier with people calling,” Ramirez said.

Contact reporter Laura Carroll at lcarroll@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4588. Follow @lscvegas on Twitter.

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