P.E.I. filmmaker wants government to introduce rebates

A P.E.I. filmmaker is calling on the provincial government to implement an across-the-board incentive program to help the film industry flourish in the province.

Film summit on Monday to to gauge interest in the P.E.I. film industry

Despite a wealth of talented filmmakers, Jenna MacMillan says P.E.I.'s film industry is virtually 'non-existent' because of the lack of a rebate program. (CBC)

A P.E.I. filmmaker is calling on the provincial government to implement an across-the-board incentive program to help the film industry flourish in the province. 

"Right now we have a lot of very persistent, very talented filmmakers but in terms of a film industry it's virtually non-existent because we don't have a rebate program," said Jenna MacMillan.

P.E.I. is one of two provinces — Saskatchewan being the other — that doesn't offer a tax incentive program for aspiring filmmakers. The province does, however, offer other forms of labour incentives on a case-by-case basis.

P.E.I. 'non-competitive'

MacMillan said the lack of a rebate or incentive program "makes us non-competitive in terms of broadcast sales or healthy sized budget levels."

She added that that's the reason why someone like her spends most of her time in Toronto "where there is a fully functioning film industry."

MacMillan said a tax credit for the film industry would benefit other sectors as well.

"Something that is very unique about the film industry is that it touches several industries," she said. "It's very lucrative — it's this powerful machine that requires so many moving parts."

Film summit

MacMillan plans to attend a film summit taking place on Monday at the Old Triangle to discuss government incentives further and to gauge interest in the P.E.I. film industry.

"If we had the support of the government in terms of some kind of a labour rebate, and we also had a strong base of storytellers, which we do, we'd have a real shot to bring in a show like Anne or a show like Republic of Doyle [to P.E.I.]," she said. 

With files from CBC News: Compass