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Incentives Update

State Incentives

Qualifying productions receive a 20% tax credit, plus an additional 10% credit for embedding a Georgia promotional logo in your film title or credits.

The program is available for qualifying projects, including feature films, television series, commercials, music videos, animation and game development. With one of the industry’s most competitive production incentive programs, the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office and its Camera Ready Community partners can help dramatically cut production costs without sacrificing quality.

Columbus Film Fund Incentives

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Grant Application Process

Directors/producers meeting the film/TV production guidelines may apply for Film Fund financial grants beyond the other incentives offered by the Columbus Film Commission (Commission). An application must be submitted to the Commission 90 days prior to scheduled principal photography to be awarded such funding. The Commission will not certify applications submitted prior to the 90-day timeline. Projects not meeting the Columbus Film Fund Entertainment Production Incentive Guidelines will not be considered for Film Fund financial grants. However, they may qualify for non-cash incentives offered by the Commission.

Once an application for grant funding is submitted, the director/producer must provide a project script to the Commission. The script is forwarded to the Georgia Film Academy for assignment to a script reader who will provide a coverage report to the Georgia Film Academy and the Columbus Film Fund Board of Advisors’ Film/Television Project Review Committee. This committee will determine whether to support the project and to what level of funding. The Film Fund legal counsel will participate in the deliberations on each project so as to make recommendations regarding legal issues relative to the funding request.

A majority affirmative vote is required of the Review Committee to authorize the Fund’s legal counsel to engage in negotiation with the director/producer for an equity position in the project commensurate with the amount of the grant being requested. Once those negotiations are completed, the contract between the Film Fund and the director/producer is presented to the Film Fund Advisory Board and the Columbus Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) Committee for approval. A majority vote of each Board is required to award a grant.

If a project is rejected for funding during the process, the director/producer may appeal the decision to the chair of the Film Fund Advisory Board. The Board may choose to hear or reject the appeal at its sole discretion. If the Film Fund Advisory Board approves the appeal, it will then make a positive recommendation for reconsideration by the CEDC Board. Once a final decision has been rendered, there is no process to appeal that action.

Applicants should be totally familiar with the Columbus Film Fund’s Entertainment Production Incentive Program Application and the Columbus Film Fund Entertainment Production Guidelines. Failure to meet the Guidelines or incomplete Applications will result in immediate rejection of the project for a Film Fund grant.


Incentive You May Qualify for

  • Cash incentive grants may be applied for which have no specific minimum or maximum dollar amount except that no grant shall exceed 20% of the total value of the fund at the time of project pre-production.
  • The primary purpose of incentive grants is to provide funding to compensate producers for the additional per diem, housing and transportation costs associated with bringing crew to Columbus.
  • The Commission shall take bids from local hoteliers and apartment management companies to provide best available rates for housing crew and talent for each production.
  • The Commission will assist in identifying vendors, with whom the producer and/or director can negotiate best price discounts for production offices, other rentals, parking fees, catering, security/police, healthcare professionals, site rentals, fire and rescue service, filming permits and other production costs.
  • The Commission will provide information on renting an 180,000 sq. ft. soundstage and fully furnished production offices located in Columbus.
  • Columbus State University faculty will assist with casting calls and auditions.
  • Columbus State University will provide resumes for local workers who have completed the Georgia Film Academy on-set film production Nexus degree.
  • When possible, the Commission will secure in-kind support for projects in exchange for thank you recognition of said vendor in end credits.
  • Selected projects providing documentation that 85% of the production’s budget was spent in Muscogee, Harris or Chattahoochee Counties may qualify for an additional 10% of an incentive grant.
  • The Commission will provide referrals to a Columbus based film distribution company for possible film distribution agreements.
  • Experienced film/television technicians with no fewer than (5) five years of verifiable experience, who relocate to Muscogee County with a minimum one-year lease or purchase of property and who reside the Muscogee County for a minimum of 30 days may apply for a $2,000 relocation reimbursement grant. Verifiable receipts or other documentary proof and possessing a valid Georgia driver’s license are required.

Qualifying Production Expenses for Grant Funds

  • Local Labor**
  • Local Rentals*
  • Local Hotels/Apartments
  • Per Diem
  • Parking Fees
  • Catering (labor/food)
  • Local Site Rentals
  • Security/Police
  • Healthcare Professionals
  • Fire & Rescue Services
  • Local Purchases of Misc. Supplies*
  • Background Players     
  • Casting Fees
  • Local Animals*

*Local Expenses are those incurred with companies officially operating in Muscogee, Harris or Chattahoochee Counties
**Local Labor refers to Georgia residents living in Muscogee, Harris or Chattahoochee Counties


Production Requirements for Feature Films, Made for TV Movies & TV Pilots

  • Applicant’s project must have a budget of $1 million.
  • The Columbus Film Fund will assess each applicant’s project on its merits and for its commercial viability with promise of meaningful return on investment.
  • Preference will be given to projects that are written, directed, produced, financed, or in other ways created or controlled by Georgians given equal commercial viability.
  • Selected projects must have a minimum qualified spend of $500,000 in Muscogee County & 60% of shooting days must be in Muscogee County (unless budget exceeds $15 million, in which case 50% of shooting days must be in Muscogee County).
  • Pre-production operations must be headquartered in Muscogee County.
  • An applicant must agree to exclusively hire and train Georgia Film Academy interns from Columbus State University.
  •  An applicant can qualify only once per 12 month period unless a negotiated (2) two or more packaged film deal is agreed to in advance or the budgets collectively exceed $15 million. An applicant will be considered the same for incentive program purposes if the applicant shares any common ownership, corporate officers, or other verifiable affiliation with a previous applicant.
  • An applicant must meet with the Columbus Film Commission (Commission) and spend a minimum of two days of scouting before applying.
  • The Columbus Film Fund will negotiate an equity position in each project receiving a Columbus Film Fund incentive grant.
  • An applicant must provide all necessary documentation for audit of application (including exhibits) within 120 days of the completion of principal photography. If post-production takes place in Muscogee County, this deadline shall be extended until 120 days from the completion of the Muscogee County post-production.
  • The Columbus Film Commission logo must be displayed in end credits.


Production Requirements for Television or Internet-Distributed Episodic Productions

  • Applicant’s project must have a minimum of (5) five episodes.
  • The Columbus Film Fund will assess each applicant’s project for its commercial viability with promise of meaningful return on investment.
  • Preference will be given to projects that are written, directed, produced, financed, or in other ways created or controlled by Georgians given equal commercial viability.
  • Selected projects must have a minimum qualified spend of $400,000 per episode in Muscogee County
  • Selected projects must have 60% or more of shooting days in Muscogee County.
  • Pre-production operations must be headquartered in Muscogee County.
  • An applicant must agree to exclusively hire and train Georgia Film Academy interns from Columbus State University.
  • An applicant must meet with the Columbus Film Commission and spend a minimum of two days of scouting before applying.
  • The Columbus Film Fund will negotiate an equity position in each project receiving a Columbus Film Fund incentive grant.
  • An applicant must provide all necessary documentation for audit and completion of application (including exhibits) within 120 days of the completion of the end of principal photography.
  • The Columbus Film Commission logo must be displayed in end credits.

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