PA Film Industry Advocates for $300 Million Film Tax Credit

The Capitol Rotunda in Harrisburg was filled with film industry representatives from across the state to advocate for a $300 million film tax credit. Sponsored by the Pennsylvania Film Industry Association (PAFIA), the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, and the Pittsburgh Film Office, the event kicked off a weeks-long effort to emphasize the need for the increase.

“Pennsylvania has historically been at the forefront of supporting the film industry by pioneering the film tax credit, but that leadership position is now in jeopardy,” said David Haddad, President of the PA Film Industry Association (PAFIA). “Earlier today, we hand-delivered letters to the Governor and the leadership in the Senate and House calling for their support of a $300 million film tax credit. Signed by 19 organizations, it represents a broad coalition of individuals that work in or are impacted by the film industry – and emphasizes our unity on this issue.”

Representatives from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) and the International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) were part of the event.

“Our union members have been able to rely on the film industry to build their careers. We have had good, family-sustaining jobs and benefits that have allowed us to provide for our families, purchase homes, send our children to school, and save for our retirement,” said Mamie Stein, President of IATSE Local 489.

While Philadelphia or Pittsburgh are often seen as locations for film activity, the industry is much broader than that. Pennsylvania is home to the Central PA Film Office, the Greater Erie Film Office, the Film Society of Northwest Pennsylvania, the Poconos Film Office, the Reading Film Office, the Wilkes-Barre Metro Film Office, and the Greater Philadelphia and Pittsburgh Film Offices. These offices work independently and collectively to promote the state as a location destination for film and media productions.

“The proposed increase in film tax credits to $300 million represents more than just economic policy—it embodies a commitment to harnessing Pennsylvania’s potential and cementing our place as a leader in the national film industry,” said Gannon Murphy, Cinelease Studios. “We call upon the legislature to make a decisive move toward securing a prosperous future for Pennsylvania by supporting this vital tax credit.”

Productions were done in Pennsylvania before incentives, but there has been significant growth in the industry with the introduction of the film tax credit. In addition to the union workers and vendors, there is an indirect economic impact from the industry as well. Supplies are purchased from local hardware stores. Mom and pop restaurants are contracted for commissary. Antique stores, art supply shops, and other small businesses throughout the state see a financial benefit when a production is in their community.

Pennsylvania’s own data shows the substantial amount of hotel room nights that the industry generates. From 2015-2020, the industry was responsible for over 84,000 room nights and approximately $8.25 million in spending for hotels and accommodations.

“Films also generate tourism,” said Sharon Pinkenson, Executive Director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. “We still see people who come to Philadelphia make the Rocky steps part of their visit. And the small diner where Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence sat in the Silver Linings Playbook continues to have visitors that want to sit in that same booth. The film tax credit brings revenue into the state that would go elsewhere without it. It’s a win-win for those involved, allowing thousands who call Pennsylvania home to make their living in this industry.”