Civil War films may be tough for state to get

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The Virginia Film Office has more than 30 potential Civil War projects on its list of prospective feature and independent films.

“Most are feature films,” said Becky Beckstoffer, the VFO’s marketing manager, “and some have been on our list for years and might never be made — but many are in development, probably dependent on large financial incentives that we can’t offer.”

The state’s biennium budget was generous — $1 million in 2010 and another million in 2011 — for film incentives, plus another $2.5 million for tax credits during the two fiscal years. 

But Virginia is competing with states such as Pennsylvania, with $42 million in tax credits for film companies; and Georgia and South Carolina, whose incentives Beckstoffer describes as “limitless — a percentage based on the film companies’ spending.

“There’s a large Civil War epic film we’ve been working on for about seven years now, and we’re hoping to get it,” she says, “ but if it comes down to money, we might not.”

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