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    Hawaii’s Film Industry Optimistic About Resuming Production

    As the state looks to recover from the financial downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Hawaii’s film industry hopes to help jump-start the economy.

    Hawaii’s film commissioner, Donne Dawson, believes that once business resumes, Hawaii will be an attractive destination since producers may be inclined to go to places where the outbreak wasn’t severe.

    “I’m talking to people right now from the major studios that are wondering and waiting when we’re going to open our door again because they have projects that they want to send here,” said Dawson in a recent interview with Hawaii News Now.

    Hawaii also offers attractive tax incentives for filmmakers, including a 20-25% Refundable Production Tax Credit and an annual rolling cap of $50 million, as of July 9, 2019.

    To be eligible for the tax incentives:

    • There is a minimum of $200,000 for in state spending.
    • Productions are required to provide a screen credit for the state of Hawaii.
    • A third-party CPA review is required. Fees for the third-party review are considered qualified as long as Hawaii state tax was charged.
    • Productions are required to register with the Hawaii Film Office/Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism at least 5 days before the first shoot day.
    • Productions must provide evidence of financial or in-kind contributions or educational or workforce development efforts toward the furtherance of the local film, television and digital media industries that is valued at 0.1% of the productions Hawaii Spend or $1,000, whichever is greater. 

    In 2018, the Hawaiian film industry provided more than 4,000 jobs and generated a record $477 million in direct spending, according to Dawson, and she said that there are roughly two dozen productions currently on hold, including commercials, TV series and feature films.

    Recent GreenSlate client projects including The Wrong Missy, Aloha Surf Hotel, and Press Play have all chosen to shoot in Hawaii.

    Considering Hawaii for your next production?

    Visit, or explore our suite of intuitive, web-based production incentive tools – including an interactive map, comparison tool, and incentives calculator – to easily search, compare, and calculate production incentives on any device.

    For tax incentive inquiries, contact Michele Miller, GreenSlate's Director of Accounting Services.

    This information in this communication is general in nature, and is not intended, nor should it be construed, as legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice rendered by GreenSlate, LLC. The reader should contact his or her attorney, CPA, or tax professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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