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Manitoba film industry growing: study

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The province of Manitoba’s stake in film and media production has paid off to the tune of more than half a billion dollars in production volume in the past five years, according to a new economic impact analysis released Tuesday morning at the offices of On Screen Manitoba.

OSM commissioned the study, which analyzed data from 2008-2009 to 2012-2013, and showed a dramatic rise in the industry’s production volume, from $74 million during the global economic crisis in 2009 to $129.9 million in 2012-13. The five-year total was $542.3 million.

Even more encouraging was the rise in the province’s co-production activity, up 50 per cent over the previous five-year period. It’s a trend that gives Manitoba companies a financial stake in a project’s intellectual property.

"We’ve been doing a lot of work on the international markets and we’re trying to see the results of that now, said Manitoba Film & Music CEO Carole Vivier, citing the recent Manitoba-lensed drama Cry/Fly, starring Jennifer Connolly, as "our first Spanish co-production in the English language.

"Manitoba owns some back-end on projects like those," Vivier said. "It’s so more than just being a service producer."

Premier Greg Selinger asserted the province’s investments in the media industries have been paying off.

"It’s an industry that’s very job-intensive, so we’re pleased to see the shift from focusing on services to intellectual products, where they’re taking an ownership stake, which means a long-term revenue streak coming back to Manitoba to grow our economy and grow even more jobs in the future."

"It shows the industry is maturing and gaining credibility, not only in North America but internationally as well."

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