When the major motion picture “Percy,” featuring Christopher Walken in the role of Bruno Farmer Percy Schmeiser, was shot, director Clark Johnson steered clear of Saskatchewan in shooting the drama. Instead, the film that chronicled Schmeiser’s controversial legal case with Monsanto was shot just outside of Winnipeg. The story at the time was that incentives and tax credits made Manitoba a more attractive backdrop.
That scenario may be starting to change as the provincial government announced additional funding is being made available for the Creative Saskatchewan Feature Film and Television Production Grant Program.
Changes to regulations and additional funding in the spring have greatly enhanced the province's ability to attract larger film and television projects, such as King of Killers: the series, set to start filming soon.
The grant program has been extremely well received by the industry and Creative Saskatchewan has experienced a huge spike in applications and calls. Creative Saskatchewan's Feature Film and Television Production Grant Program will now have an additional $7.5 million for eligible production companies to access in the 2022-23 year.
"The response we've seen to the initial $10 million has been amazing with 13 projects receiving support through the Creative Saskatchewan Feature Film and Television Grant Program," Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Laura Ross said. "We know this additional investment of $7.5 million will continue this momentum, help grow our labour force, increase tourism, and support our arts and cultural sectors alongside so many other important industries."
A government release says increasing film and television production will create spin-offs in other parts of the arts sector, including additional job prospects for designers, costumers, performers and writers. Attracting more creative talent to the province will also help strengthen Saskatchewan's creative sectors and those benefits will be felt across the province.
"We're already seeing the positive effects of the increased investment into the film industry in Saskatchewan," Creative Saskatchewan CEO Erin Dean said. "We have received so many phone calls and many stellar applications for new productions that will create jobs, generate revenue for local businesses, and build skill sets in Saskatchewan. This increased investment means we can approve even more productions in the pipeline and benefit from up to $27 million in additional Saskatchewan expenditures. We are back in business!"
In the 2022-23 provincial budget, the total funds available for the Creative Saskatchewan Feature Film and Television Production Grant Program was increased to $10 million from $2 million. The added funding brings the total available in 2022-23 to $17.5 million.