A short film about the impact of the elimination of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit is to be released on social media today, as that province’s creative production community sspeaks out against government funding decisioins.
Last One To Leave was shot in Saskatoon this fall, and the two minute film showcases the many talents fostered in the province as a result of a strong cultural community - which producers and participants say includes a competitive film and television production industry.
The film features music from The Sheepdogs, and cast includes local talents Rob van Meenen, Courtney Lato and Daniel Ford Beavis. The remaining screen time goes to local film and television crew.
“We wanted to show the personal side of the story surrounding the elimination of the SFETC,” producer Ell McEachern said, “and we wanted to do it in a way that showcases our art. The government’s decision to exit this industry affects businesses, freelancers, and ultimately families and individuals who work in this industry while living in Saskatchewan.”
Director Rob King echoed the sentiment, saying he has now become an Ontario resident: “I have to begin living there more permanently, even though my wife has an established retail business here and my kids are still in school. Our entire support network is in Saskatchewan, the place I love and always called home.”
There is an increasing sense of frustration with how the Government has handled the issue. “I don’t believe that there has ever been an intention to negotiate with our industry in good faith,” said Annelise Larson of Veria Search Marketing.
“The Government has indicated that it wants to build a strong creative industry that includes film, but the longer this process takes, the less likely that becomes” said McEachern. Film and television producers have long argued that an adequate provincial incentive is needed or big budget projects will continue to bleed away to Manitoba and Alberta.
The film community also used social media in a message, branding and awarenss campaign earlier this year.
The link to the two-minute film will go live across Canada at 8 AM EST.