News & Press

February 15, 2017 | GLASGOW Daily Times

Movie talk: Commissioners discuss Kentucky film industry

Members of the Glasgow-Barren County Tourist and Convention Commission agreed Tuesday to pay airfare and meals for its executive director to attend a film expo in April in California.

Ann Stewart, executive director of the tourist commission, shared information about the expo with commissioners during their Tuesday meeting.

“We’re going on behalf of our film commission (the Southern Kentucky Film Commission), but we are going in partnership with the Kentucky Film Commission,” she said.

“Branscombe Richmond, who is our contact, is kind of the driver behind this wheel, and he said this is the show to go to where you talk to people who have the money produce the movies.”

While at the film expo, members of the film commission will be talking to film company representatives who are looking for locations for upcoming film projects.

“I’m asking the tourist commission if they will pay for my airfare and my meals while I’m gone,” she said.

Stewart continued that the Kentucky Film Commission attends the film expo each year.

She also talked to commissioners about the incentives that are available for companies wishing to film in Kentucky.

Currently, the state offers a refundable income tax credit of up to 30 percent for approved expenditures.

“Bart Rowland (state representative from Tompkinsville) has legislation proposed to go from a 30 percent incentive for film companies to a 35 percent incentive for counties in the Appalachian Regional Commission. I understand it is moving along,” she said.

Barren County is not considered to be a part of the ARC, but nearby counties of Green, Hart, Metcalfe and Monroe are, as well as several other counties that are in the northern and eastern portions of the state, according to the ARC website.

Film companies that choose to do a film in a Kentucky county that is not considered to be a part of ARC will receive a 30 percent incentive, as opposed to the proposed 35 percent, she said.

Commissioners agreed to pay the $450 for Stewart’s airfare, as well as for her meals while she is attending the film expo.

They also discussed “An Uncommon Grace,” which was recently filmed in Barren County and Hart County and aired on the Hallmark Channel this past weekend. The movie featured many local residents.

The film was also shown at Munfordville First United Methodist Church on Sunday.

Stewart had suggested at one of the earlier Southern Kentucky Film Commission meetings that “An Uncommon Grace” be shown at the Plaza Theatre in Glasgow, but said the film commission would have to rent the theater.

“It is a non-profit organization, but somebody would have to pay for the rental and we would have to do that,” Stewart said. “The production staff and many of the actors will be here on March 25. I would like to see us host it at the Plaza Theatre.”

Stewart suggested having a meet and greet with production staff and actors and charge $20 for that portion of the evening.

“That money could be given to the film commission,” she said.

Stewart also shared that Virginia Davis with the Hart County Chamber of Commerce, and who also sits on the film commission, is trying to get the author of the play the movie is based on to attend and sign autographs.

The cost to rent the Plaza Theatre would be $500. Stewart also asked for an additional $200 to cover the cost for refreshments that will be available during the meet and greet.

Earl Hammons, chair of the tourist commission, wasn’t sure the money from the event should be given to the film commission.

“I would like to see us reserve the right to decide what we want to do if there is any money to be made from it verses saying right off the bat we are giving it to the film commission,” he said. “That is certainly up to all of you. I would like to know we have that choice. If we are footing the bill for the Plaza and for the refreshments and stuff afterwards, if we want to turn it over to the film commission that’s fine, but let folks vote on it.”

Hammons asked Stewart if the film commission was “desperate for money right now?”

Stewart replied that the film commission does have money.

“We are a 501c3, whereas (the tourism commission) is not a 501c3,” she said.

Commissioner Peggy Bates asked if the money the tourist commission takes in from the meet and greet could be used as a reimbursement for renting the Plaza Theatre.

Commissioner Robert Smith then asked if the rental fee for the Plaza Theatre could be waived since the tourist commission promotes several events at the theater.

Glasgow Mayor Dick Doty, who attends the tourist commission meetings but is a non-voting member, indicated he did not want Smith’s comment to be included in a newspaper article about the meeting.

The Daily Times responded by stating that the tourist commission meeting is an open meeting.

Stewart then said it was something the tourist commission could think about doing and ask Carol Glodfelter, director of the theater, about it, but Bates said she didn’t think it was something that could be tabled until the commission’s March meeting so commissioners voted on Tuesday to pay the $500 for the theater rental to show the movie, and to contribute $200 for the refreshments during the meet and greet.

Commissioners also approved a $1,000 funding request for the annual 400-Mile Yard Sale, which takes place in June and follows the path U.S. 68/Ky. 80 takes across the state, as well as $2,000 to help fund the salary of the part-time project director for the Cave Country Trails Initiative and $50 to help sponsor Caveland Marketing Association’s business luncheon seminar featuring a lecture on human trafficking.