Insiders predict 'Hollywood South' renaissance on the way

Insiders predict 'Hollywood South' renaissance on the way

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - There's no business like show business, and that business could be making its way back to "Hollywood South."

Anyone who has followed the roller coaster ride of film and television production in northwest Louisiana knows that specifics of potential upcoming projects are rare. That's in part because industry insiders don't want to scare away movie makers before a production is confirmed.

"It's coming back," said Arlena Acree, Shreveport Film Commissioner. "And I can tell you because our phones are ringing."

We're told this renewed optimism comes down to this: Tax credits.

Film making in Louisiana has dropped sharply ever since state lawmakers made cuts to the tax credit program two years ago and capped the overall amount the state could spend each year. But new incentives went into effect July 1, which are expected to bring back some of that business.

"There was an added incentive of an additional 5 percent of a tax credit that we can now offer to filmmakers to come into the Shreveport-Bossier area," said Pam Glorioso.

Glorioso is not only the Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer, CAO, but also Arlena Acree's counterpart on the other side of the Red River.

Louisiana's new tax incentives also include film education, critical since the recent exodus of film crews. Glen Grefe and April Ramsey are founders of what they call Alumni Arts Presents, which they describe as an occupational film school.

"Unlike any other film school in the world, we offer royalties. It's occupational. We send the registrants out on real films," explained Grefe.

Grefe and Ramsey said they hope to open their film school in Shreveport next year. And by then, we should know more about any new projects on the way.

Alumni Arts Presents, or AAP for short, is described as a royalty-incentive based non-profit film school to be located in Shreveport. Students will learn all aspects of the film business in a classroom and occupational setting.

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