The VPA is hosting the annual Film Day on Capitol Hill – an opportunity to educate lawmakers about the importance of our industry for the state’s economy. As the only organization in the state representing Virginia’s film and television production community, The VPA has been instrumental in securing critical legislation including film incentives that have been used to assist Virginia filmmakers and have helped to recruit numerous film projects to Virginia. This year they are lobbying in support of two very important initiatives: the extension of our tax credit legislation and our sales and use tax exemption through 2022.
WHAT HAPPENS AT FILM DAY?
The Virginia Production Alliance will have a display area in the lobby of the General Assembly Building (GAB) which is where the Senators, Delegates and their staffs have their offices. They will be spending the morning talking to people in the lobby, and will also visit the lawmakers and their Legislative Assistants. This is a highly effective way to get their message across and can really have a positive impact. If you’re apprehensive about talking to your lawmakers – don’t worry! Most people are at first, but there will be experienced VPA members on hand to guide you through the process. The event is 8 am – noon, but the earlier you get there, the better chance you will have to talk to someone who can help.
WHAT TO DO
- Come to the General Assembly Building, located on the corner of 9th and Broad Streets in downtown Richmond.
- Park wherever you can – there’s on-street parking and several parking lots in the area. Parking in downtown Richmond is not easy, but it can be done. The closest pay lots are on 8th and Grace Street and 7th and Marshall Street.
- Enter the GAB through doors facing the capitol. You will need to go through security so bring your ID.
- The VPA area will be on your right – look for Krispy Kremes and popcorn!
HOW TO PREPARE
It would be helpful if you came knowing the names of your Senator and Delegate. It’s simple to find this information on the General Assembly website at www.virginiageneralassembly.gov. Or someone will help you find them when you arrive.
There are lots of statistics that show how important film production is to the state. They’ll provide those for you, and they’ve also made sure all the lawmakers have them too. For example, the industry employs 3900 Virginians and has an economic impact of $615.6 million. The three seasons of TURN shot in Virginia had a total economic impact of $175 million and is back shooting season 4. They are known as a great place to film – but we need incentive funding to be competitive.
However – as compelling as the statistics are, they have heard from their lawmakers that personal stories are even more persuasive. Please think about how working in the film industry has impacted you personally and the people and businesses around you. Do you want to work in Virginia because your family is here? Are you a student who wants to stay in your home state to work? Does your work benefit local businesses like caterers, antique stores, hardware stores or rental companies? How?