The Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund (GMPOF) exists to support the film and video industries in Virginia by providing grants for production companies and studios that produce projects in the Commonwealth using Virginia employees, resources, goods and services.
Applications must be submitted 30 days prior to principal photography. Grants are made at the discretion of the Governor. Grants will be awarded for qualified projects that bring revenue to the Commonwealth and will be paid on a reimbursement basis for eligible expenses outlined in the company’s application letter. A condition of receiving the grant is a joint public announcement between the production company and the Governor.
In determining grant amounts, the following will be considered: employment, investment, presence of any local commitment, and industry or company growth potential in Virginia. Grants will only be made from current appropriations and will not be committed from anticipated future appropriations. Upon completion of the project, the company must provide a request for payment of documented eligible expenses. Payment amounts will be based on whether the contracted employment and investment numbers were met as well as all other required deliverables.
The Film Office will coordinate the announcement of the grant with producers. It is important to note that both the employment and expenditure figures used in the application commit the company to reaching these goals during the Virginia production for which the grant has been awarded and that these figures will be used in any news release distributed to the media. In addition, the Commonwealth of Virginia and Virginia localities where filming takes place must receive an ending credit on the final theatrical and/or broadcast version of the project.
Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund (GMPOF) Guidelines
In accordance with Code of Virginia § 2.2-2320, the types of projects eligible for consideration are feature films, children’s programs, documentaries, television series or other television programs designed to fit a thirty-minute or longer time slot. Projects not eligible are industrial, corporate or commercial projects, education programs not intended for broadcast, adult films, music videos and news shows or reports.
Company must demonstrate that it has 100% of its anticipated financing in place at the time the GMPOF grant is requested. The project for which the application is made must commence physical production within 12 months following application submission to the Virginia Film Office or the application will be considered noncompliant to the established guidelines.
The grant award will be based on qualified company expenses for items such as Virginia salaries and wages, renting, leasing or purchasing Virginia-based goods and services, site rental fees, set construction costs, soundstage rental, film processing and editing/post-production costs. The GMPOF is not intended to cover 100% of the Virginia labor costs.
Applications and all required documentation should be sent to the Virginia Film Office – 901 East Byrd Street, West Tower, 19th Floor, Richmond, Virginia 23219-4048.
Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund Legislation
There is created a Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund (the Fund) to be used, in the sole discretion of the Governor, to support the film and video industries in Virginia by providing the means for attracting production companies and producers who make their projects in the Commonwealth using Virginia employees, goods and services. The Fund shall consist of any moneys appropriated to it in the general appropriation act or revenue from any other source. The Fund shall be established on the books of the Comptroller and any moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of a biennium shall not revert to the general fund but shall remain in the Fund. Interest earned on the Fund shall be credited to the Fund.
The Fund shall be used by the Governor to assist production companies or producers that meet the eligibility requirements set forth in the guidelines. The Authority shall assist the Governor in the development of guidelines for the use of the Fund. The guidelines should include provisions for geographic diversity and a cap on the amount of money available for a certain project. The types of projects eligible for consideration will be feature films, children’s programs, documentaries, television series or other television programs designed to fit a thirty-minute or longer format slot. Projects not eligible are industrial, corporate or commercial projects, education programs not intended for rebroadcast, adult films, music videos and news shows or reports.
(1999, cc. 852, 881, § 2.1-548.61; 2001, c. 844.)