©2016 Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Feature Film Sparkle Approved for Film Incentives

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Michelle Begnoche, MEDC/Travel Michigan Public Relations
(517) 241-0251

LANSING – The Michigan Film Office announced today that the feature film Sparkle has been approved for a film incentive from the state. The film, set in Detroit during the height of the Motown era, follows the journey of a family of musically-driven sisters as they perform their way up from neighborhood jazz joints to the packed house of the Fox Theatre. 

Sparkle is expected to shoot in the metro Detroit region and will be directed by Salim Akil who directed the feature film Jumping the Broom and the television series The Game.  Debra Martin Chase, TD Jakes and Salim and Mara Akil will produce the film.

“The music and atmosphere that was the heart and soul of Motown in the 1960s is as much a character in this film as the individuals portrayed throughout the story,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office.  “This is an incredible opportunity to highlight one of Detroit’s most significant cultural exports of the last century.  The project has also put a strong emphasis on hiring a Michigan-based crew to shoot the film, making it an overall great fit for the film incentives.”

Sparkle was awarded an incentive of $3,104,455 on $7,410,216 of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 266 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 44 jobs.

This is the 12th project approved under the new policy and guidelines issued by the Michigan Film Office. In 2011, 14 projects have been approved with $22,748,375 in incentives being awarded on $54,644,552 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 1,678 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 355 jobs.

All applications for film incentives receive a thorough review by a Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) committee comprised of the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications, the Senior Vice President of Policy, the Vice President of Business Development and the Director of the Michigan Film Office.

The current statute is used to guide approval decisions. Preference is given to projects that best meet the following criteria:

1. The production is financially viable.

2. Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, film labs, etc.).

3. The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production.

4. Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state as a tourist destination.

5. Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan.

The film incentive program will continue to be jointly administered by the Michigan Film Office and the Department of Treasury and all projects must be approved in concurrence with the state treasurer. Since the incentives took effect in April 2008, the Film Office and the Department of Treasury have approved a total of $383,814,189 in film incentives on $976,017,656 in total qualified expenditures by productions in Michigan. This represents 219 projects that have been approved to date, including 150 projects that have actually wrapped in the state.

The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan, as well as infrastructure development and workforce training.

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