Film Fest Director Urging State to Step Up

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(Left-to-Right: Erin Erdmann, Visit Bloomington and Jessica Levandoski, Middle Coast Film Festival) (Left-to-Right: Erin Erdmann, Visit Bloomington and Jessica Levandoski, Middle Coast Film Festival)

The director of the Middle Coast Film Festival, which begins Friday in downtown Bloomington, says the goal is to recruit as many filmmakers to the state as possible. Jessica Levandoski says the state is losing jobs to neighboring states that support the industry. Levandoski and the recently-founded Indiana Film Production Tax Credit Committee plan to push legislators to create tax incentives for films produced in Indiana. She was joined by Erin Erdmann from Visit Bloomington on Inside INdiana Business Television to talk about the growing event and the industry's potential impact in Indiana.

They expect visitors in town from film hubs such as New York and Austin at this weekends festivities. "It's just another great opportunity for people to experience what Bloomington has to offer," she said. "We're a really progressive, hip, idyllic, educated town and we're providing an opportunity for people to enjoy films while they're here."

The event continues to grow. More than 1,000 attendees are expected this weekend, with five screens showing a total of 70 films. Levandoski, an Austin native, says the Middle Coast Film Festival could serve as a gateway to showcasing the state for filmmakers. She used her hometown as an example and said its prominent micro-film scene sprouted from just one successful film. Levandoski sees "no reason" why Bloomington can't be on Austin's level. Visiting filmmakers in previous years, she said, have been "knocked out" by what the Monroe County city offers in assets, locations and resources.

Middle Coast film screenings run throughout Friday and Saturday. A full schedule can be found here.

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