Visit Indy says Indianapolis is looking to gain "incredible marketing exposure" and millions of dollars in economic impact through a new effort aiming to attract film and television production projects. Vice President Chris Gahl says Film Indy is a two-year public-private partnership that will promote the city as a good location to film movies, TV shows and commercials. He says, even without state-level incentives, Indianapolis is attractive because of its "diversity of locations within minutes of each other."
Visit Indy is partnering with the Indy Chamber, the city of Indianapolis and the Central Indiana Community Foundation on the pilot program. It will begin in January and be overseen by a 12-person Film Advisory Board. Organizers expect to hire an Indy Film Commissioner in the first quarter of 2016. It is being funded by $300,000 from Visit Indy, the CICF and the city of Indianapolis.
Officials say three years of research showed the need for the effort. Other cities, including New Orleans, Baltimore, Chicago, Kansas City and Portland have created a city-level office to promote their film-friendliness.
Gahl says Indianapolis will face a competitive challenge because there are no state-level incentives. He says, if the pilot program gains traction, he hopes it will spur state lawmakers to consider legislation to help attract film projects.
Gahl says Indy has strong potential specifically for sports-related productions.