© 2023 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CoastLine: Film Industry Grant Money Grows In NC, But Productions Still Sparse


Words On Bathroom Walls is, so far this fiscal year, the only film to take advantage of North Carolina industry incentives.  Five Home Depot commercials also claimed some state grant money over the last fiscal year.  While there are efforts underway in Raleigh to sweeten the pot and lure made-for-TV movies and smaller film projects, the industry in Wilmington is not even a shadow of its former self. 

In 2014, the General Assembly ended the tax rebate film incentive.  That year alone, close to $81 million went back to producers.  What replaced the tax rebate:  a $10 million grant program.  The grant fund has grown since then and now gets $31 million each year with no sunset. 

Whether the tax rebates were actually worth the fiscal unpredictability and the expense or they were what Americans For Prosperity calls “a Hollywood handout” is a debate that continues – albeit less so in the southeastern part of North Carolina.

A recent proposal sponsored by North Carolina Representative Ted Davis, a Republican from New Hanover County, would lower the minimum spending requirement for TV and film projects and increase the funding cap for TV series and feature films.  That’s according to Hunter Ingram, Film Industry Reporter for the StarNews – and our guest today.


Hunter Ingram is the only North Carolina film industry reporter in the state, which he’s covered for the past five years, starting near the peak when Ironman III was opening in theaters.  He also covers the City of Wilmington and writes a column called TV Hunter

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.
Rachel is a graduate of UNCW's Master of Public Administration program, specializing in Urban and Regional Policy and Planning. She also received a Master of Education and two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and French Language & Literature from NC State University. She served as WHQR's News Fellow from 2017-2019. Contact her by email: rkeith@whqr.org or on Twitter @RachelKWHQR