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State launches film training program

The Idaho Film Office is launching a new program that will provide grants of up to $5,000 to help media and film workers in the state get hands-on production experience.

The film office, part of the Idaho Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism Development office, is setting aside $20,000 to create a pilot program that’s designed to drum up more activity in Idaho’s nascent film industry.

The tourism development division, which funds the film office, gets its money from a 2 percent tax on the sales of hotel/motel and private campground accommodations.

The film agency is using money that has already been budgeted to start the grant program, which will be open to both individuals and nonprofits with a film industry focus. The grants will require 20 percent cash matches.

Applicants will undergo a rigorous panel review process with the help of the Idaho Commission on the Arts, followed by approval of the Idaho Travel Council, the eight-member advisory board that oversees the tourism division. The agency expects as many as 100 applications.

Eligible projects may include documentary, narrative or animated productions, Internet or device game design, smart phone application design or completion of a work-in-progress.

The film office estimates that only 4-5 projects will be funded with the dollars available. Projects must be filmed in Idaho and be completed within the grant period.

Applications are due Aug. 1, and projects must be completed prior to Dec. 31, 2011.

“Idaho has an extremely talented group of filmmakers and new media innovators,” said Peg Owens, marketing specialist with the Idaho Film Office, in a news release. “Through this pilot project, production personnel will gain experience while showcasing their talents.”

For information, grant guidelines or to download an application, visit www.filmidaho.com/workshops.aspx or contact Owens at 334-2470.

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