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Office of Cable Television, Film, Music and Entertainment
 

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Film, Television and Entertainment Rebate Fund FAQs

What is the minimum threshold to qualify?

Spend at least $250,000 in the District of Columbia for the development, preproduction, production, or postproduction costs of a qualified production, or invest and expend at least $250,000 for a qualified film and digital media infrastructure project in the District.

What rebates are available for qualified productions?

Subject to funding, Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment may provide to an eligible production company, as an incentive for the production of movies, television shows or other video productions in the District, a payment equal to the sum of the following expenditures (sum all that would apply in your case):

  1. 35% of the company's qualified production expenditures that are subject to taxation in the District;
  2. 21% of the company's qualified production expenditures that are not subject to taxation in the District;
  3. 30% of the company's qualified personnel expenditures;
  4. 50% of the company's qualified job training expenditures; and
  5. 25% of the company's base infrastructure investment; provided, that if the base infrastructure investment is in a facility that may be used for purposes unrelated to production or postproduction activities, then the base infrastructure investment shall be eligible for the 25% incentive payment only if the Mayor determines that the facility will support and be necessary to secure production or postproduction activity.

How do you define a qualified production?

A qualified production includes motion picture, television, or video content created in whole or in part in the District, intended for nationwide distribution or exhibition by any means, including by motion picture, documentary, television programming, commercials, or internet video production and includes a trailer, pilot, or any video teaser associated with a qualified production. A motion picture film production shall include digital interactive media production. The term "qualified production" does not include production that:

  • Consists primarily of televised news or current events;
  • Consists primarily of a live sporting event, except boxing;
  • Consists primarily of political advertising;
  • Primarily markets a product or service other than a qualified production; or
  • Is a radio program.

What kinds of projects can receive tax rebates from Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment's Film, Television and Entertainment Rebate Fund?

Eligible projects include, but are not limited to, feature length films, documentaries, television mini-series, episodic television series, music videos, video games and film and digital media infrastructure projects.

Must a certain percentage of crew be District residents?

No. However, the District of Columbia has a skilled crew base, and expenditures made on hiring District residents increase the total potential rebate that can be earned.

What if I take a DC crew to a different state?

That is permissible; however, rebates can only be issued for work performed directly in the District of Columbia.

I just found out about the rebate program and have almost completed filming. Can I still apply?

No.  In all cases, rebate applications must be received and approved before the start of principal photography.

How do I apply?

The application can be found online at film.dc.gov. Complete it and either send, deliver or email it to OCTFME along with a copy of the script, production budget and proposed production schedule.

When will I know if my request has been approved?

OCTFME will respond within 20 business days.

What can I do to ensure a successful proposal?

While there are no guarantees that your proposal will receive funding, you will greatly increase your chances of success by carefully reading and understanding the rules in the following pages. OCTFME staff members are available to answer questions and to help ensure that your proposal meets all necessary requirements. Call (202) 727-6608 or email FilmDC.Incentive@dc.gov with any questions.

What department or office would be the main point of contact to answer questions or resolve disputes?

The Office of Cable Television, Film, Music & Entertainment handles the certification of the production project. 

What are the Film, Television and Entertainment Rebate Fund award disbursement procedures?

The OCTFME, or its accounting agent, will have up to 90 business days to verify and certify the Incentive Awardee's request for the incentive award after the submission of all receipts and proof of qualifying expenditures. The OCTFME will send the Incentive Awardee an itemized accounting of all certified eligible spending in the form of a Certified Qualifying Spend Letter for the Awardee to review and execute. The Certified Qualifying Spend Letter must be signed by a person authorized to sign on behalf of the Incentive Awardee and returned to the OCTFME within 14 business days of the postmarked date of the Certified Qualifying Spend Letter. After the OCTFME receives that signed letter, the incentive award payment will be sent to the Incentive Awardee within 45 business days.

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