If Massachusetts has taken the starring role in Hollywood East with its massive tax incentives and dozens of movies filming around the greater Boston area, and Connecticut has taken a supporting role with acquiring TV shows like “Deal or No Deal” and “The Jerry Springer Show”, New Hampshire seems intent on being the best in the independent film genre. Matthew W. Newton, the director of the Film and Television Office for the state of New Hampshire, recently spoke to Hollywood East Connection about what his office is doing to help grown the independent film industry in his state.
Though New Hampshire lacks a tax incentive like Massachusetts, and is not currently in talks to build a state-of-the-art production studio like Connecticut, its support for the indie film scene is clear. The Film and Television Office’s Twitter page regularly features job postings and casting calls for movies shooting in the area as well as provides possible location specs, notices of panel discussions, lectures, informational seminars, and holds screenplay readings for local talent and film industry meet-ups.
“I believe that New Hampshire has really begun carving out a nice niche for independent filmmakers,” says Matthew Newton, director of the New Hampshire Film and Television Office. “I think that with the explosion of production happening in the Northeast, it’s important that there’s particular attention being paid to the independent sector of the industry, as well. That’s what we’re trying to focus on here in New Hampshire – providing independent filmmakers with top-notch locations, customer service, and a creative atmosphere that welcomes film projects of all sizes, large or small.”
The strategy is working, the short list of independent films that have recently filmed in New Hampshire includes titles like The Marriage Counselor, The Jesus Guy, Pathfinder Soft Shell Jacket, Calypso Women’s Kayak, and Yellow Brick Road. And they’re not stopping there. The film committee, as well as members of the House and Senate, are currently in talks regarding a tax incentive similar to what is available in Massachusetts. With such earnest and eager encouragement for the independent film community, New Hampshire is well on its way to a leading role in this important segment of the movie industry.