Princebury went to North Dakota July 2nd- 8th to discuss the economic and cultural benefits of establishing a vibrant film industry for the state and the series, “Young Four Eyes.”
Dr. Richard Melheim, North Dakota native, introduced us to the idea at a think-tank he hosted in Aspen, last March. As Rich described the beauty of western North Dakota, the multiple stories of historical significance, and the fact that ND is nearly always at the bottom of the tourism destination sites, we began to see a broader vision for the state than just one or two film projects. Shortly after, we invited him to join our advisory board.
The Bigger Picture
When we were discussing the “Young Four Eyes” project, we dove into the research on what film initiatives the State of North Dakota had in place. What we found was that they were one of 9 states in the country with no tax incentives and no film commission. While these aren’t the only to consider when choosing a location to film, they definitely provide incentive. When places like Manitoba, Canada (North Dakota’s neighbor in the north) offer up to 45% refundable tax credits, it only makes business sense to avoid North Dakota in its present state. (http://www.canadafilmcapital.com/TaxMap.aspx) We believe the state government doesn’t need to/should never pay for films out of pocket, but a full state film structure is needed. Young Four Eyes or individual projects may be a good start, but with infrastructure, North Dakota can be put on the map as the Family Friendly Film Capital of the country.