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Officials Pushing For Additional State Film Tax Credits

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The Pittsburgh Film Office is brimming with pride after the Academy Awards nominations came out this morning.

One movie, which was shot right here in Pittsburgh, received four nominations. Based on that success, the Pittsburgh Film Office hopes more projects will be made here in the future.

"To have Denzel Washington come in, buy the cycle of plays from August Wilson, turn this into the movie 'Fences' -- and now, to be recognized by the Academy with four nominations, it's an incredible day," Pittsburgh Film Office Director Dawn Keezer said.

Now, Keezer simply wishes there was more money to keep the momentum rolling.

"I get calls every day, and we have a major feature that wants to be here right now that I don't think we are going to pull off because we are out of money," Keezer said.

Additional film tax credits won't be available until July. Keezer expects $65 million, but that is a far cry from the $450 million given in New York every year.

"We don't expect to be New York. At $100 million, we can cover the television series, the episodic work that we have coming in, throw in a couple extra features and still have work throughout the state, not just in southwestern Pennsylvania," she said.

While movies like "Fences" grab the headlines, landing multiple television series has always been Pittsburgh's goal.

"They shoot for six to nine months at a time. They hire and promote from within their ranks of the crew and they promote from within the ranks of their crew that they have hired locally. So, they get to learn a different skill. They get to move up in their own departments. It's a real win for everyone," Keezer said.

For now, it's the waiting game - for the Oscars and the future of Pennsylvania's film tax credit.

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