The Director of the Utah Film Commission Marshall Moore and Field Supervisor Mimi Davis-Taylor conducted a Power Point presentation for the Kanab City Council on the film industry’s impact on the Utah economy and what their office does to promote all types of filming in the state.

Disney Studio is currently filming the movie “John Carter from Mars” in Utah, including locations in Kane County. “It has a $200 million budget, with $27 million of that being spent in Utah,” said Moore.

The commission was created in 1974 with the purpose of marketing the entire state as a filming destination to create high paying, quality jobs within the motion picture industry. “We are client driven,” said Moore. “Movie producers are interested in location only secondarily these days. Incentives are primarily what motivates movie companies to film in any given location.”

Starting at the end of the last century, California and other places in the U.S. began losing movie locations and the accompanying jobs to Canada and other locations outside the country. This was almost entirely due to financial incentives being promoted by British Columbia and other Canadian provinces in the form of tax breaks and kickbacks to the studios.

In 2002, Louisiana was the first state to offer similar monetary incentives to attract the high-paying movie jobs back within its borders. Forty-five states now have incentives ranging from 10% to 40% of production costs incurred while filming within the state, including Utah, which started with 10% in 2005, and now offers 20%.

Davis added, “What we can offer in Utah is the best technical support of anyplace outside of California. Without this manpower and the Utah Motion Picture Incentive Fund, we would not have been able to attract Disney to film the Carter movie here. We have set up $5.5 million in post-performance tax rebates to offset the $27.7 million being spent by Disney in the state. So far this year, the film industry has spent over $65 million in Utah, with $12.5 million returned in incentives. Additionally, 87% of people employed by the studios while filming in Utah are residents of the state.”

Sets were created and scenes shot at locations near Mt. Carmel Junction and Big Water in Kane County. The production crew will also be filming in Grand and Emery counties before returning to California. The movie will be released in 2012 and stars Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong and Taylor Kitsch.

The Old Spanish Trail Association was represented by Association Manager Don Mimms, who came before the council to outline activities to be held during their national convention in Kanab between April 29 and May 2.

“OSTA is a nonprofit association established in 1994 to study, interpret, protect and promote the Old Spanish National Historic Trail,” explained Mimms. ”There are nine chapters, including one in England whose members can document being descendant’s of OST users over a century and a half ago. There has been discussion of trying to establish a chapter in this area, but nothing determined as yet.”

The OSTA is planning a series of presentations by a variety of speakers during the four day convention, including a historical drama by the Kanab High School Drama Club titled “Tales of the Trail: The Armijo Adventure” at the Crescent Moon Theater on April 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. The students will be joined by renowned violinist Arvel Bird, himself one-quarter Shivwits Paiute, and guitarist Fritz Davis, from Red River, NM. Life Achievement Awards and $750 will be awarded to each of the half-dozen student actors participating.

The council decided to approve local consent for a beer license for Victor Sandonato for the new restaurant he is planning to open behind Denny’s Wigwam. Sandonato, as explained previously in the SUN, is petitioning the Utah State Liquor License Board for a club license, but before he can fully pursue this he needs to obtain a beer license. His request was approved.

Lanny Talbot petitioned the council for annexation to the city of 21 acres of residential development land between the older NE section of Kanab and the La Estancia homes subdivision. His request was approved.

Pat Ensle, retired elementary school teacher, having taught 24 years in Kanab, was approved to a three-year term on the Kanab City Library Board.

Richard and Debra Stringer petitioned the council for consolidation of their adjoining 1/3-acre lots at their home site on Navajo Dr., which was granted. Harry and Arletta Stringer were granted the same for their lots in the Ranchos.

The BLM, represented by the Kanab Field Office Manager Harry Barber, asked for a modification of the zoning for their recently obtained 4.22 acre parcel on Hwy 89A just south of the fire station. The backside of the lot was zoned RM-11 (residential) and the BLM wishes to have it zoned C2 (commercial), which the front of the parcel was already designated. The change was approved. The BLM will be combining their Kanab Field Office and the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument Visitor Center in a new building at the site.

The 2009/10 City Budget was approved as Ordinance 4-1-10 and the council approved the Arbor Day proclamation.