Arts & Entertainment

Two new film productions headed to Utah under state’s tax incentive program

The two films are expected to generate approximately $5.3 million combined in economic impact and bring about 875 jobs to Utah

By: Kyle Dunphey, Utah News Dispatch

The Utah Film Commission on Monday announced the approval of two new productions headed to the Beehive State that it says will bring in hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in economic impact.

One of the productions — “The Stranger in My Home” — was approved for the state’s rural film incentive program. Described as a thriller, the film will be directed by Jeff Fisher, who has worked on other films in Utah and according to IMBD, was a producer on “Keeping up with the Kardashians.”

“I have been grateful to discover talented local crew, actors, and beautiful locations,” Fisher said in a statement. “Utah would be the ideal place to help tell this story.”

Fisher previously directed the thriller “The Image of You” in Utah.

The other production is a Hallmark Channel film directed by Maclain Nelson and David Wulf, two local directors. Called “Branching Out,” it was approved under the state’s Motion Picture Incentive Program.

Combined, the films are expected to generate an estimated $5.3 million in economic impact and bring about 875 jobs to the state, according to the Utah Film Commission.

The Utah Motion Picture Incentive Program currently offers a refundable tax credit up to 25% for funds spent in the state. According to the commission, the program has supported 26 productions — those productions spent 523 days filming in the state with about 50% of that time spent in rural Utah, the commission said.

Data from the commission suggests those productions have contributed about $111 million to the state’s economy, with about $50.7 million spent in rural Utah. In total, the program has created about 4,700 jobs, according to the commission’s data.

Utah Film Commission Director Virginia Pearce said over a dozen productions were halted in Utah during 2023 from the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, but the state’s industry has since rebounded.

“These new productions will provide much needed jobs for Utah crews and business for vendors across the state,” Pearce said in a statement.

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