Monday, September 21, 2009

The Iowa Film Industry Part Deux

A few days, more than a few changes for the Iowa Film Office and the Iowa Department of Economic Development.

The head of the Iowa Motion Picture Association, Tom Wheeler, is now out of a job after being put on paid administrative leave.

The Governor's office issued this release a few minutes ago.


DES MOINES – Governor Chet Culver announced today the departure of two officials from the Iowa Department of Economic Development (IDED).

The manager of the Iowa Film Office, Thomas Wheeler, has been dismissed from his position effective this afternoon. The Iowa Film Office is a division of IDED. Amy Johnson will serve as the interim manager of the Iowa Film Office.

In addition, the resignation of Vince Lintz as deputy director of IDED has been accepted.

IDED is currently reporting to Richard Oshlo, director of the Department of Management, while new leadership for the department is being considered.

Earlier today, Governor Culver asked the Attorney General, State Auditor and Department of Revenue to assist in a review of the Film, Television and Video Project Promotion Program. On Friday, Governor Culver accepted the resignation of IDED Director Mike Tramontina and asked the Economic Development Board to not approve further film tax credit certificates until questions about the administration of the program are answered.

This news comes on the same day members of the board of the Iowa Motion Picture Association held a press conference in Des Moines. Pictured above are Bruce Heppner Elgin, VP of the IMPA Board of Directors and president of StoryBench, Ann Wilkinson, IMPA board member and owner of PMS Casting, and Kent Newman, president of the IMPA Board of Directors and Full Spectrum Productions.

Many media outlets attended, lots of questions and lots of coverage has already happened this weekend.

Several members of the IMPA were in attendance as were those who are in the film industry of Iowa. It almost felt like a pep rally at one point and a wake at another.

Also got a comment about a movie StoryBench is starting next week in the West Branch and Williamsburg area.

The movie is called "Collapse," the last movie to receive tax credits before this mess. Its the third movie the Coralville-based Storybench has done and all of them have been all-Iowa productions.

Thanks to Criss Roberts for the comments.

The story continues...

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