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ESD announces new post-production fellowship program to bolster talent pool for fast-growing industry

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Fri, Feb 19th 2016 03:10 pm

Post-production and VFX industry experiencing rapid growth across New York as state's incentive program continues to field record number of applications

Empire State Development today announced the New York State Post-Production Fellowship Program - a new initiative that will increase the size and quality of New York's post-production talent pool for this rapidly growing industry. ESD is providing the Post New York Alliance (PNYA) with a grant of up to $50,000 to serve as matching funds for the new program, which will be administered by the PNYA with assistance from the Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development (MPTV). The fellowship program will support at least 20 apprenticeships at a minimum of 10 post-production or visual effects (VFX) companies across New York.

"In recent years, New York state has become a top destination for post-production and visual effects work, resulting in rapid business growth and job creation across the state," said ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky. "This new fellowship program will ensure the industry continues to thrive by growing and strengthening the workforce as young, talented students gain a top-notch education from New York's finest film and media professionals."

The post-production and VFX industry is growing at a rapid rate in New York, with the state's post-production incentive program receiving a record number of applications in each of the past three years. Since July 2012 - when Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo increased the standalone post-production tax credit level from 10 percent to 30 percent, and 35 percent in certain upstate counties - 276 projects have applied, compared to just 17 in the 18 months preceding the increase. Since then, projects participating in the program have spent approximately $326 million throughout New York.

"The Post New York Alliance is proud to be a part of such an important step in educating the future workforce of the post-production industry," said Yana Collins Lehman, president and COO, Post New York Alliance. "Gov. Cuomo has overseen an unprecedented expansion of film and television production and post-production, and the need for talent in post-production companies all across New York state has skyrocketed. We are all impatient to find students whose passion for film and television we can form to fill these great jobs. We are very grateful to Gov. Cuomo for his support and appreciation for our industry."

The fellowship program will continue to strengthen New York's competitiveness in the industry by providing funding to New York-based post-production companies to scale the number of paid apprenticeship programs in post-production and visual effects. These programs are necessary to increase the overall talent pool and widen the geographic reach of the post-production sector in New York.

The PNYA will launch the competitive apprenticeship program this summer, with ESD providing up to $50,000 in matching funding to support at least 20 apprenticeships at a minimum of 10 post-production or visual effects companies across the state. Participating companies will be selected through a competitive process by the PNYA, with selection criteria and requirements that include:

•Companies must work predominantly in the post-production and/or visual effects fields;

•Companies must have pre-existing paid intern or apprentice programs, with a demonstrated history of hiring full-time employees out of said programs; however, companies must also demonstrate they could not add additional apprentices without program funding;

•Companies must demonstrate fellowships will last at least eight to 10 weeks, and that fellows will work no less than 150 hours total; and

•Companies must demonstrate their ability and willingness to match the funding they receive on a 1:1 basis, and that the funding will go toward compensation for that company's fellow.

Working with input from the selected companies, the PNYA will select and match student applicants based on their resume, academic transcript and statement detailing the student's qualifications and interest in the fields of post-production and/or visual effects. The students selected must include representatives from colleges or universities in at least three of New York state's 10 economic development regions.

Students and post-production or VFX companies interested in participating in the 2016 New York State Post-Production Fellowship Program should contact the Post New York Alliance: [email protected].

The New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture & Television Development, a division of ESD, offers film, television and commercial productions and post-production tax credits for qualified expenditures in New York. The office also serves as a liaison between production companies and city and local governments, state agencies, a network of statewide contacts, local film offices and professional location scouts and managers.

For more information on filming in New York or the Film Production and Post-Production Tax Credit Programs, visit www.nylovesfilm.com.

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