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St. Louis County’s film incentives bring productions to the Northland

Sep 30, 2022 10:30AM ● By Laura Durenberger
Photo: Osarugue Igbinoba

By Larissa Milles - Northern News Now - September 30, 2022

Over the last couple of years, more film and TV productions have set up shop in northern Minnesota thanks to the state’s and St. Louis County’s film incentives.

“Los Angeles is really talking about Minnesota right now, so we think that’s fabulous. I really think it’s building and building, so we’re very excited,” said Riki McManus with the Upper Midwest Film Office.

McManus and Shari Marshik, also with the Upper Midwest Film Office, say they’re predicting $3.8 million of spending in St. Louis County as a result of productions filmed in 2022.

They say that’s all thanks to the St. Louis County Film Production Incentive Program.

“The incentive is a way to incentivize people to bring their projects here that otherwise might not or choose from 35 other states that have incentives”, said Marshik.

The film incentive has led to productions like full-length feature films and TV pilots over the last two years.

Those films have been taped all over the Northland in places like Hibbing the rest of the Iron Range, Duluth, and up the shores of Lake Superior.

Lydia Hayes and Jenny Bergstedt are Hibbing residents who worked in the art departments on several productions in the spring.

They said those productions brought lots of business to the Iron Range and they hope to see more in the future.

“The more filmmakers we have, the more productions we have. A lot of it is based on locals, you have local help, you hire local people, we live here,” says Hayes.

Bergstedt says the incentive has effectively created a new opportunity for the industry.

“It’s almost like it’s starting over again, and the world is looking at us. We have people all over the world looking at this industry like, ‘Hey, I like what they have going on, I want to be a part of that.’”

The St. Louis County Production Incentive Program provides reimbursement of up to 25 percent of production costs that are spent in the county.


To read this original story and more news, follow this link to the Northern News Now website.

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