East Tennessee, by Way of Georgia

Robert Duvall and Bill Murray recently shared the Best Actor Award for their roles in the feature film Get Low at the Turin Film Festival, which wrapped Nov. 21.

Sadly for Tennessee, however, the production of this touching true story from East Tennessee never spent a minute shooting here. Why? The answer is simple. The state of Georgia offers film and television incentives that render Tennessee's recruitment efforts useless.

Get Low was shot in Georgia while Tennessee's crew base sat idly by or made efforts to land work elsewhere in the country. This isn't the first loss of this kind for the state. The list is growing longer by the month.

Yes, Tennessee has film and television incentives. Unfortunately, they are temporary and no longer competitive. Nearly every state bordering Tennessee (not to mention the rest of the country) has now embraced robust incentive packages in an effort to recruit film and television projects to their states. What do they know that we haven't learned yet? The answer to that is simple as well. Film and television projects bring a huge infusion of capital into the communities they select and people are put to work.

It is painful knowing that Get Low is stacking up awards while the tremendous pool of talent in our state could claim no part in the making of it.

Jan Austin, Executive Director

Association for the Future of Film & Television in Tennessee