News Conference Will Be Held on Site of Memorial to First Female Director to Link Current Tax Credit with State’s Legacy in Motion Picture Industry
FORT LEE – On Wednesday, October 12, Senators Loretta Weinberg and Paul Sarlo will join film advocates and industry professionals to urge Governor Chris Christie and Legislative Republicans to support a healthy and robust film tax credit to preserve New Jersey’s motion picture legacy.
The news conference will be held at noon on the sidewalk in front of 2160 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ – the location of a historic marker indicating the site of the Solax Company, one of the largest pre-Hollywood film studios, which was formed by pioneering French filmmaker Alice Guy Blaché, the first female director, and her husband, Herbert.
“Before Hollywood was Hollywood, Fort Lee, New Jersey stood as the capital of the American motion picture industry,” said Senator Weinberg, D-Bergen. “However, you wouldn’t know that today, with current policies creating an unfriendly environment for film and television production. As a State, we ought to honor the legacy of visionaries like Alice Guy Blaché, and work to create a vibrant and healthy film industry, here in the Garden State.”
“New Jersey’s film and media tax credit was a proven success, creating job opportunities and encouraging private investment in our economy,” said Senator Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic, and prime sponsor of legislation to reinstate the Digital Media and Film Tax Credit at its previous level. “At a time when we’re struggling to come back from the brink of economic recession, we should remember New Jersey’s place in the history of the motion picture, and restore this tax credit to its former glory.”
The lawmakers’ news conference comes at a time when Ms. Guy Blaché’s contributions to the modern motion picture industry are being revisited. On October 13, the Directors Guild of America will posthumously award her with the Special Directorial Award for Lifetime Achievement at an event in New York City. Among her many achievements, Ms. Guy Blaché was one of the first filmmakers to promote the idea of using film as a narrative device, and made more than 100 films using a synchronized sound technique that preceded commercially-viable sound-on-film by decades.
The lawmakers noted that at a time when industry trade associations are recognizing the contributions of Alice Guy Blaché – forty three years after her death in 1968 – New Jersey has instituted policies which drive film production out of State. They said that such a move not only deprives New Jersey of needed economic activity associated with film production, but also deprives State residents of a counter-voice to the stereotype of New Jersey often portrayed in popular culture and reality television shows.
Senator Loretta Weinberg, D-Bergen;
Senator Paul A. Sarlo, D-Bergen, Essex and Passaic;
Tom Meyers, Executive Director, Fort Lee Film Commission;
Nelson Page, Chairman, Fort Lee Film Commission;
Gary Donatelli (tentative), Vice President, Directors Guild of America;
Victoria Pistone (tentative), Manager of Communications and Outreach, New York Chapter American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA);
Jean Frost, Assistant Executive Director, Directors Guild of America;
Frank Traynor, South Jersey / Philadelphia Representative of Screen Actors Guild (SAG);
Janet Davidson, Vice Chair, New York Women in Film & TV;
Ken Bruno, President of the Greater Fort Lee Chamber of Commerce.
WHAT: News Conference to Support NJ Film Tax Credit and Honor the Legacy of Pioneering Female Filmmaker Alice Guy Blaché
WHEN: Wednesday, October 12 at noon.
WHERE: Historic marker in sidewalk outside 2160 Lemoine Avenue, Fort Lee, NJ