Hollywood power couple Marc Anthony and Jennifer López, who are of
Puerto Rican descent, along with Gov. Fortuño and first lady Lucé Vela
share a light moment during Friday’s signing ceremony.
The island’s allure for the glamour and glitz of Hollywood got a new boost Friday when Gov. Luis Fortuño — accompanied by performers Marc Anthony and Jennifer López — signed the new Puerto Rico Film Industry Economic Incentives Law that grants a slew of benefits to movie producers.
The law grants new credits and expands the scope of the type of productions that can benefit from them. For one, it grants a 40 percent credit on production costs for a film or television project, including full-length or short films, documentaries, series, miniseries, and recording of live performances. It also offers a 20 percent credit over expenses related to non-resident talent participating in the project.
Thirdly, the new law includes new media within the incentives framework, such as commercials and music videos, under the premise that they serve as training workshops for new film and TV technicians.
“With this law, we optimize the package of incentives available for the film and television industry so that we can compete fairly with other jurisdictions,” said Fortuño during the signing ceremony in Bayamón. “Similarly, the law allows us to develop the necessary infrastructure to convert Puerto Rico into a worldwide mecca of film and television production, including the development of high-capacity production studios.”
In that sense, it was fitting that power couple Anthony and López — who are of Puerto Rican decent — be present at the signing, as it has been reported that they have plans to develop a large-scale production studio in Puerto Rico. However, no details were forthcoming during the press conference.
Since the early 90s, Puerto Rico has played a major role in Hollywood, setting the backdrop for countless movies, television series and specials. Last year, the island hosted more than 10 Hollywood projects, including “Fast Five,” the first full studio production to be filmed locally, Walt Disney Pictures’ “Pirates of the Caribbean 4,” and Warner Brothers’ “The Losers.”
In all, the industry pumped $43 million into the local economy and created nearly 20,000 direct and indirect jobs. Big-budget productions also bring benefits to the tourism industry, generating 22,671 hotel room night reservations and putting a spotlight on Puerto Rico’s natural attributes, preserving them on film.
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.
“As awareness about the importance of supporting local businesses grows, the ‘Miércoles Naranja’ (Orange Wednesday) initiative now extends to the entire month of November. We all win by shopping ‘local’; specifically, by supporting the small and medium-sized business sector, which generates the majority of direct jobs in our economy.”
— Lourdes Aponte, president of the United Retailers Center, commenting on the 12th edition of Santa’s List, a survey conducted by ad agency Arteaga & Arteaga. Among its findings, the survey’s report points to six sales opportunities for businesses during the holiday season. These include “Miércoles Naranja” (Orange Wednesday), the period from Nov. 15 to Dec. 15 coinciding with the distribution of Christmas bonuses, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the weeks leading up to Christmas and Three Kings Day.