POSTED: 8:14 a.m. HST, Jun 25, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 8:19 a.m. HST, Jun 25, 2011
WAILEA, Maui >> A movie mogul who lives part time on Maui wants to build two film studios in Hawaii and is lobbying for more film tax credits in the state, the Maui News reported Friday.
Relativity Media CEO Ryan Kavanaugh spoke at the Hawaii State Association of Counties conference where he outlined his plans to reinvigorate the film industry in the islands by building two studios that he said could create thousands of jobs.
Kavanaugh and his partners, Shangri-La Entertainment, want to build 40-acre studios on Maui and Oahu. He promised to establish a program to train locals to work in the industry.
"I have a home here in Maui, and my home has become my favorite place in the world," he said. "And this state has become my favorite place in the world."
He had lobbied for incentives in the recent legislative session, but the package stalled in committee.
Kavanaugh, whose producer credits include "The Fighter" and "Zombieland," asked county and state officials to support proposed film tax incentives. The cost of filming and the shortage of production studios keep the film industry from Hawaii, he said.
In his presentation, he estimated that if Hawaii doubles its income and infrastructure tax credits to 40 percent that would mean $10.9 billion in economic activity for the islands.
Other states offered up to 50 percent tax credits and attracted thousands of film jobs, he said.
"We in Hawaii need more opportunities to expand ourselves," said Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa. "He has the credentials to do what he says, and he's willing to put his money where his mouth is."