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April 6, 2009
City of Toronto makes strategic investment in Filmport
City Council today moved to ensure the continued success of Toronto's film industry by approving a loan to the Toronto Economic Development Corporation for the purchase of an interest in Filmport.

"This investment is critical not only to support Filmport, but to secure the future of the city's screen-based industry as a whole," Mayor David Miller said. "We know we have a world-class facility in Filmport and it stands to serve as the cornerstone of a healthy industry that employs close to 40,000 people directly and indirectly."

The City of Toronto has a 30-year history of supporting the film industry which pumps more than $1 billion into the local economy.

In August, 2008, the existing shareholders and management exceeded the requirements under their lease with TEDCO and opened 250,000 square feet of first class, high tech film production and studio space which includes the Megastage. The existing shareholders and Filmport President Ken Ferguson have worked tirelessly to create this state-of-the-art facility and steer it through challenging times. Although demand for film production facilities fell sharply in 2008, there are now signs of improvement. A City mission to Los Angeles in January generated significant interest in Filmport and other screen-based industry facilities and services in Toronto.

In order to ensure that these film production facilities continue to be used as a key, integral part of Toronto's film industry, TEDCO has been negotiating with the existing owners and prospective partners in order to reach an agreement that will provide for a sustainable financial structure for the venture.

Filmport is integral to attracting major feature film productions to Toronto and when it is operating at full capacity, is expected to generate 1,000 to 1,400 jobs and add $50 to $70 million to Toronto's GDP.

Filmport was built following recommendations contained in a 1999 Ontario Film Development Corporation study that determined Toronto's ability to attract larger film productions was being hindered as a result of a lack of appropriate facilities.

For information related to the film industry in Toronto contact:

Peter Finestone, Film Commissioner, City of Toronto, 416-392-3376



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