Nov 10, 2013 11:34 PM by Sam Salzwedel
TUCSON - People who have been fighting to bring film and television jobs to Arizona are not optimistic about the next legislative session.
Paul Stapleton-Smith makes a living off media production in Southern Arizona. He has been unsuccessfully lobbying for tax breaks for his industry, to bring more work to Tucson.
"There is discouragement," Stapleton-Smith said. "There is a lot of energy. There's a lot of time, and there's a lot of resources that go into pushing an initiative for citizens. But in the end, it's our obligation to keep bringing jobs bills before this legislature."
A crowd filled the Loft Cinema for a viewing of The Nightmare Before Christmas Sunday. The film's Director of Photography, Pete Kozachik, answered questions for the enthusiastic crowd.
"I was thinking, all these kids, some of them weren't even born yet," Kozachik said. "And then they're still digging it. And that feels good to have that happen."
He is the brother of Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik.
Pete Kozachik works in the Bay Area of California but says location is becoming less important.
"I think the way to bring movie money to Tucson is the way everybody else is doing it," he said. "Which is tax breaks."
Republican State Representative Ethan Orr said he supports a tax break for the film industry. But he is not optimistic the rest of his party will act differently than the last legislative session.
"You're going to have a much better chance after the '14 elections," Orr said. "What's important to me is, anything that's going to bring jobs and revenue to our community, we need to leave it on the table. And we need to give it a very serious look. But I don't think this is the session to do it. I think it's going to happen next year."
Steve Kozachik wants to act locally if the state does not take action. He also thinks it should be a campaign issue next fall.
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