Minnesota film, TV industry promoted by new state office

Over the last couple of years, movies like "Marmalade," starring Joe Keery from "Stranger Things," have been shot on location in Minnesota.

Now a new state office hopes to attract more film and TV productions like it to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Over the weekend, state lawmakers passed an omnibus jobs bill, which included a provision to create a new state film office.

The office will be known as Explore Minnesota Film and will be part of the state's tourism agency. It will take over duties currently performed by the nonprofit Minnesota Film and TV.

"I am absolutely thrilled. This is something that should have happened a long time ago, its long overdue. It's really exciting, and it puts Minnesota firmly back in business for the industry," Melodie Bahan, executive director of Minnesota Film and TV, told FOX 9.

Explore Minnesota Film will administer the $25 million in tax incentives Minnesota offers to productions that spend a million dollars in the state. It will also promote Minnesota as a filming location and help productions find locations and crew.

"It will be easier for productions to come here because there will be a legitimate state film office as there is in 45 other states," said Bahan.

It's been decades since the heyday of Minnesota made movies like "Grumpy Old Men," "Mall Rats," and "Beautiful Girls," in the 1990s, but advocates hope the new state film office will bring some of that Hollywood magic back.

"I think we are really attractive to the industry. I think we're going to see some major projects coming here in the next year certainly," said Bahan.

The new state film office will be established as of July 1, 2024, but it could take a while for it to get up and running. Minnesota Film and TV will continue to operate until then.