COMMERCE TWP. (WWJ) – One local filmmaker says it’s like winning the lottery: getting approved for Michigan’s film tax incentives under new guidelines now in place.

Sam Kadi from Commerce Township is one of a few to recently get the credit to start making his feature film, “The Citizen.”

“I’m greatful… So far, there are only five project that, you know, that made it. It’s a huge race, it sounds like. It’s very stressful as well. As I said, I’m greatful, because it’s a home-grown project,” Kadi said.

Kadi who received $561,000 in credits, on $1.3 million of projected spending, says 95 percent of his cast and crew will come from Michigan.

The film itself is also Michigan-centric, which is one of the keys to the new policy and guidelines for the approval process,  released by the Michigan Film Office last month.

Kadi says “The Citizen” is about a Lebanese immigrant becoming an American citizen.

“It’s a story… inspired by true events. And I think it’s going to bring… kinda of like a discussion and conversation. It’s very patriotic. It’s very uplifting and inspirting, and I think we need this these days,” he said.

Michigan’s film industry is fighting against Governor Rick Synder’s plan to cap the state’s film incentive at $25 million  a year for the next couple years. Under the current law, there is no annual cap on the incentives.

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