LANSING — The Michigan Film Office said Friday it had approved an as-yet untitled feature film about focusing on tornadoes for a film incentive from the state.

The project, about a super tornado that sweeps through a small town, is expected to shoot in metro Detroit and at Michigan Motion Picture Studios in Pontiac.

“This is a major studio project that will be seen by a broad national audience and send a strong signal about the caliber of film projects our incentive program is able to attract,” said Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office.  “This film will do double duty shooting on location as well as at Michigan Motion Picture Studios in Pontiac. It will also be a good-paying project for Michigan workers.”

The project, a Warner Bros. production, was awarded an incentive of $12.1 million on $40.7 million in projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 461 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 170 jobs.

Alycia Debnam (The Occult, Dance Academy) and Arlen Escarpeta (The Client List, Final Destination 5) have been cast in lead roles for the project. To date in 2012, two projects have been awarded a total of $12.2 million on $41 million of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 495 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 171 jobs.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp. Film Review Committee, comprised of senior MEDC staff including the Michigan Film Commissioner, reviews all completed applications.

Using the statute to guide approval decisions, preference is given to projects that best meet the following criteria:

1. The production is financially viable.
2. Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, equipment rental, etc.).
3. The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production.
4. Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state as a tourist destination.
5. Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan.


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