Three New Projects Approved for Incentives

The Film Commission is thrilled to announce the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) Board approval of three new projects for Utah state film incentives, generating a combined economic impact of 1.3 million and creating 242 local jobs.

Utah based documentary filmmaker Tyler Measom will begin production on Forger – a feature doc unraveling the complexities of the most prolific and dangerous document forger in history, Utah native Mark Hofmann. Though Measom has several distributed documentaries under his directorial belt, this will be the first he produces predominantly in Utah. “The Film Commission is recognizing that it isn’t just about supporting big narratives, it’s also about independent documentaries that originate here,” he says. “There is a burgeoning documentary community in Salt Lake, and a lot of the time we are forced to take our production and post-production out of state.  The incentive program enables us to keep the business in the state of Utah, instead of taking it to LA or New York, like I’ve done in the past.” Measom is directing and producing, with local producers Duane Anderson and JJ Neward.

Chantelle Squires makes her narrative directorial debut with Jane and Emma, the story of one of the first black Mormons, Sister Jane Manning, who returns to Nauvoo to find that her prophet and friend, Joseph Smith, has been assassinated.  The film follows Jane over the course of one long night, as she wonders if her prophet’s promises of inclusion have died along with him. Squires comments, “Jane and Emma is a historical drama, and it wouldn’t be possible to do justice to this film without the right budget.” She continues, “It means a lot to have so much support from the Utah Film Commission. Outside of the incentive, they have been so encouraging and supportive of independent filmmaking in Utah, and personally have gone above and beyond to help me with all of my film projects.” Squires will be working with producer Bryan Fillmore.

Director Garrett Batty’s Let’s Get Epic is a children’s sci-fi television pilot, about two inept online survival experts who, after accidentally thwarting a mutant rampaging alien in the desert, find themselves working for the government’s Department of Catastrophe to help stop the world’s M.I.A. (“Mayhem Inciting Anomalities”). Producers Melissa Cannon and Brad Johnson thanked the Film Commission, noting that, “with this incentive and the incredible talents, cast, and crew that we find here, we can keep making movies in Utah, and show off the beauty and talent found in this great state!” Charan Prabhakar and Jake VanWagoner are also producers on the series.

All three directors are first time recipients of the incentive program, and the projects selected represent the Film Commission’s commitment to supporting local talent and fostering the diversity of stories emerging from Utah’s growing film industry.

Contributing writer, Diana Whitten, writes, makes art, and directs film.