The mission of FilmSPC’s Business Development Marketing Program (i.e., Cash Rebate Program) is to promote the St. Pete Clearwater area to the entertainment industry as a film production destination, supporting financially viable, high-production-value-films, television, music videos and digital media, contributing to Pinellas County’s tourism industry and local economy. FilmSPC’s Cash Rebate Program pays up to 10% on qualified expenditures, above- and below-the-line, occurring within Pinellas County’s 24 municipalities, and there is no spending minimum!

Recent films to utilize this cash rebate program are Tim Burton's Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, Hallmark Channel's Love in the Sun, and True Love Blooms, Epiphany, The FavoriteRandom Tropical Paradise, Paying Mr. McGetty and more.

Recent digital projects to receive the cash rebate are Rescue Clearwater, Smarter Every Day, Hovering a Helicopter is Hilariously Hard, Running with Violet, BTS, Barry Baker Aspiring Serial Killer, We the King's "Sad Song."

Testimonial Videos from Past Productions

The purpose of FilmSPC's Cash Rebate Program is to:

  • Attract filmmakers to Pinellas County;
  • Create employment opportunities for local crew and cast members;
  • Increase a production company's length of stay in Pinellas County, boosting the local economy;
  • Enhance Pinellas County's favorable profile among entertainment industry decision makers and independent content creators;

How do you apply for funding? Here's how

  1. Click here and request FilmSPC's Cash Rebate Program application.
  2. Based upon the information provided, the Film Commission will determine the cash rebate amount.
  3. The Film Commission will provide an initial cash rebate dollar amount to the applicant.
    1. The initial cash rebate dollar amount is determined by the monies spent locally and the production's traditional and social media marketing value.
    2. An estimate of a production's marketing value is based upon an evaluation by a third-party, i.e., Visit St. Pete Clearwater's advertising agency (read more about how a production's marketing value is evaluated below).
    3. Any business cash rebate funding disbursement is contingent upon a signed contract between the production company and Pinellas County. 
      1. Note: the production company's legal corporate name and mailing address that is listed on the application will be the same used as the payee information and where the check(s) will be sent, so please, make certain to use the correct corporate name and mailing address.
    4. The 10% cash rebate is based upon monies spent within Pinellas County, whether above- or below-the-line with no limits placed on spending.
    5. FilmSPC will provide the production company a sample expense report. The aforementioned expense report sample or another industry-standard accounting summary document must accompany all invoices and receipts.
  4. FilmSPC will provide a complete list of all contractually mandated deliverables, such as, but not limited to:
    1. Video testimonials from above-the-line cast, producer(s), director(s), etc., promoting the locations (cities or townships) where the production filmed;
    2. Permission to use the production's key-art and promotional images in FilmSPC marketing;
    3. "Thanks to" and FilmSPC's branding in the production's credits;
    4. A local media day or press junket;
    5. Permission and access to film behind-the-scenes video for FilmSPC's social media marketing;
    6. Inclusion in the production's marketing campaign, and;
    7. Permission to exhibit the film during a special, local premiere.

A production's cash rebate dollar amount may, in part, be determined by the production's traditional and social media marketing value. For example:

  • The portrayal of Pinellas County is favorable and is determined by a third-party to boost tourism;
  • Specific references to particular cities/townships, local natural attractions, landmarks or other significant key locations are showcased or otherwise highlighted;
  • A "thanks to" mention and FilmSPC's brand are included in the production's credits, as agreed to between parties;
  • Special appearances and testimonial videos by the production's principal cast or above-the-line crew, endorsing Pinellas County as a place to make movies or other digital content (used in FilmSPC's marketing);
  • Cooperation in joint public relations campaigns, promoting the production and Pinellas County;
  • Social media promotions, and;
  • A film premiere for the promotion of the production and Pinellas County for local residents.

Destination exposure and the production's marketing value will be evaluated by St. Pete Clearwater's advertising agency of record (i.e., the third-party).

What sort of timeline can a production expect for payment? That depends solely upon the production and is contingent upon accomplishing the following (see application for complete list of deliverables and required paperwork/forms):

  1. Upon receipt of the contract from the Film Commission, review the agreement between parties and communicate as quickly as possible any questions, comments or changes to the agreement.
    1. Make certain to review the production company's corporate name and mailing address as these will be used as the payee information and the address the cash rebate program check(s) will be sent.
  2. Wrap production.
    1. No business development funding payments will be made until after all filming is complete!
  3. Provide all receipts, invoices and any and all local line item expenses.
  4. FilmSPC internally reviews all documentation for approval.
  5. FilmSPC sends the production company's final agreement for execution (i.e., signature).
  6. All deliverables must be received, including agreements regarding location of screening, wording for credits, etc.
  7. Production company signs and submits an IRS Form W9 (if a non-US production, production company must sign and submit an IRS Form W8) and an invoice requesting cash rebate program payment(s).
  8. Once FilmSPC receives all completed expenditures containing invoices, receipts, etc., proof of all deliverables, the signed agreement, internal memorandums, completed forms showing local expenditures, FilmSPC will review and approve.
  9. The production company may receive payment in as little as 90 days* (or more) from acknowledgement of all completed items (*depends on how quickly and thoroughly the production submits application and all deliverables free of errors or omissions).