Oprah Winfrey’s upcoming Disney film is among the 28 beneficiaries named in the latest round of California’s Film and Television tax credits, which were announced Tuesday by the California Film Commission.

“A Wrinkle in Time,” could bring $85 million in qualified spending to California, according to the Film Commission. The novel-to-film adaptation will see Winfrey starring as Mrs. Which, a woman guiding a group of children on their journey across time to search for their missing father.

“A growing number of filmmakers are discovering that it is not only artistically satisfying to make movies in Hollywood — it’s fiscally wise,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “Both studios and independent production companies, many of which haven’t filmed a project here in years, are working in L.A. again thanks to the California Film & Television Tax Credit Program 2.0, which will generate an estimated $3 billion in direct in-state spending – and counting.”

Among the other beneficiaries are feature films from Netflix, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate Entertainment, and New Line Productions. In-state spending for the 28 projects reportedly amounts to $880 million, including $326 million in wages for below-the-line crew members – crewmembers aside from actors, directors, producers, and writers.

The film is the tax credit program’s first big-budget film project. The program’s first iteration did not accept projects with budgets greater than $75 million. Program 2.0, on the other hand, is open to film projects with any budget, but credits are capped and only apply to each studio-produced film’s first $100 million in qualified spending.

“Large-scale feature films like ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ are among the most at-risk for runaway production,” said Amy Lemisch, California Film Commission’s executive director.

According to the Film Commission’s statement, nearly 400 cast and crew members will be employed thanks to the Disney project, and an expected $44 million will be paid to crewmembers in addition to the wages paid to actors, directors, producers, and writers.

Disney’s big-budget film isn’t the only sign of the tax credit program’s focused efforts.

The new program comes with a minimum allocation set aside to ensure there are tax credits available for independent features. Ten of the awarded films were independent, compared to eighteen that were not.

The amended program offers an additional five percent tax credit for non-independent projects that shoot outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Zone, a 30-mile radius used by union film projects to determine working rates.

Five projects shooting extensively outside the Los Angeles 30-Mile Zone are among the tax credit recipients, including Winfrey’s upcoming film and a new addition to the “Friday the 13th” series.

Staff reporter Jonathan Ponciano can be reached at jponciano@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @jon_ponciano.

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