I would like to respond to a recent article on the film tax credits whereupon the Public Affairs Research Council was quoted on several issues regarding the tax credits as well as other information pertaining to those credits.
While the PAR report contained many salient points, my specific issue is with the characterization of film programs in the state of Louisiana. The PAR report was quoted as saying, “If the state is truly going to be a player in the movie production game, it should have a top-notch film school.” Though woefully underfunded, the University of New Orleans has nationally recognized film and theater programs. We are the only university in the country to have an ongoing relationship with the American Film Institute, an accomplished faculty whose members have worked in the industry, our own film studio, state-of-the-art film equipment, internships with every major industry project in the New Orleans area and the only 2014 Student Academy Award nominee in the region.
My question for the PAR is, what do you consider “top-notch?” I would humbly suggest that a top-notch program exists and has existed for many years at UNO. Of course, we’re as interested in “direct investment” as anyone, but we pride ourselves on having managed to maintain a program of distinction even during excessive budgetary challenges.
David W. Hoover
chairman, Department of Film and Theatre, University of New Orleans