Dear Film Florida Members, Stakeholders and Friends~

For the 2024 Legislative Session, Film Florida’s legislative priority was to retain the Entertainment Industry Sales Tax Exemption Program (STE). Mission Accomplished!

All signs pointed to another effort to repeal the STE program this session. Due to the targeted meetings our Board of Directors had in Tallahassee, the continued strong support from the Florida Senate and MOST importantly, the effort was bolstered by the 300+ letters from many of you, repeal of the STE never gained momentum. For 2+ years now, we have talked about being ready to defend the Sales Tax Exemption Program. I am immensely proud of the effort put forth for the last 2+ years and our ability to save the STE.

Now with the 2024 Legislative Session behind us, we immediately look forward. One thing is clear, any effort to improve our industry’s standing in Tallahassee requires help from everyone. Sitting back and relying on others or waiting for someone else to do the work is not an option. Reaching out to us the week before the 2025 Legislative Session asking what you can do is not enough. The time to step up is now! The industry’s work must begin now!

This is an election year. 140 seats (of the 160) in the Florida Legislature are up for election. Both the Florida House and Florida Senate will have new Leadership. We STRONGLY URGE you to get involved and engaged with your local candidates and legislators. June through October is THE BEST time to meet with your local legislators, while they are at home. Starting June 1, you are welcome to send your home address to info@FilmFlorida.org and we’ll look up your candidates and give you the info to reach out to them to tell your story. Local constituents telling local stories and building local relationships are much more important than 100+ e-mails from faceless people during legislative session. Some of our strongest supporters in the Florida Legislature have come from recent election cycles. Another positive cycle of meetings and building relationships will go a long way to achieving our goals as an industry. We’re asking for 1-2 hours of time from each of you over the next six months to help shape our future. Be the solution!

What can you do to help? PLEASE JOIN FILM FLORIDA. Building relationships with other groups and organizations to help our efforts requires resources. Having a lobbying firm on retainer requires resources. Sending our Executive Director to Tallahassee multiple times a year requires resources. Film Florida is funded entirely by our membership so our ability to work on behalf of the industry is completely dependent upon the support we receive through membership.

If we don’t have enough ongoing support from the industry, there are no financial resources available to do EVERYTHING we need to do to fight for legislation that is needed and fight against legislation that will hurt the industry. If you think it’s important that we continue all our efforts, we need everyone to do their part in joining Film Florida. Student memberships are $25 per year, individual memberships are $75 per year, and full corporate memberships start at $500 per year. We know all of you care, we know all of you want better for our industry. Help us help your livelihoods.

Thank you again for your continued support over the last few months of the Legislative Session. We hope we can count on your support going forward, not just for legislative issues but for everything Film Florida does. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions.

Sincerely,
Sandy Lighterman
President, Film Florida