South Jersey launches film cooperative, with aspirations of making it premier destination for film and TV production

Commissioner Director Lou Cappelli of Camden County and Deputy Director Heather Simmons of Gloucester County joined industry leaders Monday to launch South Jersey’s first joint film office. The South Jersey Film Office Cooperative will assist with permitting, scouting and other services for film productions.

The launch event for this new cooperative was held at the Hill Theatre Studio in Paulsboro.

Officials said drawing film and TV production to South Jersey would help spur local economies, create jobs and opportunities, not to mention that the communities within Camden and Gloucester counties are suited to be the backdrop for almost any type of production. Each county features diverse environments, including idyllic main streets, bustling urban centers, untouched forests, manicured parks, historic estates, rolling farmlands and much more.

“We are always looking for ways to bring new employment and economic opportunities to Camden County, and the South Jersey Film Cooperative is one way to do that,” Cappelli said in a prepared statement. “Camden County has a unique geography that can serve as the setting to a variety of film projects. Whether it’s the urban backdrop on the Delaware River or the rural terrain in the Pine Barrens, Camden County has much to offer, and we’re overjoyed to embark on this new venture.”

The South Jersey Film Office Cooperative was created to benefit both the communities within Camden and Gloucester counties as well as visiting production companies.

For the community, it is a unique opportunity for promotion and exposure with multiple economic impacts to the region. For the production, the New Jersey Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program provides an incentive for credit against the corporation business tax for the production of films and digital media.

“The South Jersey Film Office Cooperative will bring an extraordinary amount of opportunity to all Southern New Jersey, as we look forward to welcoming participation from our neighboring counties,” Simmons said. “The economic benefits of bringing productions to both counties are endless. It will help stimulate growth and create employment opportunities across the industry.”

In 2020, Gov. Phil Murphy expanded the New Jersey Film & Digital Media Tax Credit Program through 2028, which he originally signed into law in July 2018.

The effort is fueled by a state tax credit program that could reimburse up to 35% of the costs spent on services provided by New Jersey businesses. The new office plans to work with the state’s Economic Development Authority and Motion Picture and TV Commission to help promote the development of soundstages and other permanent facilities to continue to grow the industry.