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Posted on Fri, Sep 30, 2011 : 11:20 a.m.

College basketball movie 'Gametime' wins state incentive, plans Ann Arbor filming

By Staff

LANSING - The Michigan Film Office announced today that the feature film "Gametime" has been approved for a film incentive from the state.

The movie follows a pair of college basketball stars and is expected to shoot in metro Detroit, Ann Arbor and East Lansing, MFO said. It will also feature cameos from former collegiate and professional basketball players and coaches from Michigan universities.

“This project combines great Michigan locations with some of Michigan’s beloved sports icons making it a great opportunity to showcase our state,” Carrie Jones, director of the Michigan Film Office, said in a prepared statement. “With post production work being done at Kinetic Post in Southfield and nearly all the cast and crew being hired from right here in the state, this is a solidly Michigan-based production.”

"Gametime" was awarded an incentive of $498,868 on $1,187,780 of projected in-state expenditures. The project is expected to hire 59 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 10 jobs, MFO said.

Michigan State University basketball star Delvon Roe and actor Beau Mirchoff have been cast to play high school teammates Malik and John. As described by MFO, "As the two enter the world of big-time college athletics, they begin to look more cynically at the money being made by others as a result of their performance on the basketball court. Through its main characters, and cameo appearances, the film explores the controversy and struggle surrounding player compensation in high profile collegiate sports."

The screenplay for "Gametime" was written by University of Michigan graduates Gabe Burnstein and David M. Anderson. The music supervisor will be Michigan musician Denaun Porter. It will be directed by Larry August, the founder of Royal Oak-based Avalon Films, and produced by Robert Kortsen Jr. and Jeffrey Spilman.

In 2011, 20 projects have been approved with $24,078,687 in incentives being awarded on $57,888,357 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 1,857 Michigan hires with a full time equivalent of 387 jobs, MFO said.

All applications for film incentives receive a thorough review by a Michigan Economic Development Corporation committee. Preference is given to projects that best meet the following criteria:

1. The production is financially viable. 2. Utilization of existing infrastructure (studios, post-production facilities, film labs, etc.). 3. The number and wage levels of direct jobs for Michigan residents created by a production. 4. Ability to show Michigan in a positive light and promote the state as a tourist destination. 5. Magnitude of estimated expenditures in Michigan.

The film incentive program is jointly administered by the Michigan Film Office and the Department of Treasury and all projects must be approved in concurrence with the state treasurer.

Since the incentives took effect in April 2008, the Film Office and the Department of Treasury have approved a total of $385,144,501 in film incentives on $979,261,461 in total qualified expenditures by productions in Michigan. This represents 225 projects that have been approved to date, including 155 projects that have actually wrapped in the state.