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Tax Credits and Incentives for Film [1.5 hrs. California MCLE credit available]

  • Monday, March 03, 2014
  • 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
  • Ken Edwards Center, 1527 4th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401


  • $20 at the door
  • $35 at the door
  • $15 at the door
  • $30 at the door
  • $25 at the door w/ DGA ID
  • $35 at the door
  • $50 at the door
  • $25 at the door w/ PGA ID
  • $25 at the door with WiF ID

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Tax Credits and Incentives for Film
[1.5 hrs. California MCLE credit available]
w/ Kimberly Lewis Robinson, Esq., Nikki Barbanell, Esq., & José Martinez, Jr., Esq.

Join California Lawyers for the Arts for an informational seminar about movie production incentives!

Movie production incentives are tax benefits offered on a state-by-state basis throughout the United States to encourage in-state film production. State film incentives refund or rebate a qualified portion of the money spent in the state back to the production.  These incentives came about in the 1990s in response to the flight of movie productions to other countries such as Canada. Since then, states have offered increasingly competitive incentives to lure productions away from other states. The structure, type, and size of the incentives vary from state to state.

Production Incentives are offered as cash rebates, tax credits, or up-front/back-end production funding. In addition, numerous jurisdictions offer sales, use, excise, and gross receipts tax relief in the forms of deductions, credits, exemptions, and waivers. A number of jurisdictions also offer incentives for commercial advertisement, digital programming, post-production, video game production, animation, and other production types.  Governments have long used incentives to foster economic growth, build infrastructure, and create jobs. Incentives are used to attract industries that are viewed as important to the local community.

This seminar is at an advanced level and tailored for the legal community; however, filmmakers, producers, and students are all welcome to attend!


Kimberly Lewis Robinson is a partner in the Jones Walker's Tax & Estates Practice Group. Her practice is primarily focused on state and local tax matters, including tax and business planning, tax incentives, appeals, audits, tax litigation and appeal, tax controversies, and state and local tax statutes. Ms. Robinson's practice also includes the areas of economic development financing and incentives and government relations. 

Before joining Jones Walker, she served as special counsel for the Office of the Governor of the State of Louisiana, where she provided legal counsel to Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco. During her tenure with the governor, Ms. Robinson served as a liaison to the Departments of Revenue and Economic Development, and served as senior policy adviser on economic development, insurance, and revenue policy. Ms. Robinson also worked for six years in the Louisiana Department of Revenue, serving as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Legal Affairs and Confidential Assistant to the Secretary. From 1998–2000, she served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Justice Bernette J. Johnson, Louisiana Supreme Court.

Nikki Barbanell is special counsel in Jones Walker's Business and Commercial Transactions and Entertainment Law Practice Groups. Ms. Barbanell was a co-founder of Martinez Barbanell LLP, a boutique law firm, which focused on the financing, production, and distribution of independent motion pictures.

She began her legal career in the Motion Picture Legal Department of Paramount Pictures, where she worked on notable Paramount titles such as J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek and M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender. Thereafter, Ms. Barbanell was an attorney for an independent production and distribution company, where she helped produce a Sundance 2010 pick for dramatic competition.

Ms. Barbanell earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor is Urban Studies from the University of Tampa, and her juris doctor degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

José Martinez, Jr. is special counsel in the Jones Walker's Business and Commercial Transactions and Entertainment Law Practice Groups. Prior to joining Jones Walker, Mr. Martinez co-founded Martinez Barbanell LLP and represented distributors, investors, lenders, producers, and talent in all facets of development, production, finance, acquisition, and distribution of film, music, and entertainment.

He worked as special counsel for The Marshall Firm and also worked with Palm Pictures as co-founder of Arthouse Films, which distributes and produces 10 titles a year. In 2007, he became General Counsel of Maya Cinemas North America, Inc., a developer of state-of-the art movie theaters in the State of California and the western United States. In 2008, he co-founded a mini studio dedicated to the production, acquisition, and distribution of Latino themed entertainment content and served as General Counsel, President, and Head Acquisitions. Mr. Martinez is also a founder of, an on-line entertainment news source viewed through a Hispanic lens. In addition to Mr. Martinez’s legal duties, he has also co-produced a number of motion pictures and co-founded the Santa Fe Film Festival. 

Mr. Martinez received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Theory from the University of California, Los Angeles and his juris doctor degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Parking information

Free event parking is available underneath/behind the Ken Edwards Center building; however, if parking is full affordable parking is available in Santa Monica city parking structures surrounding the 3rd Street promenade.

These workshops are made possible, in part, from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; The City of Los Angeles, Department of Cultural Affairs; and the California Community Foundation.  Additional support provided by the California Arts Council.  



California Lawyers for the Arts is a tax exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit and your donation is tax deductible as a charitable contribution to the fullest extent of the law.  State Bar LRS Certificate #0021.

MCLE Provider # 1248.

The information provided on this website is not legal advice. You should consult with an attorney for individual advice regarding your legal matters.

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