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Puerto Rico announces $11.4 million investment with ‘Imprisoned’

By on June 8, 2017

SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced Thursday the creation of 739 direct and 2,032 indirect jobs with the filming of “Imprisoned” in Puerto Rico, a production for which $11.4 million are expected to be invested in the local economy.

During a press conference held in Old San Juan’s San Cristóbal Fort, one of the production’s stages, the governor welcomed the cast of the film, led by actors Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix”), Juan Pablo Raba (“Narcos”) and Edward James Olmos (“Battlestar Galactica”). The movie will also be filmed in other areas in Old San Juan, Miramar, Piñones, Dorado, Vega Alta and Caguas.

“This is one of six movies that are being filmed in different stages in Puerto Rico. This will represent exactly $75 million in five months for the economy of Puerto Rico. We multiply that in jobs and we are talking about 5,000 direct and indirect jobs,” said Puerto Rican producer Luillo Ruiz, who along with Tom Sperry and Holly Levow is producing “Imprisoned.” The film was written and being directed by Paul Kampf.

The other five productions being filmed on the island are “Speed Kills” with John Travolta (“Wild Dogs”); “Ana” with Puerto Rican Luis Guzmán (“Narcos”) and Dafne Keen (“Logan”); the story of John DeLorean with Jason Sudeikis (“Horrible Bosses”), Lee Pace (“The Hobbit”) and Timothy Olyphant (“The Girl Next Door”); “Felonies” and the TV series “The Oath” from Sony Entertainment for Crackle.

Treasury Secretary Raúl Maldonado stressed the importance the government has given film industry incentives, which have resulted in an increasing number of locally produced works. To a Caribbean Business question, Maldonado confirmed that more than $10 million in incentives of this type have been granted this year, but are not disbursed until after production ends and the investment and jobs created are evaluated.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló welcomed the cast of “Imprisoned,” led by Edward James Olmos, Laurence Fishburne and Juan Pablo Raba. (Courtesy)

Productions can benefit from incentives ranging from 10% to 25% of the investment, which in the case of “Imprisoned” would be of $1.14 million to $2.85 million. Maldonado added that local productions such as “Pepo pa’l Senado,” “Una boda en Castañer,” “El hombre cuida,” the series “Incógnita” have also supported as well as credits for the only post-production company on the island Reaktor Facility.

“With great joy, I want to announce today that the Department of the Treasury has granted tax credits that had taken years for local producers … We are commited not only to attract foreign investment, but also to local investment,” the Treasury chief said, adding that incentives for such productions as “23 hours,” “Sagrada familia,” “Réplicas” and the series “Mad Dog,” have also been granted.

“I had never worked in Puerto Rico. I didn’t know what to expect. I am happy to say that our work team is one of the most professional with whom I have had the opportunity to work,” said Fishburne, who did not rule out returning to the island for other productions.

Olmos, in turn, stressed the importance of placing Hispanic figures in American cinema. “Latinos are more than 20% of the population of the United States … [but] we represent less than 4% of the images that are seen on television and theaters in the United States … The more films that can be brought, the more Puerto Rico grows,” said the actor who played Prof. Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver.”

“Imprisoned,” which began filming on May 15 and will continue shooting for six weeks, is the story of an alleged murderer and his wife’s ordeal to achieve freedom.

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