ATLANTA (AP) -- Atlanta city officials announced Thursday that the city has established a department to support its expanding film industry.
An ordinance recently approved by the Atlanta City Council established the city's first Office of Entertainment. The office is designed to help streamline the film permit application process, create production-related educational and training opportunities, safeguard residents and businesses impacted by film production, and help filmmakers hire local talent.
The recent legislation also simplifies permit requirements and eliminates most fees, city officials said.
The newly created department will also partner with the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office to market the city as a leader in the film, culture and entertainment fields.
"The film industry creates a range of well-paying jobs for residents and introduces a major new revenue stream for local business owners," Mayor Kasim Reed said in a news release. "I am especially pleased that new film, television and video projects will enhance our city's cultural milieu by bringing and developing talent from across the film industry."
The State of Georgia increased state tax credits in 2008 to 30 percent for certain motion picture, television, commercial, music video, interactive game and animation productions.
State officials estimate that the entertainment industry made a $3 billion economic impact in 2012. State officials also estimate that of the more than 250 productions filmed in Georgia last year, at least 75 percent of them were filmed in the metro Atlanta area.
It wasn't immediately clear Thursday when the department would begin operating.