Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"The Fifth Mafia" to be filmed in Grand Rapids

How very cool.

A gangster drama starring Joe Mantegna dubbed "The Fifth Mafia" is to begin shooting in Grand Rapids this summer, the first to take advantage of a new state bill, signed by Gov. Jennifer Granholm this month, offering a 42 percent refundable business tax credit for movie production costs incurred in Michigan.

"We'll be shooting there in mid-to-late June," said Norita May, associate producer of "The Fifth Mafia," calling from the film's production office in Valencia, Calif.

How very lucrative.

State Rep. Michael Sak, D-Grand Rapids, revealed details about "The Fifth Mafia" at the Michigan Lodging and Tourism Conference at the Amway Grand Plaza on Monday. He spoke at a question-and-answer session about how government can boost tourism in the state.

"Just in lodging, you've got $600,000 worth of heads on pillows," Sak said about hotel bookings for cast and production crew of the film. "The Fifth Mafia" has a budget between $5 million and $10 million, Sak said.

That's one. 84 more projects are sitting in the Michigan Film Office waiting for review.