While the Capital Area Finance Authority is likely best known for its work with homebuyers, the organization has a broader mission to promote economic development in the region.
CAFA is looking to get involved in helping to back local film projects, following a model that has worked in Lafayette, and may use a similar approach to help promote historic redevelopment. 
Under the state’s film incentive program, producers can get state income tax credits worth up to 40% of the amount they spend making the show. But they don’t get the credits until after state officials verify the qualified spending, and independent film productions often need cash to finish the project.
Here’s where CAFA, or another lender or financer, can come in. Film credits are no longer transferable, but a producer can name a designee for the credits. 
CAFA discussed such an arrangement with Covington-based producer Daniel Lewis for a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie. The finance authority would have provided up-front cash flow in exchange for 10% of the value of the credits. 
Lewis says the deal didn’t work out because CAFA’s mission would have dictated shooting in the Capital Region, and Hallmark hadn’t yet approved his shooting locations. But he endorses the concept, and Mark Drennen, the finance authority’s president and CEO, says CAFA is interested in pursuing similar deals for other productions.
Drennan also says similar arrangements could be explored regarding historic tax credits, issued to promote redevelopment of older buildings. 
My Southern Family Christmas, shot and set in Sorrento with additional shooting in Baton Rouge, is set to premiere on the Hallmark Channel on Thanksgiving night.


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