Physical Address: 4265 San Felipe Street, Suite 1100, Houston, Texas 77027
Mailing Address: Box 22091, Houston Texas 77227
Email Us: info@samhoustonswfilmfund.com

Press Releases

SAM HOUSTON FILM STUDIOS IN FINAL DISCUSSIONS

Houston’s own film and TV studio complex considers University of Houston’s campus

for its home base

HOUSTON, TX (June 21, 2019) – The University of Houston is in final discussions with the Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund for the location of the Fund’s proposed Sam Houston Film Studios complex on approximately 17.5 acres of University land located on its main campus.

The proposed building site is adjacent to the University’s Jack J. Valenti School of Communication and would include a new, four-story parking structure for both University and Studio use with space for up to 600 vehicles.

The proposal under discussion remains subject to final approval by The Texas State University System’s Board of Regents. Other possible locations under consideration include sites in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio.

Current designs for Sam Houston Film Studios boast five sound stages, adjacent workshop facilities, production offices, dressing rooms, conference rooms, rehearsal studios, editing suites, screening rooms, as well as flex space to accommodate any size film or TV production.

“Having a strategic alliance with a state-of-the-art motion picture studio complex right here on campus would bring incredible added value to the University’s School of Communication,” exclaimed former Board of Regents Chairman Welcome W. Wilson, Sr. “It would also greatly benefit the city of Houston by attracting a larger workforce to the area while growing the local economy.”

Sam Houston’s EVP Production and Development Steven Jon Whritner added, “The motion picture industry is a global, $40 billion dollar a year business. We believe it’s about time Texas, and Houston in particular, got a larger slice of the pie. Our wish is to attract more quality production to the state and the economic benefits that go along with it by offering the finest infrastructure and talent available. If we can accomplish this mission while enhancing what the University of Houston has to offer its students and faculty, so much the better.”

Similar strategic alliances between major film studios and universities exist across the U.S., including University of Southern California’s relationship with 20th Century Fox; the New York Film Academy’s satellite operation on Universal Studios’ lot; and Brooklyn College’s Graduate School of Cinema’s partnership with the newly expanded Steiner Studios in New York City.

In addition to the University of Houston having direct access to Sam Houston Film Studios’ facilities whenever production space is available, PBS station KUHT and NPR’s KUHF, which currently share offices and studio space in the Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting on the University’s campus, would relocate their operations to the newly constructed studio complex.

Developer for Sam Houston Studios is currently anticipated to be Gerald D. Hines, with Texas based SpawGlass anticipated to be the project’s Architectural Engineer and Project Manager.

The Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund was established to promote film and TV production in the State of Texas and throughout the Southwest region of the United States.

For more information regarding the Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund or Sam Houston Film Studios, contact info@samhoustonswfilmfund.com.

Sam Houston SW Film Investment Fund congratulates Derek Hill, Board Adviser of the Fund

Sam Houston SW Film Investment Fund congratulates Derek Hill, Board Adviser of the Fund for with his latest Emmy nominated work on “Ozark”.

Stowe Story Labs Sets Sam Houston First-Look Deal

HOUSTON, TX and STOWE, VT (September 2018) – Stowe Story Labs and Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund have agreed to a first-look deal covering potential financing and development of original screenplays and teleplays written by or being developed by Lab participants and further developed during Stowe’s popular annual Fall Narrative Lab and Writers’ Retreats.

The pact was made between David Rocchio, Stowe Story Labs Founder and President, and Steven Jon Whritner, Sam Houston’s Executive Vice President, Production and Development, during this year’s Fall Narrative Lab, held over four days from September 8-11, at the Helen Day Art Center in Stowe, Vermont. The new partnership provides Sam Houston a right of first refusal on select scripts curated by Stowe Story Labs and fitting Sam Houston’s exacting submission requirements.

Now in its sixth year of operation, Stowe Story Labs is a non-profit that brings emerging screenwriters, filmmakers and creative producers from around the world together with seasoned, working industry professionals to help get work made and seen. The Lab pairs attendees with top industry mentors, such as Academy Award® nominated creative producer Amy Hobby and Academy Award® nominated screenwriter David Magee. The Labs’ industry sponsors include SAGIndie, Seed&Spark, the Page International Screenwriting Awards, Tangerine Entertainment, and Final Draft.

“We are excited to partner with Sam Houston,” said Rocchio. “We help nurture some of the world’s best talents,” he said, “and by now working with Sam Houston we have another powerful tool to help these artists to bring their visions to life.”

“The Labs are the film industry’s best-kept secret, but not for long,” said Whritner. “Participants are drawn to Stowe both for its inspirational, scenic beauty and the meaningful program put together by the Labs. Participants come away with the tools to enhance their work and jumpstart their careers. There’s simply no better creative incubator than Stowe Story Labs,” he said.

Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund is chartered to promote filmmaking in the Southwest region of the United States, while fostering creative talent and bringing quality entertainment to a global audience. Through strategic alliances with leading production entities such as Cross Creek Pictures and Lynmar Entertainment, Sam Houston provides financing for every phase of content creation, from development through production and distribution.

For more information regarding the Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund, please contact Steven Jon Whritner at (646) 335-2643 or go to samhoustonswfilmfund.com. For information regarding Stowe Story Labs, contact David Rocchio at (802) 279-1258 or visit stowestorylabs.org.

The SHSWFI Fund has ceased and suspended further construction on the new studio

Antoine Fuqua has finished filming of the remake of "THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN" with Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt in lead roles, that is planned for release in September 2016. Antoine reports to that this new film was the most challenging to direct and may be his greatest work to date. MGM and Sony have produced and the Fund has offered P&A financing. Sam Houston Southwest Film Investment Fund continues to support Antoine as one of the best directors of today.

Sam Houston Film Studio Ground Breaking

SHSWFIF breaks ground on new state-of-the-art 5 sound stage film and TV facility; 17 miles south of Austin in Kyle, TX; located at "Studio Estates" off I-35.
Civil engineering is funded and will be completed by the first week of September, and civil works will start soon thereafter with pads and foundations on site by December. Funding being provided by the SHSWFIF LLC in conjunction with a real estate developer EB5. SpawGlass constructions of Austin are the general contractors, and the land owner will be doing the civil works and utilities.
Opening is set for December 2015, and will be Texas first multipurpose film and TV studio. Talks are underway with the University of Texas to provide educational support and development for local talent.

Pushing for The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program funding

Steve Hill, MD of SHSWFIF, meets with Texas Speaker of the House, Speaker Straus, to push for replenishing the film and TV Tax Incentives fund by $100MM. Hill represented case tieing the funding of the new film studio to the continuation of the "Texas Rebate Program" for films produced in Texas. The new Texas studio will open December 2015.

California Productions look to Texas

For the first time, there’s a calculation of just how much coin California is losing as a result of runaway production — and it’s not a pretty picture.

According to the California Film Commission, the state has lost $2 billion in production spending since 2010.

The org’s just-released annual report on the state’s production tax-credit incentives includes an analysis of the fate of the hundreds of projects that applied for the credit but were denied via the commission’s lottery system. The report showed that in the most recent fiscal year, the 326 projects that failed to receive the credit went on to spend $211 million in California, and an eyebrow-raising $1.02 billion — or 83% of their total spending — outside the Golden State.

“The report just reinforces what we hear every day,” says Amy Lemisch, exec director of the commission. “Incentives are among the most important factors in where a project is shot.”

JULY 29, 2014 | 04:00PM PT

Dave McNary

Film Reporter@Variety_DMcNary
 
 

The Sam Houston South West Film Fund Endorses TrueSpark

Charity Helping At-Risk Youth Through Inspiring Movies 

 

"The Sam Houston Film studio in Austin, Texas whole healthy endorses and stands be bind this long over due and needed initiative". "No child should be at risk in this county". "We hope more will follow as our industry so sadly needs more initiatives like this" Steve Hill Executive Director and CEO

 

To view the TrueSpark trailer use the password: Rudy

TrueSpark Building the Foundation from TrueSpark on Vimeo.

 

To endorse TrueSpark, simply follow this link: 

http://www.truespark.org/endorse-truespark.html#.U3t8aqUw0ds

MOU for cooperation signed with Cross Creek Pictures

Steve Hill: CEO of Sam Houston SW Film Investment Fund LLC has signed an MOU for cooperation in the areas of 'film equity' and 'P&A financing' with CROSS CREEK Pictures CEO - Timmy Thompson. Both Companies bring credibility, experience  and their joint funding capacities to select projects.  Steve Hill says: " Working with an experienced team such as Brian Oliver and Timmy Thompson is a real honor" in light of their last films success of which the most note worthy was "Black Swan", "The Ides of March" and "Rush". "We hope this will allow the parties to combine the best of both companies; and be able to offer Hollywood a lower costs and better managed Production and Distribution process at one stop". The Fund wants to provide support to CROSS CREEK on their next films. Sam Houston Film Studio expects to open in Austin at the end of 2015 and make it available to CROSS CREEK and other production companies.

50 acres of land have been secured near Austin, TX

SHSWFIF has secured the land 20 miles south of Austin International Airport. The construction funding has been offered and accepted from a major developer in Houston and subject to permitting and civil engineering being completed in next 90 days. Construction of state of art 5 sound stages studio is expected to start summer 2014 and open Q4 2015. The Fund plans to place 2 feature films in the studio annually and will seek other production tenants to provide the investors with full utilization of the facility supporting the production of films in Texas. 

State of Texas passes tax incentive bill to support films in Texas with a 95 Mil Allocation

PRODUCTION INCENTIVE

The Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program offers qualifying productions the opportunity to receive a payment of 5% to 17.5% of eligible Texas spending or 8% to 29.25% of eligible wages paid to Texas residents, depending on budget levels and types of productions, upon completion of a review of their Texas expenditures.
 
More here: http://governor.state.tx.us/film/incentives/miiip

TAX EXEMPTIONS & REFUNDS

Texas also offers:
  • Up-front Sales Tax Exemptions on most items rented or purchased for direct use in production;
  • Refunds of the 6% State Occupancy Tax on hotel rooms occupied for more than 30 consecutive days;
  • Refunds on Fuel Tax paid on fuel used off-road.

A UNIQUE INCENTIVE: TEXAS CREW

One of Texas' strongest assets is its depth of crew for film and television projects. Very few other states can match it: on most features shot in Texas, nearly 80% of the jobs are filled locally. That saves on housing, transportation and per diem, and these are not trainees, but experienced professionals who get it right the first time.

FEDERAL TAX INCENTIVES

The information below is provided by the Directors Guild of America and the Independent Film & Television Alliance. It should not be viewed as tax advice with respect to your production activities. The Texas Film Commission does not have further information about these federal tax incentives and cannot advise you on how they may apply to your production. For such advice, consult with your tax advisor.

Sneak preview of the new Sam Houston Film Studio in Texas, Opening in 2020

 

The "Olympus Has Fallen" trailer released on Apple iTunes Movie Trailers

When the White House (Secret Service Code: "Olympus") is captured by a terrorist mastermind and the President is kidnapped, disgraced former Presidential guard Mike Banning finds himself trapped within the building. As our national security team scrambles to respond, they are forced to rely on Banning's inside knowledge to help retake the White House, save the President, and avert an even bigger disaster.

Click below to view the trailer, now on iTunes Movie Trailers

Fund seeks lobbyist to push Film Tax Credit

Discussions are underway to appoint the Texas based law firm - Baker Botts - as the 'registered lobbyist' for the SHSW Film Investment Fund. An engagement letter has been signed with the law firm - Gardere LLC. - to draft the new 'Texas Film Credit Legislation'.

Antoine Fuqua’s OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN, Starring Gerard Butler; Film to Open March 22th, 2013.

FilmDistrict Acquires US Distribution Rights For Olympus Has Fallen Starring Gerard Butler.

 

Film to be released wide in the US on April 5, 2013

Los Angeles, October 26, 2012 – FilmDistrict announced today that it has acquired US distribution rights to Millennium Films’ OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart and Morgan Freeman and directed by Antoine Fuqua (TRAINING DAY). FilmDistrict plans to release the film wide on April 5, 2013.

OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN is an action thriller starring Gerard Butler, a disgraced Secret Service agent who is called back to duty when the White House is taken over by terrorists.  The movie also stars Angela Bassett, Robert Forster, Cole Hauser, Ashley Judd, Melissa Leo, Dylan McDermott, Radha Mitchell and Rick Yune.

The film is written by Creighton Rothenberger and Katrin Benedikt and produced by Fuqua, Butler, Alan Diegel, Ed Cathell III, Danny Lerner and Mark Gill. The executive producers are Avi Lerner, Danny Dimbort, Trevor Short, Boaz Davidson, John Thompson and Heidi Jo Markel.

FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel stated, “Olympus is a great action thriller that will keep audiences guessing and on the edge of their seat.  Everyone at FilmDistrict is happy to be in business again with Avi, Mark and the team at Millennium and with a film starring Gerry Butler, who also stars in PLAYING FOR KEEPS.”

Houston... Endeavour goes to Hollywood

FA18 view of Space Shuttle Endeavour's flyover Southern California. This video starts over Ventura and goes down the coast past Malibu to LAX and beyond.

SAM HOUSTON SW Film Investment Fund LLC Reaches Agreement with CAA Creative Artist Agency of Los Angeles

The SAM HOUSTON SW Film Investment Fund LLC has reached agreement with CAA (Creative Artists Agency) of Los Angeles to represent the company and its fund on film investments and the placements of P&A financing through the CAA Film Investment Group. Negotiations are underway to place 12 Million with Sony on to support the P&A for Olympus Has Fallen that was recently completed by Millennium Studios at Shreveport, Louisiana.  CAA will also be representing the Fund with Xian Qujiang Film and TV Investment Group, and CFG in China for the production of the full feature film about the Tang Dynasty to be released in 2014. 

Agreements have been reached with Derek Hill and Antoine Fuqua

Agreements have been reached with Derek Hill (world famous Artistic Film Director) and Antoine Fuqua (World famous top ranked Film Director) to co-own and manage a new Studio to be built in Austin Texas. 

Plans for a "Full Feature Film Studio" in Austin Texas are Underway

Funds submit Plans, Drawings and a Full application to the State of Texas for a 12 Mil Grant to fund the acquisition and building of a new "Full Feature Film Studio" in Austin Texas.  Opening is planned for 2014. 

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