Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Machete" fails incentive test due to content

Machete Doesn't make Texas Proud

Robert Rodriguez's Austin-based Troublemaker film studio was recently denied incentives by the Texas Film Commission for it's motion picture "Machete". The movie, which deals with the issue of illegal immigration and Texas politics, was determined to have portrayed "Texas, or Texans in a negative fashion" and thus did not qualify for any grants it had applied for. 

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on the controversy as follows :
Several conservative bloggers have called the film inflammatory in light of growing tension over an Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration. And some are outraged that the Texas Film Commission may grant Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios tax incentives for shooting the film in the state.
"We need to get the funding at the state level stripped out of the film commission if they do not stop this," conservative radio host Alex Jones said.
Austin-based Troublemaker Studios applied for the tax incentives before the start of shooting. Under a state law passed in 2009, the Texas Film Commission can deny the incentives if a film includes content that's inappropriate or portrays Texas or Texans negatively. The commission is part of Perry's office.
"No film/production company can receive any state funding until we have reviewed the final product," said Allison Castle, a spokeswoman for Perry's office, in an e-mail. "At this time, no funds have been released to Troublemaker Studios."
Rodriguez helped draw more scrutiny to Machete on May 5 when he released a fake trailer that framed the movie as a kind of revenge fantasy for illegal immigrants. At the start of the trailer, star Danny Trejo says he has "a special Cinco de Mayo message to Arizona."
Rodriguez later said the trailer was a joke.

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