City Holds Hearings on $300 Film Permits

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Low-budget New York City filmmakers are worried about a new $300 film permit charge. The filmmakers say the one-time charge is a drop in the bucket for productions with multimillion dollar budgets, but a student film's total budget may not exceed $300.

"Ninety percent of our students not only do not have trust funds, but they have jobs to support themselves, they take on massive debt," said Richard Brick, a film and television producer on Columbia’s graduate film program's faculty. "So, I would say they’re among the most impoverished educated people in the country."

The Mayor's Office of Film Theatre & Broadcasting says that the new permit fees can be waived for applicants who demonstrate unreasonable hardship.

A public hearing on the new $300 fee is scheduled for Thursday.