'Frozen Ground' awarded $6.3 million, few new features in view

Kyle Hopkins

Despite a 10-year, $200 million extension of the state film subsidy program, this summer has been a slow one for new Alaska film projects.

You’ve got the small-budget indie “Wildlike” now filming. “Hunter Killer" -- the big-budget submarine thriller pre-approved for a state subsidy -- has gone silent and Wayfare Entertainment's "Villain" is running short on production time if the filmmakers are still considering a 2012 shoot.

“Their initial plan was to shoot this fall and I think we might be getting kind of at the edge of being able to do the all the work necessary,” Alaska Film Office manager David Worrell said of "Villain."

I've asked the filmmakers for details and will update when new info becomes available.

“Frozen Ground,” meantime, is expected in theaters late fall or early winter. A representative for the production company, Georgia Film Fund Five, did not respond to questions about the release date and about a clearly unfinished version of the trailer that briefly appeared online last week.

The state awarded “Frozen Ground” a $6.3 million subsidy in July. That’s the second-largest film incentive the Alaska Film Office has handed out under the 4-year-old program, trailing only “Big Miracle” ($9.6 million).

Wages paid to out-of-state workers made up more than half of the money the filmmakers listed as their Alaska-based spending.

Of the $19.2 million in spending eligible for the state subsidy, $10.7 million was paid to people who don’t live in the state. Alaskans made a total of $1.3 million working on the film, according to the application.

The filmmakers say they spent $5.4 million on services, though it’s unclear exactly what that paid for or who got paid.

The state also recently awarded a $1.7 million subsidy to “Walking With Dinosaurs - 3D,” an animated project under production from Alaska-based Evergreen Films and BBC Earth.

By Kyle Hopkins
Anchorage Daily News
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