The production budget for the Texas-produced film Machete was estimated at $10 million; based on that amount, the project qualified to receive state art incentive funds close to $2 million for producing the movie in the state. As matter of fact Governor Rick Perry announced the arts funding incentives at Robert Rodriguez film studio, Troublemaker Productions, last year. One year later he doesn’t want to give Rodriquez’ Machete film the art’s incentive. Why?
In a letter released Wednesday by a spokesperson for Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Film Commission quoted part of a state law that states that requests for film incentives can be denied “because of inappropriate content or content that portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion.”
A representative for “Machete” said Wednesday that producer Elizabeth Avellan and director Robert Rodriguez were traveling after finishing shooting “Spy Kids 4” and that they were unavailable for comment.
The letter said that the commission’s ruling “does not affect…other grant applications from Troublemaker, now or in the future.”
Austin screenwriter and author Si Dunn , who was featured as an extra in “Machete,” said Wednesday, “Texas needs to do a much better job of politically supporting its movie and television industry….The notion that state legislators somehow can protect Texas’ image from ‘negative light’ is just laughable — and sadly naive.”