03/05/2012 05:09 EST | Updated 05/05/2012 05:12 EDT

B.C. Film Industry: Productions Soar, But Taxes, Dollar Worries Persist

VICTORIA - Spending on movies and TV shows in B.C. jumped 16 per cent last year, but the industry is still worried about taxes and the high value of the Canadian dollar.

The B.C. Film Commission says the value of film productions in 2011 topped $1.1 billion, an increase of $167 million over a year earlier.

The province played host to 281 productions, including 77 movies and 69 T-V series.

Peter Leitch, the chair of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of B.C., is pleased with the increase but says the industry faces challenges from the loss of the HST and the return to the provincial sales tax next year, along with the continuing high value of the Canadian dollar.

He says B.C. is also facing stiff competition from Ontario because of what he calls that province's aggressive tax credit policy.

Leitch says the latest figures show B.C. has dropped from third to fourth among the largest film production centres in North America. (CHNL,The Canadian Press)