Today, the Utah Film Commission announced the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity (Go Utah) Board approval of 13 new productions for state film incentives, generating an estimated economic impact of $142.5 million with approximately 90% to occur in rural Utah.
The productions are a mix of feature films and episodic series that will be distributed on various platforms, including Apple TV+, Amazon Prime Video, FX/Hulu, Nickelodeon, Paramount+, and for theatrical release. Among the approved productions is Kevin Costner’s period Western, Horizon: An American Saga; Joy to the World, a new feature from Jerusha Hess, co-writer of Napoleon Dynamite; and a new untitled limited series from Taylor Sheridan, creator of Yellowstone. All approved projects plan to begin production this summer, and filming locations are still being finalized.
In 2022, the Utah Legislature voted to increase the state’s film industry competitiveness and encourage film production in rural communities. “With the new targeted rural film tax credit, a ready workforce, and a business-friendly climate, Utah will introduce the film industry to new communities while supporting Gov. Cox’s goal of expanding economic opportunities throughout the state,” said Dan Hemmert, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity.
The film industry is unique because it brings immediate economic impact to communities with minimal infrastructure. “Our film industry has had great success over the years. We’ve seen increased interest for filming in Utah from filmmakers and rural community stakeholders,” said Virginia Pearce, director of the Utah Film Commission, a Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity initiative. “This new rural film incentive allows Utah to attract more film production and remain competitive.”
Below is a list of approved productions (in alphabetical order):
Alma Richards: Raising the Bar
Estimated Utah Spend: $879,108
Locations: Utah County
Estimated Utah Spend: $1,107,114
Locations: Sanpete County
The Chosen: Season 3
Estimated Utah Spend: $1,400,327
Locations: Utah County
Estimated Utah Spend: $4,004,367
Locations: Emery County, Juab County, San Juan County
Estimated Utah Spend: $10,271,416
Distribution: Amazon Prime Video
Locations: Tooele County
Horizon: An American Saga
Estimated Utah Spend: $53,925,008
Locations: Emery County, Grand County, Kane County, San Juan County, Washington County
Joy To The World
Estimated Utah Spend: $8,300,000
Recipe For Love
Estimated Utah Spend: $328,268
Locations: Salt Lake County, Utah County
Retreat: Season 1
Estimated Utah Spend: $1,407,920
Locations: Emery County, Grand County, Tooele County
Estimated Utah Spend: $183,500
Locations: Salt Lake County, Weber County
Unnamed Green Beans Show
Estimated Utah Spend: $10,700,000
Distribution: Apple TV+
Untitled Taylor Sheridan Series
Estimated Utah Spend: $40,000,000
Distribution: Paramount +
Locations: Summit County, Wasatch County
About the Utah Film Commission
An initiative of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the Utah Film Commission markets the entire state as a destination for film, television, and commercial production by promoting the use of professional local crew and talent, support services, Utah locations, and the Motion Picture Incentive Program. The office also serves as a liaison to the film industry, facilitating production needs across the state.
Thousands of productions have been filmed in Utah, including Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Thelma & Louise, and 127 Hours, to name only a few. Many episodic series have also been filmed in Utah, such as Yellowstone, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, and Westworld.
For more information, visit film.utah.gov.
Photo: Location scout in southern Utah. Photo courtesy of the Utah Film Commission.