Senator Tim Kennedy invites Will Smith and Apple Studios to shoot ‘Emancipation’ in WNY

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Senator Tim Kennedy (D-Buffalo) is ready to roll out the red carpet for the film “Emancipation” to be shot, in Western New York.  

“We believe strongly that Buffalo is the right place to make an investment,” said Kennedy. 

Apple Studios, actor Will Smith, and director Antoine Fuqua made the decision to pull production of “Emancipation,” out of Georgia,  citing the state’s new voting law. 

“It’s really something to see Hollywood coming together with corporate America in response to the regressive archaic and restrictive laws that the Georgia legislature has enacted,” said Kennedy. 

He also outlined buffalo’s history.  “We were the birthplace in many ways of the civil rights movement, the Niagara movement, which was the predecessor of the NAACP, we have a burgeoning African American heritage corridor,” said Kennedy. 

He also mentioned the incentives to shoot here, like the 35% tax credit on qualified expenses in Buffalo and Niagara. 

Buffalo Niagara Film Commissioner Tim Clark echoed that sentiment.  “It’s really an appealing thing for big companies or little companies to come shoot in WNY,” said Clark.  “And of course the inventory or architectural assets and the crew base we have here are second to none.”

Both Clark and Kennedy are eager to see if they get a response.

Gabrielle Mediak is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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