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Palm Springs aims to draw more filmmakers to the city

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Palm Springs recently started an incentive program and website aimed at drawing more filmmakers to the city, a spokeswoman said today.

The program includes waiver of film permit fees and $5,000 grants -- in cash or in-kind services -- for production expenses that total at least $25,000, city spokeswoman Amy Blaisdell said.

The website,, a collaboration between P.S. Resorts and the Palm Springs Bureau of Tourism, is aimed at filmmakers and producers looking for locations for movies, television shows, commercials and advertising photo shoots. The site has an image library, a film permit application and a directory of "film-friendly" spots in Palm Springs, Blaisdell said.

"We created this online resource to showcase our diverse locations and the benefits of filming in Palm Springs," said Mary Jo Ginther, director of the Bureau of Tourism. "Palm Springs has always been film friendly and we are now taking it to the next level."

Blaisdell said that the Palm Springs City Council presented the first $5,000 grant to Barry Barnholtz, the producer of the film "Hidden Away," at the March 6 council meeting. The film will premiere at the Annenberg Theater in June.

Actors Michael Douglas and Matt Damon were in Palm Springs recently shooting scenes for the new HBO movie "Behind the Candelabra," about the life of former Palm Springs resident Liberace. In addition, the ninth season of "Occupation Double," a popular reality television series in Montreal, Canada, was also filmed in Palm Springs.

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