Sunday, December 12, 2010

'Machete' will not get incentive funds

Updated: Wednesday, 08 Dec 2010, 9:53 PM CST
Published : Wednesday, 08 Dec 2010, 7:45 PM CST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Officials with the Texas Film Commission announced late Wednesday they are denying tax incentives for Austin director Robert Rodriguez's film "Machete."

The film premiered in September.

The controversy started months earlier when Rodriguez released a special movie trailer during all the debate over Arizona's new immigration enforcement policy.

"This is 'Machete' with a special Cinco de Mayo message to Arizona!" character Danny Trejo shouted in the clip.

In the film, Trejo plays an illegal immigrant who goes on a killing rampage spawned, in part, by U.S. immigration policies.

The big cast included Robert DeNiro and Jessica Alba and showed many familiar Austin locations.

"He was given an offer he couldn't refuse. Make no mistake we are at war! Every time an illegal dances across our border it is an act of aggression against this sovereign state an overt act of terrorism!
Jessica Alba: We didn't cross the border. The border crossed us!" Trejo shouts in the movie.

In 2007 and 2009, Texas lawmakers gave the "thumbs up" to a bill to provide incentives for filmmakers who spend money making movies in Texas.

But the Texas Film Commission -- which is based in Gov. Rick Perry's office -- has now given " Machete" a "thumbs down."

It is denying funding for the film because of a provision in the state law that allows incentives to be denied if the film in question "portrays Texas or Texans in a negative fashion."

In September, Rodriguez said he wouldn't let the controversy get him down and said, in the future, there may be even more "Machete."

"And do Parts 2 and 3 as a double feature. It'd be 'Machete Kills' and 'Machete Kills Again and Again.' It'd be a double feature," Rodriquez said.

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