Three Projects From Detroit Film Company Get State Aid

LANSING — Three locally grown film projects with heavy supernatural and horror themes have been approved for state incentives by the Michigan Film Office.

All three projects — “My Soul to Keep,” “Swish Master” and “Golem” – will be produced by Exxodus Pictures Studio, based in the M@dison building in downtown Detroit.

“The announcement of a Detroit-based production company making a series of feature films that will hire local crew and highlight locations throughout Michigan is a perfect example of how this program supports the film industry in our state,” Michigan Film Office Director Jenell Leonard said.

“My Soul to Keep” will film in various locations, including Detroit, South Lyon, West Bloomfield, and Utica. Nine-year old Eli Braverman is terrified of his basement and the evil that he thinks is living there. When his older sister Emily abandons her babysitting duties, Eli is left home alone to confront the darkness and the creature that may be lurking in it.

The project was awarded an incentive of $210,483 on $601,380 of projected in-state expenditures and expects to hire 21 Michigan workers with a full-time equivalent of two jobs.

In “Swish Master,” Max Sheffield unleashes black magic to put a stop to the bullying he is experiencing at school, but realizes along the way he may not be the one in control after all. The film is expected to be shot in various locations throughout metro Detroit.

The project was awarded an incentive of $272,134 on $777,525 of projected in-state expenditures and expects to hire 25 Michigan workers with a full-time equivalent of three jobs.

Set during World War II, “Golem” is expected to film in locations throughout the Upper Peninsula. The story centers around Adina Akhavan, who witnesses the annihilation of her village by Nazi soldiers. Out of the carnage, an otherworldly beast emerges and decimates the barbarous soldiers. Adina escapes into the forest and weeks later is befriended by Captain Jaeger and his elite team of SS relic hunters sent to investigate the disappearance of the brigade and to secure the ancient beast. Adina has no choice but to hide her true identity, help Captain Jaeger, and wait for the perfect moment to enact her revenge.

“Golem” was awarded an incentive of $835,360 on $2,386,742 of projected in-state expenditures. The project expects to hire 53 Michigan workers with a full time equivalent of 15 jobs.

“Our vision at Exxodus Pictures is to create a self-sustaining film studio based in Michigan that not only creates opportunity for people but also creates content that is home grown,” said Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, co-owner of Exxodus Pictures. “We’re excited to be working with the state again and are thrilled that the Film Office has paid so much close attention to our next group of films. It’s been an amazing experience and we’re thankful to be a part of the ever growing Michigan film industry.”

Exxodus Pictures previously released “Jinn,” the company’s first theatrical debut, in April 2014. “Jinn” is being released on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, On Demand, XBOX live, Playstation network, and other video on demand platforms beginning March 10.

These are the first three projects approved under fiscal year 2015 with a cumulative of $1,317,977 in incentives being awarded on $3,765,647 of approved production expenditures for the year. These projects are expected to create 99 hires with a full-time equivalent of 20 jobs.

The Michigan Film Office was created in 1979 to assist and attract incoming production companies and promote the growth of Michigan’s own film industry. The Film Office also administers the incentive program for film, television and other digital media production in Michigan. For more on the Michigan Film Office, visit: MichiganFilmOffice.org.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: michiganbusiness.org. For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit michigan.org.

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