South Asian film production company launched in Arizona

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Camelback Productions owner Anita Verma-Lallian (left), actor-comedian Lily Singh (center) and Mayor Kate Gallego (right) at the launch party of the production company on January 7, 2023 at Paradise Valley, Arizona.
Photo:courtesy DK Brittain Photography, provided by Neerja Public Relations.

Indian American entrepreneur Anita Verma-Lallian has launched Arizona’s first woman- owned South Asian film production company, Camelback Productions, January 7, 2023 in Paradise Valley, Arizona. Present at the event were some high profile guests, including actor and comedian Lilly Singh, actor Nik Dodani, actor Bali Chainani of Family Karma, Anisha Ramakrishna, Paramount+ Executive P. Sean Gupta and others, according to a press release from Camelback.

Camelback Productions will focus on South Asian storytelling, according to its founder Verma-Lallian. Named after the famous Phoenix Mountain of the same name, Camelback Productions will not only produce films but also provide a platform to the South Asian community to realize their dreams and reach their goals, according to Verma-Lallian.

Speaking at the event, Verma-Lallian who is also a real estate consultant, said the formation of her production company is in keeping with the trend of seeing more minority groups in the media, and that she herself wants to see more South Asians represented in films, to see their dreams of being an actor come true.

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Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego congratulated Camelback Productions and welcomed it to the Phoenix community. She said she hoped the company and its team will attract top talents of the country to Arizona. The company’s investors and supporters were also treated to a presentation of the company’s future plans.

Verma-Lallian’s Arizona Land Consulting has been a successful real estate consultancy, providing full concierge services and assistance in locating and purchase of properties.

Special guests graced the launch party of Camelback Productions on January 7, 2023 at Paradise Valley, Arizona. From left, Trisha Sakhuja-Walia, Anisha Ramakrishna Bali Chainani, Neerja Patel, Jennifer Verma. Photo:courtesy DK Brittain Photography, provided by Neerja Public Relations.

The forming of Camelback Productions comes in response to a new Arizona film tax credit aimed at reviving film production in the state. In July of 2022, Arizona Motion Picture Program was passed by state legislators. Based on initiatives in Massachusetts and Georgia, the program was then adopted to Arizona, according to Resource Liaison for Arizona Film Office, Greg Paul who is also an actor and a director.

The Arizona Motion Picture Program is a tiered-incentive program, offering an increasing tax credits to filmmakers spending from $10 million to $35 million. The state will also offer 2.5% tax reduction on labor costs to production companies that hire Arizona workers.

Arizona has a tremendous potential for filmmaking with its natural beauty including the Grand Canyon. It also houses a number of small independent filmmakers. Arizona red rocks and other locations have been filmed in many classic Westerns including the ‘Stagecoach’. Locations like Prescott which is central to the state are accessible and economical. However, Arizona still needs to develop filmmaking infrastructure including studios and office spaces. Arizona Film Commission and the Arizona Commerce Authority and filmmakers and production people are some of the facilities which are hoped to attract more film shootings in Arizona.

Camelback Productions plans to begin its first project later this summer.

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