William Morris Independent (WMi) has taken a consultancy role atthe Pelican Film Fund, which launched last year with the aim of bringing $300min production funds into the state of Louisiana between now and December 2007.

WMi agents will identify producers for suitable projects, packageall creative elements and structure innovative financing arrangements forapproximately 25 films each year. The money may go towards previously announcedindependent or studio features, and specific projects will be announcedshortly.

The Pelican Fund acts as a one-stop shop for producers andmonetizes the tax credits introduced by the state in 2002. The Fundco-ordinates local crew, in-state expendables, preferred vendors, businessaffairs and local and state government liaison.

Baton Rouge-based tax credit and film finance specialists Art& Entertainment Law Group of LeBlanc & Associates transacts the statetax credit sales for the Fund. Senior partner Michele LeBlanc negotiated thedeal with WMi.

"We are very pleased to be a part of this exciting venturewith William Morris Independent," LeBlanc said. "The Pelican FilmFund is the single largest production commitment to Louisiana since the taxcredits were initiated in 2002."

WMi's financing and distribution credits include Thank You ForSmoking, The Cooler, Diary Of A Mad Black Woman, and Emilio Estevez' upcoming ensemblefeature Bobby.

"Recognising the post-hurricane growth of our area, ouraggressive tax incentives programme is a magnet for those who invest in theFund's projects," Louisiana Senator Jay Dardenne said. "We are proudto support the efforts of the William Morris Agency and Art & EntertainmentLaw Group in the Baton Rouge region."