Russell Crowe film wins state tax credit

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The main hurdle to Russell Crowe returning to Pittsburgh has fallen as the state approved a film tax credit for "Fathers and Daughters" late Thursday.

Gabriele Muccino, who directed Will Smith to an Oscar nomination in "The Pursuit of Happyness," is expected to make the movie with Mr. Crowe, Amanda Seyfried and Aaron Paul. It could start shooting as early as March.

Here's the description from the Voltage Pictures website:

"Jake Davis (Mr. Crowe), a Pulitzer-winning novelist, finds himself fighting against the world when a fatal car accident leaves him to raise his 5-year-old daughter, Katie, all on his own. Overcome with guilt from the loss of his wife, he struggles with the daily routine of raising a child compounded by his overbearing relatives intent on taking her away from him.

"As the narrative weaves back and forth between the 1980s and present day, we come to learn how 30-year-old Katie (Ms. Seyfried) battles the demons that stemmed from her troubled childhood and simultaneously watch how Jake fights to hold on to the thing he loves most -- his daughter -- at the cost of his fortune, sanity and ultimately even his own life.

"This beautiful performance-driven-piece reads thematically as such American classics as: 'American Beauty' and 'The Pursuit of Happyness' -- both unforgotten and inspiring."

The movie was one of a handful awaiting the go-ahead for a film tax credit, seen as necessary for the project to come here.

"We're thrilled to welcome Russell Crowe back to Pittsburgh and putting our local crew and vendors back to work," Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, said Thursday.

"The film tax credit program is essential to seeing this great economic impact into our region and the continued growth of the Southwestern Pennsylvania film industry," she said, adding that she hoped tax credits could be secured for other projects scouting in the region.

Late Thursday afternoon, Lyndsay Kensinger, deputy press secretary for the PA Department of Community & Economic Development, confirmed to the Post-Gazette that the credit had been approved.

Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog:

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