Lawsuit filed against current and former Texas Film Commission officials on behalf of Machete Productions LLC
The Storm Law Firm filed a petition today in the district Court of Travis County’s 53rd district on behalf of the producers of the motion picture Machete Kills. The petition addresses the arbitrary application of Texas law by members of the Texas Film Commission and other government officials to discriminate against Machete Productions, LLC by denying a grant of taxpayer funds based solely on the supposed political message of the movie.
Machete Productions qualified for a significant grant from the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, which is a state-sponsored program created by the Texas legislature with the aim of luring film production to Texas. Machete Productions spent millions of dollars in Texas and created hundreds of jobs for Texans. However, the Film Commission, which administers the Incentive Program, denied Machete Productions’ application for a grant in a one page letter, citing a statutory reference that supposedly provides the Film Commission the right to deny an application based on “general standards of decency” and “the diverse beliefs and values of the citizens of Texas.” The real reason for the Commission’s denial is that the Commission was concerned with the political fallout from providing public money to a film perceived as glorifying the role of a Mexican Federale and sympathizing with immigrants.
The Storm Law Firm filed the petition because they believe The Incentive Program, on its face and as applied by the Film Commission, is unconstitutional because it arbitrarily allocates taxpayer funds based on the perceived political message of the motion pictures being produced. The Commission’s denial of Machete Productions’ application was wrongful, arbitrary and improperly based upon the factually incorrect determination that the script for Machete Kills is either indecent or is contrary to the “diverse believes and values of Texans.”