$5 million was set aside for small Pa. filmmakers. Lawmakers gave it all to M. Night Shyamalan
Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan watches during the Celebration of Freedom Ceremony at Independence Hall. - DAVID MAIALETTI/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

PHILADELPHIA — With HBO's Mare of Easttown and other big-budget productions taking most of Pennsylvania's film subsidies, small-budget independents felt left out. Few taxpayer subsidies were available for them. So they applauded over the summer when state lawmakers fattened the film tax credit pot by 43% to $100 million and set aside $5 million especially for Pennsylvania-based companies. "We didn't want it all to go to one company," Rep. Stan Saylor the Republican head of the House Appropriations Committee, said of the $5 million tax credit, known as "the reserve." "It was to be handed out to...