Fast and Furious 7's Colorado cameo to be followed by mystery movie, gang-lord thriller

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After scoring some cameos in Fast and Furious 7 that are expected to bring $13 million to Colorado but only cost the state $700,000 in rebates, the Colorado Office of Film, Television and Media won approval this week to award incentives to two more (much smaller) projects. One is a family friendly film called Knox Chase on the Case of the Valentine's Day Mystery. The other is a thriller called Tyrannis, about a gang lord forced to "re-evaluate his criminal lifestyle."

Get the details below.

On Thursday, the state Economic Development Commission gave the green light to providing a $184,000 rebate to Knox Chase, which is projected to spend $918,000 in Colorado, and a $167,000 rebate to Tyrannis, which has a Colorado budget of $836,000. The rebates are made possible by Colorado's film incentives program, which was revived by lawmakers last year. Under the new law, projects that hire at least 50 percent of their crew in Colorado can qualify for a 20 percent rebate on the money spent here and a guarantee that the state will back up to 20 percent of the producer's bank loan for a fee. This year, the state had about $4 million to dole out.

Some of that $4 million had been promised to a golf movie called The Squeeze, described as "The Sting meets Tin Cup meets Caddyshack." But that film decided to move its production elsewhere, making room for the state to approve rebates for other projects. A similar situation happened earlier this year with a Hallmark Channel show called When Calls the Heart, whose makers decided to film in Canada instead of Colorado.

Here's how the two movies approved on Thursday were described to the commission:

Tyrannis: The thriller is about Davis James, a sixty-year-old gang lord that was raised on the hard streets of black urban America. One night, after ordering a hit that will solidify his rule on the city, a strange series of events place him face to face with circumstances that will force him to re-evaluate his criminal lifestyle. The filmmakers are looking to reach out to actors such as Keith David (Platoon, Armageddon), Gene Hackman (Unforgiven, The Royal Tenenbaums) and Ed Harris (A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13).

Knox Chase on the Case of the Valentine's Day Mystery: The family friendly film is about Knox Chase, a young elementary detective who follows in his father's footsteps to stop crime wherever it may be. Knox is at the center of an investigation involving a letter that may be a bomb threat and he mistakenly becomes a suspect. With the help of his imaginary friend, best friend & girl of his dreams, he seeks to clear his name and solve the mystery to find the real author of the letter. Filmmakers are eyeing filming locations in Boulder, Broomfield, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, Greeley and Denver.

The filmmakers behind both movies have, it seems, experienced some degree of success before. Adam Lipsius, the executive producer and director of Knox Chase, was the man behind the 2012 teen movie 16-Love: The New York Times described it as "pablum tarted up with tennis racquets," but it was an iTunes best-seller for more than eighteen months. Meanwhile, the Tyrannis filmmakers are also responsible for a film called American Terror, which, according to them, "has been wildly successful, playing in dozens of film festivals around the world from New York and LA to Seattle and Spain."

Judge for yourself by watching the trailers for those films below.

More from our Television & Film archive: "Photos: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s weird trip to Colorado."

Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at melanie.asmar@westword.com

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