Friday, April 8, 2011

France...offers tax incentives to Hollywood filmmakers! Cultural Minister Frédéric Mitterrand pitches exotic locales!

Exotic locales on Riviera a lure!

French Culture Minister  Frédéric Mitterrand swallowed a little pride and trotted in to Hollywood to meet with industry execs in recent days in a ballsy effort to boost the ailing film business overseas.

In order to achieve that ambitious goal, Mitterrand (who is the nephew of the former French Prime Minister François Mitterrand ) was inclined to converse in a language that spoke volumes in the corridors of power in Tinsel Town.

After all - when it comes to cost-cutting, tax breaks, and inviting financial perks - the suits at the major studios are inclined to be all ears - and likewise - open-minded when it comes to keeping budgets in line.

Consequently, the well-heeled European “took lunch” with movers-and-shakers like Bob Iger (Walt Disney Company) and Barry Meyer (Warner Brothers) to enlighten filmmakers about the advantages of shooting their multi-million-dollar projects in exotic breathtaking locales in France.

For starters, the French Government has introduced fresh incentives which guarantee foreign movie-makers a 20% tax rebate toward film production costs (with a maximum of $5.6 million per project or 4 million Euros).

There are a couple of hitches, though.

Most non-sports and news programming on French Television Networks must be French-based or European in origin in accordance with applicable laws.

But, any wheeler-dealer in a shark-skin suit should be able to jump the hurdles, when it comes to tricky film shoots.

For example, to qualify for the feature film rebate, scriptwriters are required to promote France by showcasing its rich cultural heritage in the storyline.

To accomplish this end, French officials launched a program to provide grants to screenwriters so they may tour France for free - and thus - familiarize themselves with the country’s historical background with the express aim of meeting the criteria.

More than a dozen filmmakers from the U.S. have taken advantage of the tax incentives to date, and it is expected that with a turn-around in the economy on the horizon, business overseas may start booming in the French film industry.

Meanwhile, a posse of producers in California are fighting – too – to prevent run-away production, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that Hollywood remains the film capitol of the world!

Fists across the water?

News at 11!

French filmmakers renowned the world-over!