Italy to incentivize homegrown films

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ROME -- Italy's 2008 draft budget includes provisions to reimburse filmmakers up to €1 million ($1.3 million) per project for filming done within Italy, according to information published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale on Wednesday.

The reimbursement, which would be valid for projects made in 2008, 2009, or 2010, would cover up to 40% of the money spent for the project in Italy, to a maximum of $1.3 million. At least 80% of a project must be filmed in Italy in order for it to be eligible.

The money is not in lieu of regional cinema-promotion funds, but a spokesman for the Ministry of Culture said that the regional or local funding a project receives would likely have an impact on how much national funding it could receive.

As part of the 2008 draft budget submitted to parliament by Prime Minister Romano Prodi this week, the measure must be voted on as part of the overall budget vote rather than as an independent initiative. Italian law requires the budget to be finalized by the end of the year, but the debate often extends into January.
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