U.K., Morocco Sign Film Co-Production Treaty

4:53 AM PST 09/02/2013 by Stuart Kemp
Warner Bros. Pictures
British director Christopher Nolan shot parts of "Inception" in Morocco.

The pact will give filmmakers from the two countries access to tax incentives in both territories.

LONDON -- The U.K. and Moroccan governments have signed a co-production treaty to allow the two countries to "strengthen ties within the film industry, encourage the sharing of knowledge and ideas, and drive economic growth through film production."

It is expected that the treaty will be extended "in the near future" to include TV production as well, the parties said.

Negotiated by the British Film Institute and Centre Cinematographique Marocain (CCM), the national cinema agency of Morocco, the treaty also provides tax incentives for productions.

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Productions qualifying under the terms of the treaty will be able to access the benefits of national status in each country.

In Morocco that means tax incentives, while in the UK qualifying productions will be able to acquire the British movie tax relief and apply to the BFI's film fund -- the U.K.’s largest public film fund with a current allocation of $34 million (£22 million) annually to invest in the development, production and completion of feature films.

U.K. government culture minister Ed Vaizey said the treaty recognizes "the wonderful collaborative relationship that already exists between the creative industries of the U.K. and Morocco, as well as putting in place strong financial incentives to boost film production in both nations."

Director general of the Centre Cinematographique Marocain Nour-Eddine Sail said: “This treaty will help us create sustainable cultural partnerships between our two film industries and give filmmakers in both our countries access to new markets, new creative opportunities and financial advantages. Our intention is to expand this ambition into the area of TV production too so that content producers for high end television also gain the cultural exchange and financial benefits."

BFI chief executive Amanda Nevill noted that British filmmakers, "from David Lean through to Christopher Nolan," have long looked to Morocco for its landscapes and substantial production infrastructure.

Nolan shot footage for Inception there and other Hollywood backed productions include The Bourne Ultimatum and Sex and The City.

"This treaty will be a catalyst to grow opportunities to pool creative and financial resources and foster a deeper sense of collaboration,” Nevill said.

The U.K. currently has nine bilateral co-production treaties in place with countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, France, Israel and India.

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