Cannes: uMedia Launches new VFX Financing Scheme

Nicole Kidman Grace Monaco Balcony - H 2013
David Koskas

Nicole Kidman Grace Monaco Balcony - H 2013

The Belgium group will finance up to 40 percent of a film's VFX budget in exchange for doing the work in house.

Belgium media group uMedia has set up a new financing scheme that will see it put up financing for special effects work on co-productions they board in exchange for doing the VFX work in house through their uFX division.

Under the scheme, uFX will be able to bankroll up to 40 percent of a film's VFX budget through tapping into the Belgian Tax Shelter.

To qualify, a project has to spend a minimum of $65,000 (€50,000) in Belgium and qualify for the tax shelter by virtue of having a majority of European elements in terms of cast, crew and financing. The scheme will cover feature films, documentaries and TV series.

In addition to financing, producing and selling features, uMedia is gaining a reputation as a first-class VFX house. The group recently completed VFX work on Grace of Monaco with Nicole Kidman and is currently doing the special effects on the Wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl.

“We’ve been proving over the last few years that we are able to compete with the larger VFX houses but this finance deal offers something that sets us apart from our competitors,” said uMedia CEO Adrian Politowski.  “40 percent finance against VFX work is a highly attractive proposition to any project regardless of its genre and size."

While there is no budget cap for how much uMedia can invest under the scheme, their investment cannot exceed 15 percent of a film's total budget.