French tax credit approved

Foreign projects eligible for up to 4 million euros per film

PARIS -- The European Commission in Brussels greenlighted France's tax break for big-budget foreign productions on Thursday, after the "TRIP" law was passed by the Gallic government in December, Film France confirmed. Just over one week after Frederic Mitterand took over as French Cultural Minister, the C21 in Brussels approved the new tax credit designed to attract big-budget Hollywood productions seeking to shoot in France.

The new law, aptly nicknamed the "TRIP" (tax rebate for international productions) gives foreign filmmakers a 20% tax break, with a ceiling of up to 4 million euros per film. The law has already sparked interest in filming in the territory with several projects already benefiting from the tax credit as of the start of the year.

"There have already been projects filmed here starting on January 1, but we were all waiting for the cultural details to be finalized to see if these projects could benefit from the tax credit," Film France's deputy director Franck Priot said in an interview.

Such TRIP-friendly films include BBC and Shine Ltd's NBC miniseries "Merlin," shot in Picardie, and Robert Luketic's Lionsgate picture "Five Killers," which was filmed in Nice. Universal's high-profile 3D-animated film "Despicable Me," made by French special effects house Mac Guff Ligne, should also benefit from the rebate. "From the start, we had interest from LA producers, but we were missing the cultural criteria establishing which projects qualified for the '20% France discount,' " Priot said.

Gallic state film body the CNC will determine which foreign productions qualify for the TRIP, with the aid of French Film Commission Film France. French technical service companies' trade organization the FICAM estimates that the new productions in France could spend from 200,000-250,000 euros in the territory in 2010 and 2011.

The law was passed by French Parliament on December 17, 2008.
comments powered by Disqus