French tax breaks seduce Indian film-makers

18th May 2009, Comments 0 comments

France has pulled an Indian mega-production because of its recent tax rebate to attract foreign film-makers.

Cannes – A new French tax rebate to attract foreign film-makers has netted its first big success: an Indian mega-production called "Seven Days in Paris," set to start shooting in July.

Franck Priot, deputy head of Film France, a state-financed body that works to draw international film productions, told AFP the Bollywood film was the first to sign up for the rebates, passed into law in December.

The tax scheme aims to bring France into line with European rivals, including Britain, Germany and Hungary, which have launched similar initiatives to attract international film makers to shoot in their countries.

Under the new law -- which still needs final approval from Brussels -- foreign film makers can recoup up to 20 percent of their production budget in France, up to a maximum of EUR 4 million.

The European Commission is currently examining the French scheme and is expected to announce a decision on which films can qualify by the end of next month, Film France's managing director Patrick Lamassoure told AFP.

Production teams can already submit applications to benefit from the rebate when it comes into force, however.

Several other projects already underway when the law was adopted have upped their production budgets as a result of it, Lamassoure said.

They include the BBC's hit series "Merlin" -- being filmed in a chateau in northern France -- and the US production firm Lionsgate with "Five Killers", an action comedy starring Ashton Kutcher, which was part filmed in Nice.

AFP / Expatica

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