Steve Solot's new article explains how Brazil can compete successfully in the international production incentive scenario

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Incentives vary widely according to the type of project, and include support for post-production, special effects, digital production, games, TV and animation.  These benefits are so sought after that every week, film industry trade publications like “Variety” and “Hollywood Reporter” provide updates on the rivalries.

In the US, almost every state offers some kind of film production incentive, but currently the two states considered to be the most attractive are Georgia and Louisiana, which offer 20% and 30% production tax credits respectively, and have good reputations for administering their incentives.

The international global scenario is crowded with countries seeking to win the competition for best production incentives.  The newest player, according to “Variety,” is Thailand, which, despite its military regime, is preparing to enter the race offering a 15% rebate for foreign productions’ local expenditures, plus an additional 10% rebate if the film projects a positive image of the country.  The Ministry of Sports and Tourism estimates that the incentive could generate up to U$57 million per year.  Other notable rivals listed on the global incentive scoreboard are Holland, Hungary, Abu Dhabi, New Zealand, France, Italy and Canada, in addition to the Latin neighbors Colombia, Mexico, Panama, Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.  Unfortunately, Brazil has not yet entered the world ranking of countries offering foreign production incentives.

The most impressive example of the importance of production incentives in recent filming decisions is the new Chilean film “Los 33,” the survival drama starring Antonio Banderas and Rodrigo Santoro, about the 33 minors trapped in a copper mine for two months.  Unfortunately for Chile, which dreamed of the global visibility that the film would generate for the country, “Los 33” was the first film project to benefit from the international production incentive of the Colombia Film Commission, which offers a 40% rebate for production services, plus 20% for logistic services, such as transportation and catering.

In Brazil, the Film Commission fever continues to spread.  In 2008, there were 19 film commissions “engaged in efforts to attract international audiovisual productions and to position the country as a competitive provider of locations in the global entertainment market.”  At present, according to the Brazilian Film Commission Network – REBRAFIC www.rebrafic.net, there are 26 film commissions spread all around the country, including 10 formally established and sixteen in development.

Who are the beneficiaries of on-location filming activities?    In addition to the economic impact and job creation in the region, the primary, direct beneficiaries are the audiovisual content producers. For that reason, the principal associations of content producers are represented on the REBRAFIC Advisory Board: Brazilian Association of Independent TV Producers – ABPITV, Interstate Audiovisual Industry Union – SICAV, São Paulo State Audiovisual Industry Union – SIAESP, Brazilian Association of Audiovisual Works Producers – APRO, Cinema Foundation of Rio Grande do Sul-Fundacine and Cinema do Brasil.

The main objectives of REBRAFIC are to ensure a standardized, high level of support for national and international producers, promote all regions of Brazil as premier locations for national and international productions, and organize and make available information on film commissions and filming locations throughout the country.

REBRAFIC will be the driving force behind film commissions in Brazil, which serve as engines of economic development in their regions, and will work to catalyze the campaign to create incentives for the attraction of international films to Brazil, with the objective of ensuring Brazil’s place as a player in the global audiovisual scene (and scoreboard).

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