In his new article published on August 1 in the “Revista de Cinema,” Steve Solot, President of Latin American Training Center-LATC and Executive Director of the Brazilian Film Commission Network-REBRAFIC, comments the new incentive programs from Portugal and Miami, which promise to further increase the ferocious competition among states, cities and countries around the world to offer locations, infrastructure, support and especially a range of fiscal incentives, subsidies and rebates to reduce the cost of production of films, TV programs and commercials.

Portugal and Miami announce new incentives to attract film and TV productions
by Steve Solot

Two new programs promise to further increase the ferocious competition among states, cities and countries around the world to offer locations, infrastructure, support and especially a range of fiscal incentives, subsidies and rebates to reduce the cost of production of films, TV programs and commercials. This trend is based on economic impact studies which have shown that economic resources invested in incentives return to public coffers multiplied two or three times.

In Portugal, the new “Pic Portugal” incentive program offers new opportunities for Brazilian producers seeking funds abroad, whether they be for production services or coproduction, which may be facilitated by the Coproduction Agreement between Brazil and Portugal, published in 1985.

This program, which aims to promote the country as a destination for major foreign films and make it competitive with respect to other European countries to attract major audiovisual projects, was approved by the Council of Ministers in December 2016 and presented by the Film and Audiovisual Institute (ICA) during the last Berlin Film Festival, but only recently entered into force. The incentive’s format is a 20-25% reimbursable tax credit for qualified local expenditures of a minimum one million Euros, depending on the project’s characteristics, and a ceiling of four million Euros for each national or international project.  The program is similar to the French Crédit d’impôt and the TRIP, and the British Film Tax Rebate. The total maximum annual ceiling of the tax credit is 7 million Euros in 2017, 10 million in 2018 and 12 million in 2019.

Meanwhile, in the US, the case of Miami-Dade County is quite different.  Following the loss of the Florida State film production incentive last year, the Miami-Dade film commission mobilized a lobby effort to create a program to fill the void.  The initiative gained momentum with the prize for “Moonlight”, winner of the 2017 Academy Awards, which filmed in Miami without any incentive.

Announced in July, the new incentive offers a U$100,000 rebate for producers spending a minimum U$1 million in the region, as long as each production spends 70% of the total budget in the county, and 50% of the cast and crew are residents.  Another requirement, to reinforce benefits for the local economy, is that 80% of the service providers must be registered in Miami-Dade County.

This incentive represents yet another opportunity for Brazilian producers seeking resources and who intend to film in the US.  Miami, in addition to serving as the gateway to the US, is the closest US city to Brazil, and the door is already open for Brazilian producers through the memorandum of understanding signed last January between RioFilme and the Rio Film Commission, and Miami Dade County, through its Office of Film and Entertainment.

Meanwhile, in Brazil, the Brazilian Film Commission Network (Rede Brasileira de Film Commissions-REBRAFIC), in addition to representing the 26 film commissions spread throughout the country, serves as the catalyst in the campaign to create incentives to attract international film productions to Brazil, in order to make the country a competitive player on the global audiovisual scenario.

Originally published (in Portuguese) in: Revista de Cinema.

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