Dutch revise tax scheme

Incentive to be tougher on producers, foreign filmmakers

UTRECHT, Holland — The latest version of Holland’s film tax incentive scheme will be tougher on Dutch producers and foreign filmmakers. But the government also intends to pump new money into the industry.

Sunday at the Holland Film Meeting, a sidebar of the Dutch Film Festival, culture, health & education minister Rick Van de Ploeg announced an additional 16.5 million guilders ($7 million) in subsidies, chiefly for marketing and promoting films, as well as incentives to encourage production of hard-to-fund pics.

Under the changes, which take effect in January, 50% of the budget can be funded by the tax incentive scheme, as opposed to 70%. Also, a new rule mandates 50% of the budget must be spent in Holland.

While the minister promised details soon, industryites at the fest, which ends Friday, were irritated by a lack of hard info. News that a government body within the ministry of economic affairs would decide what films were “Dutch enough” to benefit from the scheme also drew ire.

Daylong event was capped by the Variety Cinema Militans Lecture 2001, in which German director Tom Tykwer urged producers not to give in to fears of a cinematic crisis sparked by the digital multiplatform age. “You cannot seriously expect me to speak of a cinematic crisis,” he said, when films such as Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Amores Perros” are being made.

Separately, the Swedish Film Institute has warned producers it may be forced to withdraw financial support from local pics because they are too successful.

The SFI hands out awards worth up to $900,000 based on a sliding scale of B.O. receipts. But local pics have been doing so well that the $5 million annual fund is in danger of depletion.

(Jorn Rossing Jensen contributed to this report).

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