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Global shooting guide

PRODUCTION INCENTIVES: Telefilm Canada, the federal government’s filmmaking agency, invites foreign-owned production companies into the country with a 16% production services credit for wages paid to Canadian residents. The credit is applied for separately from provincial grants.

The newly reworked Alberta Film Development Program credit provides between 14% and 23% of all eligible expenses in the province, topping out at $1.5 million. The film commission says that’s equivalent to getting a 25%-42% labor tax credit. The rebate can be bumped up if an Alberta producer and or locals are involved in key production jobs. In the past year, French pic “Big City” used the province as a stand-in for the American West circa 1880, while Samuel L. Jackson starrer “Resurrecting the Champ” used the city of Calgary as a modern location.


  • Dan Chugg, Alberta film commissioner,
  • Tina Alford, Alberta film locations manager,,


The province offers two incentives to filmmakers, although pics can only qualify for one. The Production Services Tax Credit hands back up to 18% of qualifying labor costs and rewards filmmakers with a 6% bonus for shooting outside the Vancouver area; there is no refund claim limit. Film Incentive B.C. will dish out up to 30% of labor expenses to B.C.-owned or B.C.-controlled production houses and a 12.5% bonus for shooting outside Vancouver. On top of either incentive, producers can tack on an extra 16% using local digital animation and visual effects services. The province has served up locations for “John Tucker Must Die,” “She the Man” and “The Wicker Man.”


  • British Columbia Film, Robert Wong, director of tax credit administration & marketing,
  • BC Film Commission, Susan Croome, commissioner, susanc@


The Manitoba Film & Video Production tax credit returns up to 45% of local labor costs, but only to a Canadian producer. Producers can boost that rebate by 5% if they shoot a third film in the province within two years, or by 5% if they shoot in rural and northern Manitoba. All three can be combined for up to 55% credit, with no budget limits. “Blue Slate” and “Full of It” are recent productions that tapped the incentive.


  • Manitoba Film & Sound, Carole Vivier, Commissioner,
  • Louise O’Brien-Moran, manager of film production, louise@


The province showcases three credits of varying sizes to suit different types of films. The Ontario Production Services tax credit rebates 18% of eligible labor in Ontario, without any budget caps. The film has to be budgeted above $1 million and producers must have permanent offices in Ontario and own the copyright for the film or contract directly with the copyright holder. The Ontario Film & Television credit, exclusively for Canadian-controlled corporations with permanent offices in Ontario, will give back up to 30% of eligible labor to the producer, although that total can be pushed up to 40% for an “emerging producer” whose film meets Canadian-content regs. The credit also requires the film to be shown in Ontario no later than two years after it’s completed. Producers can top off either credit with a computer animation and special effects rebate of 20%, with no budget caps.
The province has hosted many productions, including “Killshot” and “Charlie Bartlett.” Sprawling waterfront studio space was used for “Hairspray.”


  • Gina Vanni, director of tax credits, Ontario Media Development Corp.,
  • Jennifer Blitz, team lead, OMDC, 416-314-6858,


Quebec’s film and television tax credit reimburses up to 20% of eligible labor costs with no production budget limits. Eligible producers must have offices in the province and deal primarily with film and television productions. Films that qualify must be budgeted at over C$1 million ($879,000). The computer animation and digital effects credit can push up total cashback by 20%. Production budgets must be at least C$1 million.


  • Hans Fraikin, film commissioner, Quebec Film & Television Council,
  • Danielle Dansereau, associate film commissioner, 514-499-7070

      IN FOCUS:
      Producer Amy Kaufman says Quebec offered the greatest range of locations for her “I’m Not There,” which combined both the provincial and federal tax credits for a 32% labor rebate.

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