WHY: The nation’s fiscal stimulus program, known simply as 226, has spurred an explosion in film production since its implementation in 2006. The program, which foreign producers can tap through co-production, allows private entities to contribute funds and receive tax writeoffs in return.
Government film institute Imcine and its coin manager Fidecine report having injected some MP350 million ($26.6 million) into productions so far in 2008. Non-Mexican film productions are entitled to apply for a full value-added tax return at the end of their shoots with an incentive known as Tasa 0%.
Mexico’s 31 states sport a variety of production-support programs, notably the direct funding schemes in Nuevo Leon and Jalisco; other programs include scouting, hotel and transportation discounts and even access to helicopters.
While filming continues to be strong in Mexico City, where most shoots still take place despite higher costs and more red tape, urban productions have begun to move into Guadalajara, Jalisco, Monterrey and Nuevo Leon.
BONUS: Pablo Cruz of Canana Films believes the hidden value of location shooting is in the hospitality of the people in the countryside. “Shooting on location is fun, because the local people really tend to take care of filmmakers,” he says.
SHOT THERE: “Rio de Oro” (Sonora), “Voy a explotar” (Guanajuato), “Viaje Redondo” (Nuevo Leon)
HOT SPOT: Mexico City-based Ollin Studio has recently upgraded and expanded digital intermediate and digital-capture platforms and hardware, which have enabled the studio to handle higher volume at 4K resolution, preparing it as the industry heads to digital distribution.
Academia Jalisciense de Cinematografia: cinejalisco.com
Ollin Studio: ollin.com.mx
Mexican Film Commission: comefilm.gob.mx