Film commission in talks to bring over pics

Mexico’s film commission is in conversations to bring three shoots from Hollywood majors and two French films to Mexico, following the establishment of rebates announced in March by Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Negotiations were confirmed by Hugo Villa Smythe, commissioner of Comefilm at an industry panel Sunday in Cannes called Mexico: One-Stop Shop.

“Very confidently we can talk about five international productions which would like to come to Mexico,” said Comefilm coordinator Carla Raygoza.

The new incentive scheme, with an initial funding of $20 million, offers 17.5% rebates on Mexican spend to productions in a mix of straight cash and sales tax refunds.

Smythe also disputed claims that Mexican shoots can’t access vital completion bonding.

Mel Gibson’s “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” currently shooting in Veracruz, has been bonded, he said. And Fireman’s Fund, which issues completion bonds, now has an office in Mexico, he noted.

“There’s also a move from last year to arrange completion bonds on fully Mexican productions,” said Smythe.

According to Ricardo Alvarez Felix of promotional org Promexico, the country has 10 bondable line producers.

One key to Gibson’s Mexico shoot is that exec producer Stacy Perskie and director/co-scribe Adrian Grunberg are Mexican, said Smythe.

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