Hollywood taps Italo incentives

'Juliet,' 'American,' 'Tourist' benefit from coin

ROME — One year after Italy’s tax breaks for international film productions went into effect, Hollywood has tapped into the incentives to the tune of some $10 million.

Summit Entertainment’s “Letters to Juliet,” George Clooney starrer “The American,” from Focus Features, and, most recently, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp starrer “The Tourist,” produced by Graham King’s GK Films, are among foreign titles that have benefited from the breaks, which became fully available in July 2009.

The Italo tax breaks give international productions a 25% deduction up to $7 million, payable through an Italian executive producer.

“The American,” which has a roughly $14 million budget, saved some $2.5 million, according to sources.

The incentive is structured as an immediate return, rather than a rebate, on production expenses — provided they do not exceed 60% of a film’s overall budget.

Also, 30% of the spend can be invested in another European country and still qualify.

Rome’s Cinecitta Studios, which provided services for these pics, now has a consultant at its facilities, which comprise 30 soundstages and 300 acres of backlots, to help productions find out if they qualify and draft a preliminary budget.

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