EU questions value of incentives luring Hollywood

Commission asks for comments to draft film subsidies

BRUSSELS — Incentives to attract Hollywood productions to Europe are being questioned in a review of public subsidies for film making.

Europe’s state aid regulator, the European Commission, launched the review Monday by inviting public comment on a range of issues.

“For example, does a subsidy race to attract major U.S. productions undermine the effectiveness of aid to support smaller European films?” asked competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia.

Other subjects identified for discussion include whether there should be support beyond film and TV production, for example for film distribution and digital projection, and whether changes are needed to adapt to new technologies, new creative concepts and changing consumer behavior.

Questions are also raised about territorial spending obligations imposed in film support schemes.

“Only when we have a clearer picture of issues like these can we begin to develop appropriate state aid rules,” Almunia said.

Public consultation is open until Sept. 30. Commission will then draft changes to the state aid rules, which expire at the end of 2012.

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