Sean Penn - 'The Gunman'

Despite the crisis, the number of international shoots in the country is growing

Every cloud – even Spain’s beleaguered film production sector – has a silver lining.

Despite the economic crisis, the number of international shoots is growing in Spain.

There’s a main reason behind the move: International players are taking advantage of the complex tax breaks regime for local film producers based in Spain, running from 2009, and Spanish companies are increasingly pushing their attractions.

Current high-profile international shoots in Spain include Warner Bros. and Village Roadshow’s “In The Heart of The Sea,” directed by Ron Howard, plus Ridley Scott’s “Exodus,” produced by 20th Century Fox.

Spanish film industry offers a 18% tax-break on movie investment by private financial investors channeled through tax vehicles called Agrupaciones de Interes Economico.

“The growth of international shoots over the last two years is due to a bigger legal and fiscal security in the use of fiscal incentives,” said producer Adrian Guerra.

Guerra, co-producer of Sean Penn starrer action thriller “The Gunman,” which lensed in Barcelona, has created Oceano Media to lure international producers.

“International producers not only look to Spain for excellent locations. Spanish shoots’s hallmarks are legal security and craft talented and crews,” said Carlos Rosado, prexy of the Spanish Film Commission.

Shooting from September in Almeria and Canary Islands’ Fuerteventura, Ridley Scott’s “Exodus” will spend in Spain north of €40 million, Rosado estimated.

Spanish thesp Maria Valverde (“The Mule”) has just joined the “Exodus” cast, which includes Christian Bale, Aaron Paul, Sigourney Weaver and John Turturro.

“Exodus” also benefits from the large international experience of Spanish production companies such as Madrid-based Kanzaman, whose partners are working via Babieca Films, Rosado said.

“Exodus” and “In The Heart of The Sea” are considered Spanish co-productions since partially financed by Spanish tax vehicles.

They also shoot in the Canary Islands, whose singular tax regime ups its tax breaks to 38%, and boasts further fiscal deductions for film investment from Island-based companies.

“There is a long road ahead, but at least we can start timidly to compete with other countries,” Adrian Guerra added.

However, unlike other European territories such France or the UK, Spain doesn’t offers shoot rebates on international productions.

“Spain is a reality that needs to be grown by Spain’s Ministry of Finance,” Rosado said.

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