San Sebastián: Tax Rebates for Foreign Shoots Reach 40% in Spain’s Canary Islands

Film and TV local industry has started to consolidate in recent years

Spain suddenly upped in June its tax incentives for film and TV. The move boosted the consolidation of the Canary Islands -with a special fiscal regime- as one of the most attractive destinies for filming in Europe.

The new measures increased to 40% the Islands’ previous 35% tax rebate for foreign shoots, while tax deductions for Spanish productions and co-productions rose to 45% for the first €1 million ($1.2 million), and 40 % onwards, up to $6.3 million. The Islands’ incentives are some 20 percentage points higher than the main parts of the Peninsula.

Rolling in Fuerteventura for two weeks in June, Disney’s untitled “Star Wars” Han Solo feature, serviced by Sur Film, benefited from the new 40% tax rebate, since it’s being applied retroactively.

Alexander Skarsgard’s “The Kill Team,” a co-production between Adrián Guerra’s Nostromo wand U.S. Temple Hill Entertainment and Dan Krauss’s feature film adaptation of his same-titled documentary, rolls in Fuerteventura, with access to tax deductions.

Canary Islands’ fiscal regime also includes the Zona Especial Canaria (ZEC), which allows companies that launch in the Islands to pay just 4% in corporation tax. According to Concha Díaz, co-ordinator of the Tenerife Film Commission, that’s the case of Tenerife’s 3D animation and VFX studio 3Doubles Producciones, a standout player in the rapidly-growing Canary Islands toon sector.

3Doubles is finishing production on 3D animated feature “The Steam Engines of Oz,” a co-production with Canada’s Arcana Studios, scheduled for a fall 2018 release.

Having reportedly received the largest part of the north-of-an-estimated $236 million spend in Spain by foreign shoots in the last two years, the Canary Island’s authorities are aware of the importance of not only hosting big shoots but also generating a industrial infrastructure.

After a five-year hiatus, the Canary Islands government will dedicate this year $2.4 million investment to support development and production of local film and TV projects.

Last year, film commissions from the seven Canary Islands teamed under a common umbrella, Canary Islands Film, addressing foreign producers as a single territory.

“The Islands’ audiovisual institutions are working in a very co-ordinated way, which makes us stronger,” says Natacha Mora, responsible for the Canary Islands government’s audiovisual department.

Underscoring a growing industry heft in their audiovisual sector, new initiatives at the Islands include the launch of the Ibero-American Animation Quirino Awards, whose first edition will take place in Tenerife next spring.

Also, two established Canary Islands festivals, the Las Palmas Intl. Film Festival and MiradasDoc, are hosting new markets: final cut market Mecas in Las Palmas and Mercadoc in Tenerife’s Guia de Isora. Furthermore, Gran Canaria island will host in May a Cartoon Business seminar, about development of new business models in animation sector.

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