In Belgium, tax breaks enter a third year. Foreigners may access the scheme through co-prods with local producers who tap companies fiscally registered in Belgium. Break is worth 150% of the amount invested, up to a ceiling of E750,000 ($966,000). This means the maximum amount worth investing is E500,000 ($644,000). Local producers are lobbying for the ceiling to be raised. Local spend must be at least 150% of amount raised through the scheme. The Flanders Audiovisual Fund and the Cinema and Audiovisual Centre of the French-speaking Community offer direct funds to local producers that can be accessed through co-prods.
In the Netherlands, production incentives are set to undergo yet another overhaul next year. The long-doomed tax scheme ends July 1, 2007. The E20 million ($25 million) previously set aside to finance breaks will be channeled into film in other ways — government and film industry are currently mulling how. Suggestions include the creation of a matching fund to encourage private investment. In the meantime, Netherlands Film Fund provides E5.5 million ($7 million) for so-called commercial pics and E4.5 million ($5.8 million) for arthouse fare.
Luxembourg continues to offer tax deductions of up to 25% on total production costs through its Audiovisual Investment Certificate Program (AICP). Foreigners can tap the incentive by co-producing with local production companies liable for tax in the country. Scheme is likely to be tweaked in 2008, when it comes up for renewal, to make it less territorial so expenses such as Luxembourg crew working abroad could qualify as local spend.
- Netherlands Film Fund: Web: filmfund.nl; Email: email@example.com; Phone: +31 20 5707676; Contact: Toine Berbers;
- Marmont Film Financing (Belgium): Web: marmont.org; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: +32 2 548 38 30; Contact: Michel Houdmont
- Scope Invest (Belgium); Web: scopeinvest.be; Email: email@example.com; Phone: +32 22 890997
- Luxembourg Film Fund: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: +352 478 20 65
Revolving around the so-called children’s crusades of the Middle Ages, “Crusade in Jeans” is the latest pic from Dutch helmer Ben Sombogaart (Oscar nominee “Twin Sisters”).
Rotterdam-based producing vet Kees Kasander put together the co-production involving Belgium, Luxembourg and the U.K. He tapped just about every incentive in the region, most notably the Belgian tax incentives. Belgian co-producer, Brussels-based Marmont Financing, raised E4.25 million ($5.4 million). Investors included media giant Roularta, which put in E2 million ($2.5 million) through four subsids. Publisher Persgroep invested the E500,000 ($644,000) max in two consecutive tax years after Marmont had the incentives tweaked.
“We ended up financing roughly 25% of the film,” says Marmont’s Michel Houdmont.