The only bona fide incentive for foreign productions in Mexico is a VAT refund that has seen only one taker since it was introduced two years ago. While it sounds like a good idea, the incentive has been undercut by Mexico’s tax idiosyncrasies.
Much of Mexico’s film industry, especially freelance crews, operates outside Mexico’s tax fold (like much of the nation) — so they won’t be charging productions VAT to begin with. Most choose simply to keep as much off the books as possible.
It’s also possible for foreign companies to tap incentives from the Mexican government as long as projects are co-productions with Mexican companies. Film fund Fidecine awards around $7 million per year in financing.
Mexico also has a new tax incentive for domestic productions that could be tapped, under some pretty tight restrictions, by foreign companies. The measure, known as Article 226, is designed to stoke corporate financing by offering companies income tax exemptions equal to investments in domestic productions.
Incentive could be used by co-productions between a Mexican company and a foreign company, says Victor Ugalde, head of Mexican film fund Fidecine.
But Ugalde says the film still would have to meet the criteria of Fidecine’s board of being a predominantly “domestic production,” with a Mexican production company at the helm, using a Mexican director, etc.
- Mexico Film Commission (Conafilm): Web: conafilm.org. mx; Email: conafilm@prodigy. net.mx; Contact: Sergio Molina, prexy
- Fidecine: Web: imcine.gob.mx; Email: email@example.com; Contact: Carlos Taibo, head, aid to film production
While Ollin Studios launched its film unit just three years ago, it has quickly become the hottest state-of-the-art animation and post house in Mexico.
Company got its start producing ads in 1996 in the garage of one of its founders. By last year, company said it saw $6 million in revenue and has grown to rival New Art, Mexico’s largest post house.
Film unit, under Edgardo Mejia, bowed in 2003 and has grown rapidly, widening from Mexican to foreign clients.
Ollin’s digital effects capability will be on display in local shingle Lemon Films’ upcoming horror pic “Km. 31,” due out this fall. Ollin is doing visual effects for This Is That Prods.’ “The Sleep Dealer.”
Ollin recently opened L.A. offices headed by Robin D’Arcy, a visual effects producer on “Alexander,” to drum up more Hollywood clients. Contact: ollin.com.mx