Australia

New incentives hope to rope in producers

The scoop: The Location Offset for Foreign Films and Television tax credit has been upped from 12.5% to 15%, which, when added to state incentives, will give producers a rebate of between 17% and 18%. Oz’s diverse locales complement topnotch crews with expertise developed on the “Star Wars” prequels, “Superman Returns” and “The Matrix,” among others. The thesp pool also is particularly deep.

The new 15% credit for post-production, digital and vfx and a burgeoning post industry (with such young and innovative houses as Rising Sun, Animal Logic, Photon and Fuel) also makes Australia a reliable post outpost; the incentives help offset the rising Oz dollar against the greenback.

Local biz also is being buoyed by renewed government incentives, while the international TV industry responded to previous tax credits — USA Networks’ “The Starter Wife” is among the high-profile foreign projects to shoot in Oz.

Bonus: Pics already shot or now shooting can still qualify for new post and visual effects offsets if Oz spend is after July 1.

Shot there: DreamWorks’ “The Ruins”; Fox’s “Australia”; WB’s “Where the Wild Things Are”; Yash Raj Films’ “Chak de India”

Hot spot: Cairns/Port Douglas, Far North Queensland, is enjoying its moment in the sun with location filming for HBO’s “The Pacific” now under way and Walden’s “Nim’s Island” due soon; these follow recent WB adventure “Fool’s Gold” and Dutch kidvid “The Ship Boys of Bontekoe.”

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