Mexico

Low-cost crews, fun locations an attractive lure

The scoop: Spectacular locations coast to coast, from jungles to deserts, and topnotch film crews who work for less are the top draws for Mexico.

A rebate on the 15% value-added tax by foreign films remains complex, and a producer must hire a Mexican accountant to deal with the tax system. Current lobbying efforts could produce easier-to-use incentives by next year.

Under new leadership, government film institute Imcine set up an office this year to promote foreign film production, replacing the now-defunct National Film Commission (Conafilm). The new Mexican Film Commission is staffed by production professionals like Hugo Villa and Carla Reygoza, who are trying to raise the bar in services provided to foreign productions. An info-packed website is supposed to be up in the coming months.

More experienced state film commissions in Veracruz, Hidalgo, Morelos, Baja California and Durango can hook up discounts on hotels, vehicles and food services.

Bonus: Mexican crews have a table of rates: what they charge to Mexican films and what they charge to visiting Hollywood productions. Co-produce with a Mexican company, and they will give you an intermediate rate.

Hot spot: Mexico’s historic Estudios Churubusco is in the midst of an overhaul under the leadership of Mexican helmer Jose Luis Garcia Agraz, who’s revamping the studio, including adding a second THX studio and a music studio. Digital intermediary services were brought online last year. While the fabled backlot is gone, Garcia Agraz aims to make Churubusco a word-class studio again.

Shot there: “South of the Border”; “The Perfect Game”; “La misma luna” (The Same Moon)

Links:

  • Imcine: imcine.gob.mx

  • Mexican Film Commission, contact Carla Reygoza: locations.mexico@imcine.gob.mx

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