Films draw French rebates

Eastwood, Nolan, Meledandri movies get incentive

Clint Eastwood’s “Hereafter,” Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” and the Chris Meledandri-produced “The Lorax” are among five studio pics that will receive Gallic tax rebates for international shoots.

“Hereafter” and “Inception” lensed in France last year for five days, the minimum shoot time necessary to pull down tax coin. Both French shoots on the Warner Bros. pics were handled by John Bernard’s production services company, Peninsula Film.

Gallic tax break coin — applied at 20% of most production spend in France or with French toon/vfx houses and capped at €4 million ($5.6 million) — reportedly proved a deal clincher on “Lorax.”

On “Lorax,” Paris-based VFX house Mac Guff Ligne will handle animation modeling, texturing, rendering and compositing, repeating an arrangement between Mac Guff and Meledandri’s U-based Illumination Entertainment on “Despicable Me.”

Aided by rebates, Gaul’s Duran Duboi will help deliver “Underworld 3D,” a spatialized version of 2003’s “Underworld,” directed by Len Wiseman and produced by Screen Gems/Lakeshore.

In a second coup for France, Paris’ Buf Compagnie, a top Gallic vfx/toon house, will serve as the lead vfx house on “Thor,” channeling tax coin into the Marvel production.

A sixth film to pull down tax coin is Raoul Ruiz’s long-mooted “Love and Virtue,” based on “The Song of Roland” and produced by the U.K.’s Fountain of Life Prods.

The total expenditure in France for the six films is $62.1 million, said Gaul’s CNC French film board, which adjudicated the rebates. Five international movies, including “Despicable Me,” pulled down international tax rebate coin in the CNC’s first round of funding last December.

The key to the rebates is not only the number of films that have tapped rebates but “their diversity,” said Film France managing director Patrick Lamassoure.

“Awarded films range from live-action movies from Hollywood, Japan and the U.K. to live-action television — the BBC series “Merlin” — animation and 3D films,” he said.