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French Animation Industry Gets Big Boost From International Tax Rebate (EXCLUSIVE)

France’s thriving animation industry has been getting the biggest boost from the international tax rebate since 2013.

Each year on average, animated films and series represent a third of the productions accessing the international tax rebate and 50% of the expenditure of foreign productions in France, according to Xavier Lardoux, head of films at the CNC National Film Board.

Since the international tax rebate was revamped in 2016, allowing for a rate increase which grew from 20% to 30%, several French studios such as Mikros Animation, Dwarf Labs or Fortiche Production have followed the footsteps of Illuminated MacGuff (“Despicable Me,””The Lorax”) and have started working on American projects that have brought nearly 30 million euros ($35 million) in expendirure in France, according to the CNC.

Dwarf Labs, for instance, began working for Cirrina Studios on William Joyce’s animated feature “The Extincts” (pictured), an adaptation of British writer Veronica Cossanteli’s popular children novel.

France’s technical industries, which include animation services, channeled 80.2 million euros ($94.5 million) in 2016, a 16.7% year-on-year increase, according to France’s Federation of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries (FICAM).

“France is now renowned for American studios and producers at Dreamworks, Disney and Paramount, among others, for its talented animators and its ability to craft commercially-successful upscale animated content with reasonable budgets,” said Lardoux, citing “The Minions,” for instance, which has been named Universal’s most profitable film with $1.2 billion box office gross earned worldwide.

“The choice of France as a shoot/production destination results from various factors such as the improvement of the tax rebate, the quality of local talents, industries and decors, as well as the dynamism of national and regional institutions,” said Frederique Bredin, the CNC president.

In 2017, a record 52 projects which secured an agreement to benefit from the international tax rebate registered an estimated 255 million Euros ($300.5 million) in local expenditure (compared to $198 million in 2016), 73% of which were made for U.S. productions. As many as eight American movies shot in France and tapped the rebate last year. These include Clint Eastwood’s “15:17” and “Mission Impossible: Fallout,” as well as “The Extincts.”

“The volume of U.S. film productions remained stable in 2017 but the amount of expenditure has gone up from 45 million euros ($53 million) to 74 million euros ($87.2 million),” said Lardoux, who also cited “Dunkirk” which shot for 30 days in France and brought in 20 million euros ($23.5 million) in local expenditure, and high-profile series such as “French Riviera” which shot for 130 days and left 54 million euros ($63.6 million) in expenditure.

TV and web series represented 65% of projects which received the rebate and 60% of expenditure in 2017. Nearly half of them (7) were Netflix shows, notably “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “Sense8;” followed by Amazon with five shows, such as “Jack Ryan,””American Gods,” “The Romanoff” and “The Patriot.”

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