Film News Roundup: California Production Tax Credit Extension Moving Forward

In today’s film news roundup, California legislators have started working on an extension of the production tax credit, Golden Lion winner Lorenzo Vigas is working on his next film and Tribeca zombie thriller “The Night Eats the World” gets sold.

TAX CREDITS

California legislators have begun the process of extending the California Film and Television production tax credit for five years beyond its 2020 expiration with bills introduced in the State Senate and Assembly.

The Senate Governance and Finance Committee approved Senate Bill 832 this week. The bill would maintain the annual allocation of credits at its current level of $330 million. The program, which allocates as much as 25% of the budget to credits, was expanded in 2015 to compete effectively with incentives in New York and Georgia.

The program is overseen by the California Film Commission, which selects the TV and movie projects to qualify partly based on the number of jobs created. It’s expected that the legislature will reach agreement on a final bill in the late summer before sending it to Gov. Jerry Brown.

Since the expansion, the program has helped to relocate a total of 13 series to California, including FX’s “Legion,” HBO’s “Ballers” and Fox’s “Lucifer.” Feature films covered under the program include Disney’s upcoming “Captain Marvel” and Paramount’s upcoming “Transformers” spin-off “Bumblebee.”

The commission announced April 9 that it had selected two relatively big-budget films — “Ford v. Ferrari” and “Coming 2 America” — as recipients of the production tax credit along with seven other projects for a total of $55 million in incentives. The commission also announced on March 19 that the Amazon series “Sneaky Pete” was relocating production for its third season from New York to California, and has been approved conditionally to receive a $9.2 million tax credit from the Golden State.

PRODUCTION START

Ivanhoe Pictures, the local-language division of SK Global Entertainment, has partnered with Mexico-based Lucia Films to co-finance/co-produce the dramatic feature “La Caja”  from Lorenzo Vigas.
The Spanish-language project is currently shooting in Chihuahua, Mexico. Lucia Film’s Michel Franco and Jorge Hernandez Aldana are producing along with Lorenzo Vigas; Ivanhoe principals John Penotti, Michael Hogan, and Kilian Kerwin are executive producing.

Vigas co-wrote the original screenplay with Argentinian filmmaker Paula Markovitch. Mexican actor Hernán Mendoza stars along with newcomer Hatzín Oscar Navarrete, who plays a boy summoned to rural Mexico to collect his estranged father’s remains who convinces himself that a small-town factory worker (Mendoza) is actually his father in hiding.

Venezuelan director Vigas’ first feature “From Afar” won the Golden Lion at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, the only Spanish language film that has won the award.
TRIBECA DEAL
Blue Fox Entertainment has acquired North American rights for “The Night Eats the World,” one day ahead of its North American premiere as an official selection at the Tribeca Film Festival.
The French zombie thriller was shot by director Dominique Rocher in both French and English language during production. Blue Fox will be release the English version in the summer. Tribeca is screening the French version with English subtitles.

The film was produced by Carole Scotta of Haut et Court, with the participation of Canal +, Ciné +, WTFilms and Haut et Court Distribution, with the support of CNC – Nouvelles Technologies en Production and SACEM, in association with Sofitvcine 4, Cofinova 13, Indéfilms 5.

Todd Slater brokered the deal on behalf of Blue Fox Entertainment with United Talent Agency on behalf of the filmmakers.  WTFilms is handling international sales.

Director Dominique Rocher also co-wrote the screenplay with Jérémie Guez and Guillaume Lemans, which is an adaptation of French author Pit Agarmen’s novel “La Nuit a Dévoré le Monde.” The film stars the Norwegian actor Anders Danielsen Lie with supporting performances from Dennis Lavant and Golshifteh Farahani.

The story centers on a man who wakes one morning to find himself living in a nightmare: an army of zombies have invaded the streets of Paris and he is the lone survivor. While contemplating his bleak future and how to survive, he learns he may not be alone after all.

 

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