Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is launching for the first time a cash rebate incentive of up to 35%. Run by government agency RioFilme, the new program is aimed to benefit international productions that spend at least R$15 million ($3 million) in the picturesque beach city.
The incentive makes it among the most attractive offers in the region, led by Colombia’s 40% cash rebate on local qualified spend and 20% cash rebate on logistical expenses such as hotels, catering and transportation. Rio’s neighboring city of Sao Paulo offers cash rebates of 20% to 30%. Uruguay, a popular shooting location in recent years, offers a 20% to 25% cash rebate for eligible expenses.
Rio has already been luring big productions, even before the new incentive existed. Most recently, “Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore” shot there. It has also been the site for “Fast Five” in 2011 and “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” among many others.
The incentive encompasses films, television, advertising and animation. Music videos and video game shoots are not included. International productions and productions from other states that film in Rio can avail of a 30% cash rebate. This rises to 35% if Rio is the main setting of the production.
As is standard, the program requires contracting a local production service company that has been domiciled in the city for the past two years. There must be at least two locations identifying Rio de Janeiro, and it must premiere in at least six non-Portuguese-speaking countries with at least 100 million inhabitants. In the case of feature films, the productions can be fiction or animation, while the TV series should have at least three episodes shot in Rio, which can be fiction, animation or a reality show.
For advertising campaign shoots, at least one of the locations must be identified as the city of Rio. “Campaign proposals that generate negative impact to the city’s image will not be accepted,” RioFilme pointed out.
Rio and Sao Paulo’s incentives offset the crippling effect of the current government’s freeze on almost all subsidy funds in recent years.