Spain has proved ever more successful in luring some of the biggest movies and series, and although 2020 saw a large rise in tax breaks, the big hike came in December. New record tax advantages raised relief for international productions to up to €20 million ($21.4 million) per movie and $10.7 million for any single series episode.

In the Canary Islands — operating a special tax regime — the film tax break ceiling is now an extraordinary $38.6 million, one of the highest in Europe.

Effective Jan. 1, deduction rates for foreign productions are set at 30% for the first $1.1 million of deductible expenses and 25% for the rest in the Peninsula, and 50%- 45% in the Canaries.

“The hike has solved a problem that prevented the capture of big productions,” says Carlos Rosado, president of the Spain Film Commission, a network of 41 film commissions and offices.

“The measures will undoubtedly serve to attract larger-scale projects,” adds Fernando Victoria de Lecea, president of producers association Profilm.

“Tax incentives are no longer a problem in Spain. Now we are competitive,” says Nostromo Pictures co-founder Adrián Guerra. Before the latest tax break hike, many big productions opted to shoot for far more days in other territories with bigger breaks. “This improvement responds to the interest of large productions to shoot more in Spain,” Rosado explains.

Spain’s new incentives compare well to France’s, levied at 30% with a $32.2 million cap, and the U.K.’s, offered at 25% of eligible spend though with no ceiling save that it cannot exceed 80% of a production budget.

Rounding out Spain’s status as an attractive haven, the Spanish province of Bizkaia announced last year an up-to-70% incentive for film and TV series shooting in the Basque Country province, with no cap at all.

The industry is perceiving a growing interest by big international producers. In the past, these usually shot on sets in the U.K. and also used European locations. But Brexit complicated travel abroad for British crews while cost and sustainability concerns are reducing travel plans.

“Our idea is for an entire production to come to Spain, taking advantage of infrastructures such as the re-opened Ciudad de La Luz Studios or Madrid studios facilities,” says Victoria de Lecea.

Profilm is now asking for $32.1 million discounts per film, which could attract even larger projects budgeted from $107 million-$128.4 million.

The production services industry is also expanding. Bambú, the Spanish partner of power- house Studiocanal, and Barcelona mini-major Filmax, have launched service operations for international shoots.

“It is time to share our expertise with others. In 15 years, we have shown that we are not only creators, but also managers,” says Sara Gonzalo, at Bambú’s BMB Services.

Bambú recently filmed the Amazon Prime Video Original Series “Un asunto privado,” with Jean Reno, in Galicia.

“New tax regs can spark a considerable increase in shoots in the Canary Islands,” says Natacha Mora, Canary Islands Film coordinator, noting the launch in January of a Gran Canaria Platós complex in Las Palmas.

Two big international projects — a TV series and a film — will hit the Canaries in the first quarter. There’s also been an increase in shoot requests from mainland Spain, Mora notes.

Some challenges remain, such as snagging top crews. That, however, is a problem now nearly worldwide.