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Austrian incentive scheme extended for another two years

Austria’s film production incentive scheme “Filmstandort Austria” (Film Location Austria - FISA) has been extended to the end of 2014 with an annual budget of $10m (€7.5m).

On announcing the extension, Economics Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner pointed out that the incentive “strengthens the competitiveness of the domestic film industry and makes Austria as a film location even more attractive for foreign productions with local partners. In this way, knowhow, jobs and added value stay in the country.”

Since its launch in September 2010, FISA has supported 55 fiction films and documentaries, including such international co-productions as Fernando Meirelles’ Arthur Schnitzler adaptation 360; Peter Sehr and Marie Noelle’s costume drama Ludwig II; Detlev Buck’s 3D comedy Measuring The World; and János Szász’s drama The Notebook.

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In addition, local productions – ranging from Karl Markovics’ Breathing and Markus Schleinzer’s Michael through Antonin Svoboda’s The Strange Case Of Wilhelm Reich and Florian Flicker’s Grenzgänger to Ruth Mader’s documentary What Is Love - have benefitted from the scheme.

To date, FISA has allocated $20.3m (€15.2m) support to 55 projects with total production costs of $177.4m (€132.5m) and generated an “Austrian spend” of $85m (€63.5m).

Commenting on the scheme’s extension, producer Danny Krausz, chairman of the trade association Film and Music Austria (FAMA), pointed out that, in FISA’s second phase “it will be necessary to adapt the tried and tested guidelines to the present requirements: the strengthening of Austria vis-a-vis the international competition, better capitalisation for the Austrian film production industry, in particular, more attractive general conditions for international cooperation taking into account the new ones currently being drafted with the involvement of the film industry by the European Commission in its Cinema Communcation, in order to develop the funding instrument.”

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