The Argentine capital

Buenos Aires is planning to create an official audiovisual district and will offer a 0% tax incentive to related companies located in the proposed zone. It is hoped the scheme will attract more international productions to the Argentine capital.

The local government is set to issue a draft bill at the end of this month and the Ministry of Economic Development hopes that the district will be in place and the tax break law will be passed by October.

The district would take in the existing “unofficial” district – Palermo Hollywood – which became a hub for the audiovisual industry after the 2001 economic crisis bought property and rental prices in the district down. A sub-section located in Buenos Aires’ largest neighbourhood, Palermo, the new district would also incorporate Chacarita, Colegiales, Villa Ortúzar and Paternal neighbourhoods.

Film, TV, video-game and advertising firms already established in Palermo Hollywood would benefit from the 0% tax incentive if the draft bill becomes law. The Ministry expects 550 firms to be in located in the new district by 2020 and it believes just 220 will exist by the same date if the law is not passed.

“If Fernando ‘Pino’ Solanas doesn’t approve this law, then no one will,” said Francisco Cabrera, Minister for Economic Development, about the filmmaker-turned-politician who sits as a deputy in the Lower House.

The audiovisual industry employs around 2% - 68,000 - of the city’s population, a figure that is expected to rise. The Ministry estimates that around $1500m pesos (£265,441) will be invested in constructing and refurbishing studios and producers’ offices. In 2009, AV was the second-highest exported industry in Buenos Aires with more than 40 full-length national and international features filmed in the city.

Baset, the Buenos Aires organisation that grants permission to film, is also set for a revamp later this year. In order to reduce red tape, producers will be able to apply online and will receive confirmation with 24 hours and a permit within four working days.