The Toscana Film Commission has announced a new $12.1m (€9m) fund to attract productions to the region.

The Italian region will invest $5.4m (€4m) this year and a further $6.7m (€5m) in 2010. It comes as the Commission revealed that investment in the region’s film industry has rose from $2.7m (€2m) in 2006 to $17.5m (€13m) last year.

The new fund will support first works and second works, documentaries and screenplays. It will offer up $270,324 (€270,324) first films on the condition that this funding does not exceed 50% of production costs. All of the money has to be spent in the region and at least half of the location shooting must be in Tuscany.

With second features, the fund will invest up to $608,231 (€450,000) as long as at least 15% of the funds allocated by the Region are spent in Tuscany and half of the location shooting is done there. For documentaries, there is a threshold of $67,581 (€50,000), which may cover up to 70% of production costs.

Several high-profile movies are already committed to shooting in Tuscany this year, including Chris Weitz’s New Moon, the provisional title for the sequel to Twilight. Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami is also due in the region next month to shoot Certified Copy (handled by MK2) starring Juliette Binoche and Sami Frey. Other titles that have shot or are shooting in Tuscany include Il Falco e la Colomba by Giorgio Serafini and Il Mostro by Antonello Grimaldi.