France introduced the Tax Rebate for International Production on Tuesday (December 1), which aims to encourage big-budget foreign films to shoot in the country.

It is open to film and TV and will offer a 20 per cent tax credit – up to $5.5m (€4m) – on money spent in France. Applications will have to pass a cultural test to prove the project has a link to French or European culture. It was passed by French parliament last December and received the greenlight from the European Commission in July.

Applications for the credit will be handled by the state-owned Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC), with assistance from Film France. Films will be eligible if they have a French story, setting, character or are based on French source material, or if French companies or practitioners are involved.

It is open to productions that began shooting in January 2009 although projects that receive money from CNC and are recognised as official co-production will not be able to apply for the rebate.