The French government is considering relaxing its tax breaks to include foreign films. French daily Le Figaro reported Friday that the culture and finance ministries are considering opening up what is known as the credit d'impot system in order to attract international productions.
The credit d'impot was originally set up four years ago to encourage French films to shoot locally. The scheme allows for a write off of 20% of a film's below-the-line costs and has a cap of $1.6m (Euros 1m). Thus far, it has been very popular with indigenous productions: 120 films benefited from it in 2007.
In a paper written by the ministries, the proposal is to extend the 20% tax break to foreign films that shoot in France with a ceiling of $6.3m (Euros 4m). However, the films must have certain elements linked to France's culture, its heritage or the country itself.
The move would be a boon for foreign productions - especially those from the US which are suffering under the weight of a dismal dollar exchange rate - and also for the French profession in general, which has often called for the opening up of subsidies in order to create more jobs and attract deep-pocketed foreigners.
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