In a major boost to the Dutch film industry, a new €20m ($27m) annual scheme is being set up with the aim of attracting international production back to the Netherlands.
The money has been allocated by Government and will be available from 2014. It is expected both to increase inward investment and to slow the talent drain.
“For the Dutch film industry, it means we are back on track,” said Netherlands Film Fund CEO Doreen Boonekamp of the new funding, which will now allow the Dutch to compete with European rivals.
“This positive outcome is crucial for the future and quality of the national film industry. Dutch film professionals can now compete internationally on the basis of quality. We expect this measure to enable more foreign producers to shoot and produce in the Netherlands.”
The new money comes at a time when the Dutch film sector has been suffering from cuts in public funding and from the lack of a soft money scheme to rival the Belgian Tax Shelter or the CIAV system in Luxembourg. It is bound to have a transformative effect on the local industry.
The announcement of the extra funding - which will come in the form of a cash rebate for filmmakers working in the Netherlands with local Dutch producers - represents a triumph for Boonekamp and her team.
For several years, they have been lobbying government to provide the industry with the backing that other European rivals have taken for granted.
“Obviously, it is even better than we dreamed of. Immediately, the money is there,” Boonekamp told ScreenDaily.
The new measures have received cross party support.
The Ministries of Finance, Economical Affair and Culture have all combined to back the measures.
The Government appears to have been won over by the economic arguments made by the industry. Recent research by Oxford Economics concluded that employment levels in the film sector in Europe have shown a growth of 11.5% since 1998, whereas Dutch employment figures fell 16.7% in the same period.
Full details of how the new scheme will work are yet to be resolved. The Film Fund are pressing for the rebate to be as high as 30%, although Boonekamp acknowledges the final figure may be slightly lower.