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New Zealand broadens eligibility for funding scheme

new zealandFollowing an evaluation determining that the Large Budget Screen Production Grant is the main draw for major productions to film in New Zealand, and acknowledging the industry’s net economic benefit for the country, the New Zealand film commission has introduced several changes to broaden the eligibility of the scheme.

The evaluation found that without the grant the New Zealand film industry would not have the scale and capabilities it has today, and acknowledges the industry’s net economic benefit for the county.

For productions which started principal photography and/or key animation on or after 1 August 2013, the qualifying New Zealand production expenditure (QNZPE) threshold for the Post, Digital and Visual Effects Grant has been reduced from NZ$3m to NZ$1m. In addition, the period for completing principal photography on bundled productions has been extended from 24 months to 36 months

For eligible television productions which started principal photography or key animation on or after 1 January 2013, and are incurring QNZPE on or after 1 October 2013, the qualifying production expenditure threshold has been lowered from NZ$15m to NZ$4m. The eligible formats have also been broadened, including genre, duration and delivery/distribution platforms.

Other changes include the removal of the requirement that promotional material must be held by a New Zealand tax resident; the option to treat production expenditure incurred outside the country as qualifying New Zealand production expenditure if it is for an approved completion bond fee paid to a third party that is a recognized completion guarantor; and the introduction of a requirement that all screen incentive recipients acknowledge the Government’s investment.

Finally there will be changes to criteria which address recent technical issues in verifying qualifying New Zealand production expenditure. All applicants must now be special purpose companies established solely to make the production in New Zealand, with exceptions for non-concurrent productions, subsequent TV series, bundled productions and certain PDV productions.

Details of these changes are available on the New Zealand Film Commission website.

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