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Shanghai reveals plans for new film tax incentives

According to reports, Shanghai is set to unveil game-changing tax incentives for the film industry. The measures include a 15% tax rate for film companies based in Shanghai and also an incentive laden programme to support shooting and post-production.

Shanghai skyline

Shanghai, China's financial hub, has published a series of measures to boost the film industry in the city, including 200m Yuan (£20.41m) to promote film development.  

The Shanghai Film Working Conference, a committee that was brought together by pooling the resources of nine government departments and spearheaded the move, is focused on giving the film industry in Shanghai a huge lift.

State backing is a key element to the film business in China, as the state-owned companies control distribution; ergo no movie is exhibited in China, including Hollywood films, without the government's permission.

Commenting on these events is the founding partner of Gung-Ho Films, Michael McDermott, he said: “In general the production and post-production environment here is increasing. There are more films being made in China nowadays and we get more Hollywood attention. It’s very easy to shoot here, it’s expensive, but clearly it’s getting better and better.”

He added: “There haven’t been any such measures in the past and we encourage anything that’ll improve the quality of content.”

The focus of the new scheme will be to encourage movies that promote socialist values. It will include support for film fundraising, subsidies for local film companies and theatre construction.

Furthermore, there will be subsidies for training and also the salaries of foreign film advisers may become tax deductible further down the line.

The committee also wants to build a film service company that will facilitate filmmakers looking to shoot in Shanghai.

McDermott said: “If these measures mean more international productions filming here then that’s great.”

Support will also be given to local productions looking for international distribution and those wishing to take part in international film festivals.