It may be a tiny landlocked country but, for several years now, Luxembourg has been prolific as a co-producer with partners from all over the world.
Money draws international filmmakers to Luxembourg. Under the present arrangements, producers can receive up to $2m-$2.2m (€1.8m-€2m) per project from this small nation. As Dutch producer Claudia Brandt of Accento Films puts it, this is where you come for “a no-nonsense, straightforward co-production”. It helps there are so many experienced local producers — companies such as Calach, Tarantula and Samsa — that have worked on international projects.
Now Luxembourg is tweaking its funding arrangements to make it more internationally relevant. At present, everything is done on a points grid. Producers are rewarded for hiring technicians and cast, shooting and for bringing investment into the local economy.
“We want to change it toward a system where the producer gets an amount of money from us and he has to spend this amount of money in the local audiovisual industry. That means if he gets a euro, he has to spend a euro,” says Guy Daleiden, managing director of Film Fund Luxembourg.
With more and more projects looking to come to the country, Luxembourg “needs a system that allows us to do more productions with less governmental support”, as Daleiden puts it. In the future, minority co-productions will have access to slightly less money — $1.6m (€1.5m) per project — but the fund will be more flexible about the way the money is allocated.
“For the moment, if you do half of the post-production in Luxembourg, you get the full amount of points for post-production but if you do 70% of post-production you get the same amount — and if you do 30% you get nothing,” says Daleiden. Now the spend will be directly related to expenditure. The new system will be in place by the end of the year.
For the local industry it has always been a case of co-produce or die. The country is not big enough to sustain homegrown productions. Luxembourg’s film incentives have also been carefully tailored so that they fit with schemes elsewhere. For example, Netherlands-Luxembourg-UK co-production Marionette, which shot in Scotland and Luxembourg this year, was able to access the UK tax credit, the Dutch cash rebate system and the Luxembourg incentive.
Marionette producer Brandt welcomes the proposed changes, which should make the spending obligations in Luxembourg far less complicated. It should now be easier for films to come to the Grand Duchy even if they are there for relatively short periods of time.
Luxembourg is a member of the European Union and a participant in the Schengen Agreement. Its currency is the euro.
Christophe Honoré’s Room 212, was shot partly in Luxembourg, while The Swallows Of Kabul by Zabou Breitman and Elea Gobbe-Mevellec created part of its animation there. Jenna Bass’s Flatland and Colombian director Jayro Bustamante’s Tremors (Temblores) also filmed in Luxembourg.
Filmland Kehlen in the west of the country offers 4,000 square metres of studio space as well as construction workshop facilities, offices and technical resources. The hub is home to half-a-dozen production companies, as well as post specialists and service firms.
Luxembourg is a landlocked country of less than 2,590 square kilometres — making it one of Europe’s smallest sovereign states. Around four million people used the country’s Lux Airport in 2018 and the site hosts 15 airlines with about 80 direct international flight destinations.
First person to contact
Guy Daleiden, managing director, Film Fund Luxembourg firstname.lastname@example.org