France increases incentive for VFX-heavy international productions

Country’s TRIP incentive rises to 40% from 30% for big VFX-related spending.

By Melanie Goodfellow 18 Jun 2020

France increases incentive for VFX-heavy international productions
Ford V Ferrari. Credit: Fox

France has bolstered the incentives it offers international productions, with an enhanced rebate for large-scale works which generate at least $2.2m (€2m) in VFX-related spending in France.

Under the move, the rebate for eligible incoming productions will rise to 40% from the current 30%. 

The bolstered rebate falls within the scope of the country’s Tax Rebate for International Production (TRIP), aimed at internationally-backed films and high-end series shooting fully or partly in France, which was launched in 2012. 

The rebate for all other live-action productions without a large VFX spend in France will remain at 30%.

Eligible VFX spend for the 40% rebate includes work carried out by French VFX studios as well as VFX-related spending on set such as the use of camera tracking systems.

The maxiumum rebate under both regimes is $33m (€30m), with eligible spending capped at 80% of the total budget.

The enhanced incentive came into effect last week following the publication of a governmental decree detailing the new measure.

Stephan Bender, acting chief of state-backed body Film France, said the bolstered incentive is aimed at big-budget, live-action productions. Animation productions are not eligible.

He added that once a production has hit the €2m minimum VFX-related spend in France, the 40% rebate will be applied to all its eligible TRIP expenses in France. 

“It was voted last year but it had to wait for the EU’s approval and the government decree,” commented Bender. “It is now effective for all projects which fulfil the requirements.” 

Recent productions to have tapped into TRIP for VFX spending have include Ford V Ferrari and The King’s Man.

Since the launch of TRIP in 2012, it has been used by around 300 international productions. In 2019, 55 projects gained TRIP approval from France’s National Cinema Centre (CNC), with a record total planned spending of over $332m (€300m) in France. 

“This bonus comes at the best possible time, precisely when filming is getting back underway and with French industry needing, more than ever, to promote its strengths and expertise to its international customers,” commented CNC chief Dominique Bouttonnat.

The local French film industry has been slowing getting back to work since the begining of June following the country’s 10-week Covid-19 lockdown. International productions are expected to be allowed back into the country later this summer. 

France opened its European borders on June 15, ahead of a wider European Union push to open up to travellers from outside the region progressively from July 1. 

Film France will hold an online event at the Cannes virtual market on June 25 to discuss how to access the bolstered incentive. 

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