21 Oct 2014

Fiscal incentives for film and TV production – tax shelters, rebates and credits – will come under the spotlight this autumn in Brussels, and the European Audiovisual Observatory invited FERA to discuss the issue from a film director’s standpoint.

The EAO commissioned a brand new report from consultants Olsberg•SPI on these fiscal incentives and their impact on film and audiovisual production in Europe, which was presented at a public conference in Brussels on Monday 20th of October. The event was hosted by the Representation of the Free State of Bavaria to the EU.

The Observatory’s Executive Director, Susanne Nikoltchev, stated that this new report and conference should “shed some much needed light on the effects of fiscal incentives on the European production landscape.” Nikoltchev pointed out the study was financed by a contribution from Observatory member, the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture and expressed her thanks for the funding of this “unique study – the first of its kind in Europe.”

The report « Impact analysis of fiscal incentive schemes intended to support film and audiovisual production in Europe » was presented by Jonathan Olsberg, Chairman, and Andrew Barnes, Associate Director of Olsberg•SPI.

The subsequent expert panel discussion focused on dealing with the needs of production infrastructure which has increased as a result of fiscal incentives. The question of balancing the growth of domestic and international production sectors, and possible adverse effects from the introduction of fiscal incentives were discussed.

André Lange, EAO’s Head of the Department for Information on Markets and Financing, moderated the discussion between :

–       Benoît Ginisty, Director General of the FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers’ Associations) and President of the Observatory’s Advisory Committee

–       Jonathan Olsberg, Chairman of Olsberg•SPI

–       Johannes Studinger, Head of UNI MEI

–       Pauline Durand-Vialle, Chief Executive of FERA

–       Sanja Ravlić, Eurimages representative for Croatia, Head of Development at the Croatian Audiovisual Centre

–       Pierre-Emmanuel Lecerf, Head of the European and International Unit, Financial and Legal Director, CNC

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FERA’s CEO stated that film directors consider fiscal incentives as an essential tool, providing audiovisual creation with infrastructures, employment and a high degree of professionalism for artistic and technical professionals, and generating funding for european films.

They also foster openness and cooperation throughout Europe, and to some extent participate in building the Europe FERA members stand for, resisting the disturbing national retrenchment tendencies noticed in some EU Member States.

She pointed out that those schemes must moreover foster european creativity against any standardisation of the creative process or outsourcing of creation that would be damaging to european cultural identity.

Those schemes must therefore increase investment and generate funding for a diversity of european audiovisual works to be truly efficient in the eyes of european audiovisual creators. And that can only be achieved if fiscal incentives are part of comprehensive and consistent audiovisual policies in favour of audiovisual creation, both at national and EU level.

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More information on the study and conference online report on the European Audiovisual Observatory website