Last year, 14 feature films rolled there, including Robert Zemeckis’ “Allied,” Rodrigo Cortés production “Down a Dark Hall,” and Sony Pictures-Atresmedia’s “Oro.” Among TV dramas: Netflix’s “Black Mirror” plus BBC’s “Doctor Who” and “Silent Witness.”
Spanish Broadcasters Bankroll Film Growth
Since 2015, the Canaries’ singular tax legislation has been offering a 35% tax rebate on foreign shoots’ spend — 20 percentage points higher than on the peninsula — capped at $4.9 million, and requiring a Canary Islands-based line producer.
Also available are tax credits for Spanish productions and co-productions of up to 40%, channeled — as in the rest of Spain — through Economic Interest Assns.
Plus, compatible with all the above deductions, there is a reduced rate of 4% corporate income tax.
Plans for big shoots continue. In March, the Fuerteventura Film Commission confirmed a Disney production, which will be a new installment of the “Star Wars” film franchise and will use Sur Film’s location services.
“Now we can address foreign producers as a single territory, with a single spokesperson, who co-ordinates with other film commissions and links with local industry. This is much more attractive and easier,” says Natacha Mora, responsible for the Canary Islands government’s audiovisual department.
— Emiliano de Pablos
As a test run, the HBO flagship show lensed season five in Andalusia for three weeks in 2014.
Since the introduction of tax rebates for foreign shoots in early 2015, the show returned for seasons six and seven, spending respectively nine and 10 shooting weeks in the country, including four and three weeks in Andalusia.
“Without tax incentives there would not have been the sixth and seventh ‘Game of Thrones’ seasons in Spain,” says the series’ Spanish line producer Peter Welter at Fresco Film. Similar to the rest of the Spanish mainland, Andalusia offers 15% tax rebates on shoots’ total spend.
For its seventh season, the HBO show shot on location in the castle of Almodóvar del Río in Córdoba, the Itálica Roman amphitheater in Seville’s Santiponce, and the medieval shipyard Reales Atarazanas in Seville.
Andalusia also hosted partial shoots of NBC’s “Emerald City,” Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful,” Disney’s “Still Star-Crossed” and Channel 4 and National Geographic’s “Crossing the Border,” plus “The Plague,” and the Fuengirola-set Mediterranean noir “The Paradise.”
The $100 million Oscar Isaac-starrer “The Promise”; conquistador epic “Oro”; and high-profile German movie “Ostwind 3,” figure among other recent shoots.
— Emiliano de Pablos
As it develops as a shooting locale, however, Navarre is likely to focus on attracting shoots via a 35% corporate tax deduction for local companies, greenlit by the European Commission on Aug. 16. These tax breaks are likely to be used by Spanish movies — or international shoots that gain Spanish nationality — that spend at least 25% of their budgets in Navarre.
The main challenge is to persuade Navarre’s big industry to invest in movies. A first big milestone for Navarre’s film incentive, according to Javier Lacunza, general manager of Navarre Culture, Sports and Leisure, has been “Invisible Guardian,” a rural noir thriller produced by Adrian Guerra’s Nostromo Pictures and Atresmedia Cine.
Set in Navarre’s ancient, verdant Baztan Valley, “The Invisible Guardian” lensed completely in the province last year, even recording its score with the local symphonic orchestra.
“We have come a long way in a short time,” Lacunza says.
— John Hopewell
International productions can tap into Spain’s 18%-20% tax payback against local spend. Producers outside Spain should note a recent 30% tax shelter for film investment in Biscay, centered around capital city Bilbao, which can be applied by Biscay-based taxpayers on up to 50% of production costs, rising to 40% for P&A, says the Bilbao Film Commission. Basque province Gipuzkoa, home to the San Sebastian Festival, is advancing a similar plan.
Available to Spanish productions and used by Biscay production since 2014, the incentive gives the Basque Country “an enormous advantage to make international co-productions in languages which aren’t dominant in Europe,” says Bilbao-based producer Eduardo Carneros, who is developing the Spanish-Icelandic “Red Fjords,” a 50/50 historical thriller co-produced by Iceland’s Baltasar Kormakur (“2 Guns,” “Everest”).
That public-sector commitment could now prove crucial. A next step would be a specific Basque Country film production fund taking advantage of the 30% fiscal incentive, Carneros says, adding that the plan has won favor with local institutions.
— Jamie Lang
Takashi Miike filmed much of his newest film, “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable — Chapter 1,” with Catalan production company b-mount. They too applied for the 20% tax incentive.
— Jamie Lang