Interesting nugget reported in CinEuropa:
The European Commission approved before Christmas the tax credit and tax shelter for film production introduced by the Italian government. Italian Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi expressed his satisfaction and thanked European Commissioner for Competition Neelie Kroes and Italian Director General of Cinema Gaetano Blandini for a “very important move for the effective application in Italy of these tax measures for cinema, which exist in the main EU countries and which our country has been awaiting for at least 15 years.”
Blandini also stated that a second part of the benefits packet could be authorized in the first months of 2009, concerning “external” investors, distribution and exhibition companies, for which the EU has asked Italy to be able to conduct further study, insofar as they are entirely new within the Union’s panorama.
“In the meantime,” Blandini added, “it is precisely due to the priority demand that all the tax measures, including the incentives not yet authorized, should be implemented as soon as possible, that I am working on another path within our legislation – the application through an apposite modification of Law. No. 244/2007, of the so-called ‘de minimis’ Community regulations, according to which EU consent is not required for up to €200,000 in aid over three years to an individual company”.
Could this have a positive effect on Italian film production? Well, it certainly seems to have helped in other countries, so it’s definitely worth a go. But the elephant in the room is the recession, which could frankly negate any positive advances made elsewhere – less money around means less money to invest in films. So we will see…