Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Digg Tumblr Email


Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:57pm EDT

PARIS (Reuters) – French director Luc Besson has realized his dream of building a world class film complex on the banks of the Seine. Now the only question is whether big-budget Hollywood productions will take the bait.

Cite du Cinema, the largest film studio facility ever built in France, at a cost of 170 million euros ($200 million), opens this weekend aiming to attract foreign productions with facilities to match those in Hollywood.

But while the complex offers modern equipment and facilities to compare with studios in Berlin, London and Rome – Europe’s three largest film centers – France’s lower tax breaks for international productions could still reduce its appeal.

Located on the grounds of a former 1930s power station in Seine-Saint-Denis, a working class neighborhood just outside Paris, the Cite du Cinema is the creation of director and producer Besson, who discovered the disused Art Deco-style site when shooting exteriors in the 1990s for his movies “Leon” and “Nikita”.

The site houses nine film studios, workshops for building film sets, office space for production companies and a film school in a 62,000 square meters site.

“The attractiveness of Cite du Cinema, which is indisputable on a technical level, will be weighed down by the fact that our financial attractiveness for very large budgets is now lower than that of our neighbors,” said Patrick Lamassoure, managing director of Film France, a non-profit agency which promotes France as a location for film and television shoots.

Foreign production companies spend around 2 billion euros a year on shooting and post production in Europe every year, with Britain taking around half of this. France only gets 3 to 4 percent.

Although France has introduced tax rebates of 20 percent to attract more big-budget film projects, these have been capped at 4 million euros per production.

Britain offers a similar 20 percent rebate but without financial caps, which has made Pinewood and Shepperton studios the preferred choice for Hollywood productions, in addition to the lack of language barriers.

“European countries are engaged in fierce competition to attract foreign productions. It’s absurd to impose caps,” Christophe Lambert, the chief executive of Besson’s production company EuropaCorp, told Reuters.

If tax advantages are better elsewhere, large foreign productions might be tempted not to shoot in France, or shoot exteriors there until they reach the tax credit limit, and then move to another country to take advantage of its tax credit, Lamassoure said.

HOLLYWOOD-SUR-SEINE

Besson first had the idea of creating a large film complex in the late 1990s when he had to shoot his first major international project, “The Fifth Element”, starring Bruce Willis and Milla Jovovich, in London for the lack of sizable studios in France.

The project, which locals have dubbed Hollywood-sur-Seine, began taking shape after the French government’s investment arm, Caisse des Depots et Consignations (CDC), provided financial backing along with Vinci Immobilier, the real estate unit of French construction company Vinci.

CDC and Vinci Immobilier own most of the buildings except the studios, which are owned by EuropaCorp.

According to EuropaCorp, the studios would need to lure just one foreign production a year to at least break even.

“We need to attract a large foreign production, which usually book studios for four or five months, every year as well as a dozen French films, large and small,” said Lambert.

By contrast, Rome’s famed Cinecitta studios, which once hosted major Hollywood productions like the biblical epic “Ben Hur,” have managed to attract only three major U.S. productions in the last ten years, the last one being Woody Allen’s “To Rome With Love”.

Cinecitta, founded by Mussolini in 1937, has been partly damaged by fire and hit by a series of staff strikes after losing out to cheaper facilities in Eastern Europe and better-equipped studios in London and Berlin. ($1 = 0.7699 euros)

(Reporting by Elena Berton; Editing by Giles Elgood)

Article source: http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/entertainment/~3/Bdwlqu3sBqQ/entertainment-us-france-studios-idUSBRE88K11R20120921

Twitter Pinterest Linkedin Digg Tumblr Email

Comments are closed.

TDN Toolbar
  • Hong Kong protests: Live Report
    Hong Kong (AFP) - 14:47 GMT - Student supporter - A French professor at Hong Kong University, who has lived in Hong Kong for 20 years, tells AFP: "I was there at the handover. We're not tourists here, we are implicated as well.
  • Hong Kong protesters reject city leader's call to end rallies
    Hong Kong (AFP) - Hong Kong demonstrators rejected demands Tuesday to immediately end rallies that have paralysed the city's centre, their numbers swelling for a third night before a national holiday expected to put their campaign for free elections into overdrive.
  • Secret Service boss vows no repeat of breach
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secret Service Director Julia Pierson vows that a security breach like the Sept. 19 incident in which a man scaled the White House fence and made his way well into the executive mansion will never happen again.
  • Luck, instinct determined fates of volcano hikers
    TOKYO (AP) — Huge boulders falling from the sky. Billowing gray smoke that cast total darkness over the mountain. Volcanic ash piling on the ground and fumes filling the air.
  • eBay split to create independent PayPal
    New York (AFP) - US online auction giant eBay announced plans Tuesday to spin off PayPal, a move designed to help the unit compete better in the fast-moving online payments segment.
  • Treasury targets those tied to Pakistan extremists
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Treasury Department is taking action against individuals and networks linked to two terrorist groups based in Pakistan.
  • Secret Service head takes onus for WH breach
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing blistering criticism from Congress, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson said Tuesday she takes full responsibility for the breach of White House security in which a man with a knife entered the mansion and ran through half the ground floor before being subdued.
  • US stocks edge lower in early trading
    NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market mostly fell for a second day running on Tuesday, keeping the Standard & Poor's 500 index on course for its third monthly loss this year. Ford Motor sank after cutting its profit forecast.
  • Afghanistan, US sign long-awaited security pact
    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan and the United States signed a security pact on Tuesday to allow U.S. forces to remain in the country past the end of year, ending a year of uncertainty over the fate of foreign troops supporting Afghans as they take over responsibility for the country's security.
  • Cyprus police: precious Degas painting stolen
    NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus police say thieves broke into the home of an art collector and took a painting by famed Impressionist Edgar Degas worth millions.
TDN Toolbar
thed52network
@thed52network:
Kansas City is on Fire with interest http://t.co/7z5020fn
25 months ago
thed52network
@thed52network:
Business of the Day is Zaman Pediatrics Snellville GA http://t.co/YQ8DjRd6
25 months ago
thed52network
@thed52network:
RT @forhirejobs: Guaranteed Interviews or we Re-Write Your Resume for FREE!! http://t.co/EJQegnvj
25 months ago
    • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.
    Job Posting & Searching made SIMPLE!
    TDN Solutions
    SEARCH Local Businesses in your City
    Keywords
    Zip Code
    September 2012
    S M T W T F S
    « Aug   Oct »
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    30  
    TDN Solutions
    Looking to Build a Website??
    HotelsCombined.com - Hotel Price Comparison
    • Johnson & Johnson buying Alios for $1.75B
      NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — Johnson & Johnson is buying the biopharmaceutical company Alios BioPharma Inc. for about $1.75 billion.
      The Associated Press
    • Families wait in agony for word on Ebola patients
      MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — First the ring tone echoed outside the barbed-wire-topped walls of the Ebola clinic. Then came the wails of grief, as news spread that 31-year-old Rose Johnson was dead just days after she was brought here unconscious by relatives.
      The Associated Press
    • Gov't to reveal drug company payments to doctors
      WASHINGTON (AP) — Striving to shine a light on potential ethical conflicts in medicine, the Obama administration is releasing data on drug company payments to tens of thousands of individual doctors.
      The Associated Press
    • Pediatricians urge IUDs or implants for teen girls
      CHICAGO (AP) — Teen girls who have sex should use IUDs or hormonal implants — long-acting birth control methods that are effective, safe and easy to use, the nation's most influential pediatricians' group recommends.
      The Associated Press
    • US doctor exposed to Ebola virus admitted to NIH
      WASHINGTON (AP) — An American doctor who was exposed to the Ebola virus while volunteering in Sierra Leone was admitted Sunday to a hospital at the National Institutes of Health near the nation's capital.
      The Associated Press