Socialists in France partner with Hollywood for massive tax loopholes to film ‘Dunkirk’ ‘Jackie’ ‘MI6’ ‘Captain Underpants’
New tax breaks have brought a rush of Hollywood productions to France in the last year as the California taxation and corporate taxes in America drive a ton of big-budget overseas.
Valerie Lepine, of the French film commission, Film France, said spending by foreign film companies “almost tripled” to 152 million euros (USD 162 million) from 57 million in 2015.
“We have made massive progress this year,” she added.
While the outsourcing of jobs fell away from the headlines, Hollywood was quick to use tax breaks to film on location in northern France.
For example, director Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, centering on the evacuation of British and Allied troops from northern France, was shot this summer on those same beaches with 1,500 extras.
Jackie, starring Natalie Portman as the late US First Lady Jackie Kennedy, were made in Luc Besson’s Cite du Cinema studios in Paris, and several scenes in Fifty Shades Darker, the sequel to the erotic blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey were also shot in the city.
France also hosted the eight-week shoot of the Bollywood romance Befikre, and industry insiders have high hopes that it will land the production of Mission Impossible 6 with Tom Cruise.
DreamWorks forthcoming feature version of the children’s classic Captain Underpants was made by Mikros Animation in France with Paris for Universal by Illumination Mac Guff churning out Sing and The Secret Life of Pets.
“Up to now it was mostly Illumination Mac Guff (now owned by Universal) which took advantage of the tax breaks,” Lepine added. “But it’s spreading and we’ve seen a massive entry of Americans.”
All in all, 36 foreign productions were drawn to France in 2016 after tax breaks jumped from 20 percent to 30 percent of the cost of the film.
This month the French government dropped the minimum film budget requirement to take advantage of the breaks from 1 million euros to 250,000 euros (USD 267,000).
French President Francois Hollande has raised the income tax, corporate tax and VAT resulting in a 75% tax rates. Hollande made headlines when he called for an end to all tax havens worldwide, but apparently he didn’t mean those he can profit from as these loopholes appear to be doing wonders for the French economy.