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French, Toast!

Quaint, charming and with a medieval air, the Var region in south-east France is a great cinematic juxtaposition to urban life

Experience the charisma of cobbled streets bejewelled with rustic lamp posts, stone-imprinted edifices, colourful houses and a dazzling riverside lined with yachts. Var, a French Department in the south-east of the pristine country, is postcard-perfect. It takes its name from the river Var and is located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in Provence.

That’s not all… a labyrinth of narrow lanes with overhanging balconies decorated with flowers or mini-bars nestled on the side of the streets reflect the French flavour. And all this narrates a detailed account of colourful French culture and throws light on their way of life. Tucked between Marseille and Cannes, Var is both secluded and serene.

Toulon is the largest city and the administrative capital. Other important towns are Fréjus, Saint-Raphael, Draguignan, Brignoles and Hyères. These towns maybe small but they boast old architecture that has been immaculately preserved for tourists
and filmmakers.

The ports and beaches of Saint-Tropez, Le Thoronet Abbey and Fréjus Cathedral, one of the best-preserved medieval Cistercian monasteries in France and the oldest Christian structure in the province, are popular tourist attractions. These locales can double as film locations and permits can be acquired with ease.

However, it is the hilltop villages that are most charming. These communes attract foreign clients to experience the greenery surrounding them and the hospitality of the locals. The wine caves and vineyards near Bandol are perfect romantic getaways. Cinematographically, the demure old-town style is very appealing.

From the capital to the villages to the beaches and ports, Var offers a culture-laden setting, which when juxtaposed with urban life can play a paramount role in any film. In addition, the 30 per cent tax rebate provided by the film commission makes these destinations even more tempting.

Tax Rebate For International Production (TRIP)

What is it?

The Tax Rebate for International productions (TRIP) supports foreign companies whose projects are completely or partly made in France. To be eligible, projects must include elements relating to French culture, heritage or territory. Eligibility is based on a cultural test, which assesses the relativity of the story, locations, characters, sources, landmarks, creators, crew and technical hubs.

The new provisions for the international scheme include an increase in the rate (from 20 per cent to 30 per cent) and in the ceiling (from €20 million to €30 million). These measures took effect on January 1, 2016. The TRIP is given to the French company managing the production in France on behalf of the foreign producer.

1. Eligible companies

To file a TRIP application, a company must meet the following criteria:

Be subject to corporate income tax
in France

Act as line producer for the sequences produced in France, and enter a line production agreement with the foreign producer

The line production company is defined as the company, in compliance with a contract with a foreign production company, that supplies the artistic and technical means for making the TV-film or movie concerned, manages the material operations for making the project and monitors its proper execution.

There is no restriction to the capital mix of the applicant or its main business. The company can thus specialise in line production or in film and TV production with executive production as its main activity; it can be an animation or VFX studio, a subsidiary of the foreign producer, an ad hoc created company, etc.

2. Eligible productions/ expenses

Live-action productions

To be eligible for the TRIP, a live-action film or TV project must meet all of the following criteria:

The project must be a live action film

Live action documentaries or films used for advertising or corporate purposes are not eligible

The project may not be pornographic or promote violence

The project must not receive any other financial support for production

The project must spend a minimum of €1 million on eligible expenses
in France

Live action projects must shoot at least five days in France

Eligible expenses

To be eligible, the project must ensure that the expenses mentioned below are incurred by the French line producer who submits the application to the Centre National de la Cinématographie (CNC). These expenses must directly contribute to the production needs. It comprises 30 per cent of the following expenses, excluding tax:

Wages and compensation for French and European authors, actors, and crew members

Fringes

For actors, the compensation considered for the tax rebate is limited to the minimum compensation amount outlined in the collective bargaining agreements of the movie industry. When the line production company employs production personnel on a permanent basis, eligible costs will only include the wages, payroll taxes and benefits that incur when the concerning personnel was employed for production. This includes the following:

All technical expenses (rentals and purchases)

Transportation, including international transport of materials and crew

Catering expenses that are incurred for the needs of the production

Expenses relating to a shorter shoot outside of France that utilise the same crew and material used in France and that are paid through the line producer

Depreciation amounts

Rohini Nag
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