A STAR ATTRACTION FOR THE FILM INDUSTRY
THEIR NATURAL BEAUTY IS RENOWNED, THEY ARE HOME TO A GROWING COMMUNITY OF HIGHLY QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS AND THE TAX INCENTIVES ARE HARD TO RESIST – THE LIST OF ATTRACTIONS OF THE SPANISH ISLANDS, RATHER LIKE THEIR FILM COMMISSIONS, JUST KEEPS ON GROWING. NO WONDER, THEN, THAT YEAR ON YEAR THEY CONTINUE TO DRAW IN THE BIG HITTERS OF THE TV AND FILM INDUSTRY, BOTH DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL.
FEW European locations can offer as many unique advantages as the Canary Islands, famous the world over as a holiday paradise thanks to their glorious beaches, a balmy year-round climate and a superb range of accommodation options. Transposed onto the big screen, the Canarian panorama offers a rich array of settings, from wide expanses of sand to snowy mountains and volcanic scenery reminiscent of a lunar landscape. The islands’ blend of traditional and modern architecture makes an ideal backdrop for timeless tales, period dramas and fantasy adventures. Drenched in sun, there are few cloudy days here, meaning more filming hours per day than anywhere else in Europe. And, as a well established tourist destination, the archipelago has infrastructure in abundance, from 300,000 hotel beds to ample transport connections in the form of roads, motorways, ports and airports. The Canary Islands are just a few hours by air from major cities such as Berlin, London or Stockholm. As if this was not enough to seduce production companies, shooting here – whether feature films, TV series, animated films or documentaries –, offers some very tempting incentives due to the local “Economic and Tax Regime,” nestled within the legal framework of the European Union and the Spanish state. These tax advantages include an investment incentive of 35% for foreign production companies, which means that companies employing a producer who is registered for tax purposes in the Canary Islands benefit from a 35% tax rebate on expenses incurred within the islands, with a maximum deduction of €4.5m (based on a maximum deductible expenditure of €12.8m). Spanish productions or co-productions with a cultural element – certified by the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts –, which are filmed in the Canary Islands and have been awarded a Canaries Audiovisual Work Certificate, available to registered audiovisual companies, receive a tax credit of 40% for the first €1m invested in the production and 38% thereafter, subject to a maximum deduction of €5.4m (deductible expenditure is capped at €14.1m). Furthermore, within the so-called Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC), businesses providing services including those associated with production, on-set management and crew, post-production, photography, publicity and audiovisual distribution pay corporation tax at just 4%.
by Lucile Hadzihalilovic.