Islands Use Innovative Incentives, Locations as Film, TV Shoots Set Up Shop

To paraphrase an previous adage, there’s certain to be a silver lining in each and every cloud. Certainly, for some Caribbean island places, the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of some losses in human lifestyles, has been a blessing for his or her audiovisual industries. The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, two of essentially the most beneficiant places in relation to movie incentives, expect a document increase.

“The quantity and measurement of tasks coming to the rustic have larger exponentially,” says Albert Martinez, COO of Lantica Media, which operates the Pinewood Dominican Republic Studios. “By way of opening up previous than different places, many tasks gravitated to us.”

A number of the first primary productions to movie within the Dominican Republic, and which made complete use of Pinewood DR, used to be “Outdated,” M. Evening Shyamalan’s mystery starring Gael Garcia Bernal.

The Dominican Republic’s movie fee tasks a complete international manufacturing spend of round $176 million through year-end, up from $35 million closing yr. As resorts and different facilities had been taken over through productions, the hospitality and ancillary industries stayed afloat regardless of the dip in tourism, says movie commissioner Marianna Vargas.

“Native shipping corporations are construction set trailers to satisfy the rising calls for,” provides Vargas.

Each the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico opened as much as guests round June and fared rather smartly of their battles towards the fatal coronavirus. Puerto Rico simply lifted a year-long curfew whilst the Dominican Republic has been pushing again its present one to later hours.

Puerto Rico’s tax incentive program gives a 40% manufacturing tax credit score to Puerto Rico resident corporations and people and a 20% tax credit score on all bills to certified non-resident people. Preferential tax exemptions starting from 4% to 100% result in extra financial savings. As a result of Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, U.S. manufacturers would not have to deal with visas, business limitations or other forex and banking techniques, says movie commissioner Rosi Acosta.

The once a year cap on credit to Puerto Rico resident corporations and people is now at $38 million consistent with fiscal yr, down from the unique $50 million cap. “We’re operating on each private and non-private ranges to lift it again to $50 million,” says Acosta.

A number of the 9 contemporary international pics to shoot in Puerto Rico are Randall Emmett’s “Wash Me within the River” with Robert De Niro, whilst native productions are led through “El Cuartito,” through Marcos Carnevale, set for a restricted unencumber within the U.S.

For the Dominican Republic, world productions spending no less than $500,000 can faucet a 25% transferable tax credit score on certified expenditure.

Since 2019, the withholding tax of 27% levied on foreigners operating within the DR used to be decreased to one.5%, resulting in an upsurge in filming. World manufacturers also are exempt from paying the 18% VAT tax. Moreover, apparatus imported for the site shoot is exempt from cost of responsibility. Fresh productions within the DR come with Mark Wahlberg-starrer “Arthur the King” and Jennifer Lopez’s “Shotgun Marriage ceremony.”

The 36-square-mile island of Nevis, positioned 218 miles southeast of Puerto Rico, has been a lifesaver for U.S./U.Ok.-based MSR Media, which scouted quite a lot of places till touchdown in this tiny island the place no COVID deaths had been reported. Underneath a longer multi-project, three-year manufacturing handle the Nevis management, the island has presented get admission to to a couple of places, lodge improve and expedited allows for MSR Media’s tasks filming back-to-back, with the 3rd one, romantic comedy “Two Weeks in Paradise,” set to shoot in June.

“This new multi-year multi-film deal is really excellent information for Nevis,” says its premier, Mark Brantley. “My govt’s imaginative and prescient for a movie business, born out of a want to diversify our financial system from its heavy dependence on tourism, is bearing impressive fruit because of this partnership with MSR Media.”

In the meantime, MSR Media has opened an appearing academy in Nevis and is in talks with the government of sister island St. Kitts to open a equivalent academy there. “Now we have been totally inspired with the growth and talents we’ve observed up to now and we best see alternatives for the area people rising as we shoot extra titles,” says MSR Media’s Philippe Martinez.

The Cayman Islands additionally struck a equivalent multi-production handle Productiveness Media and Darius Movies previous this yr. The accord kicked off with darkish comedy “Blue Iguana,” now in submit, to be adopted through Jonathan Sobol’s motion drama “The Baker,” starring Harvey Keitel and Ron Perlman.

At the different facet of the arena, the Philippines offered a collection of incentives simply because the pandemic broke out. Amongst them is the Movie Location Incentive Program (Turn), a program that grants eligible world tasks a 20% money rebate of as much as 10 million pesos ($198,000) on their certified spend within the nation. There also are new movie budget, led through the Intl. Co-production Fund (ICOF), for characteristic motion pictures with a majority or minority co-production settlement with the Philippines.

“We soft-launched Turn as early as 2019 within the Asian Movie Marketplace and carried out its first actual cycle of packages closing yr,” says Liza Diño, Chair of the Movie Building Council of the Philippines, who added that international movie crews and ability can follow for exemptions to the present restrictions on guests. “Since then, 5 productions had been granted the rebate as of Would possibly 2021. Maximum notable of those tasks is ‘Nearly Paradise,’ an American crime drama tv collection produced through Hollywood manufacturer and director Dean Devlin.”