Movies

Major sops to encourage foreign filmmakers shoot in Israel

MUMBAI: The legislative wing of the Government of Israel has approved a law that would encourage production of foreign films in Israel through a tax benefit of up to 20 per cent on goods and services purchased within the country.
However, the benefits by the law accrue to an Israeli production company which is expected to pass on these benefits to the foreign production company.

Passed by the Israeli Knesset, the law recognises two models.


The first model deals with productions by foreign filmmakers in Israel that retain the services of an Israeli production company. In this, an Israeli film production company that purchases Israeli goods and services on behalf of a foreign production company can withhold tax payments of 17 per cent. However, this benefit pertains to films in which the local production costs exceed $2 million.


The other model is for films with Israeli co-producers and co-financiers who own certain rights in the film. In order to qualify for the benefits, the total production cost in Israel should be at least 4 million shekels (approximately $1.0 million).


Terming the formulation of the law as a positive move towards better international relations, Israel consul general Orna Sagiv says, "Israel offers film producers a cost-effective professional filming package along with a vast variety of beautiful locations. Availability of 5 star hotels and an advanced telecommunications network clubbed with the 20 per cent reduction in cost makes Israel one of the most sought-after places for filming."


The new law positions Israel in line with most advanced countries in the world. The tax benefits complement Israel‘s competitive advantages of favourable climate, varied sceneries within short driving distances, experienced crews, first-rate infrastructure and more.

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