New Screen Production Incentive for NZ Running
Thursday 03 July 2008
New Screen Production Incentive for the New Zealand Industry Up and Running
The Screen Production and Development Association of New Zealand (SPADA) has welcomed the new Screen Production Incentive Fund (SPIF), now up and running after announcement in the Government’s Budget, as a major step in the right direction for the screen industry.
“It’s one of the most significant government policy moves for the domestic screen industry of recent years and this investment base will yield substantial results in the production of more New Zealand films,” says SPADA CEO Penelope Borland. “We are pleased that the government has brought this Production Incentive Fund in to retain New Zealand’s screen industry talent and infrastructure - telling New Zealand stories - while putting the industry on a similar footing to practitioners in Australia.”
SPADA says that while there are differences from the Australian scheme, SPIF’s most important elements are clarity around eligibility based on the actual spend of a production in New Zealand, and the ability for producers to attract international finance based on being able to access 40% of total qualifying New Zealand production spend over a $4million threshold for films, and 20% of total qualifying expenditure for television over a variety of thresholds.
The pool of funding is $68.5 million over five years, replacing the previous fund for medium to larger budget New Zealand films, Film Fund II, and allowing for some funding ($10 million) to be co-invested with SPIF by the New Zealand Film Commission, with a maximum of an extra $2 million for any one project.
SPADA says that one of the significant challenges of the scheme for producers will be cash flowing the Production Incentive; as the grant cannot be claimed until the production is complete. “We are however pleased with the changes that have been made to the scheme as a result of consultation with the industry, including lowering the threshold of qualifying expenditure for film to $4million and including legitimate production related expenditure in qualifying expenditure,”said Penelope Borland.
SPADA says that while the scheme is a good result for the industry, there will be aspects of it that will need to be worked upon and reviewed; however, it is only working with, and getting productions made through SPIF, that will highlight areas which will need adjustments.
For the full SPIF criteria and guidelines go to the New Zealand Film Commission’s website (www.nzfilm.co.nz).