Hollywood has tapped into Italy’s tax incentives to the tune of some $10 million since these breaks were first introduced in July 2009.
Letters to Juliet (Summit Entertainment), The American (Focus Features) with George Clooney, and, more recently, Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp in The Tourist (GK Films), are among foreign titles that have benefited from the incentives.
The Italian tax breaks give international productions a 25% deduction up to $7 million, payable through an Italian executive producer. The incentive is structured as an immediate return, rather than a rebate, on production expenses — provided they do not exceed 60% of a film’s overall budget.
Also, 30% of the spend can be invested in another European country and still qualify.
The American, with an approximate $14 million budget, saved about $2.5 million, according to sources.
The facilitator behind the movies mentioned is Rome-based Cinecitta Studios, which now has a consultant at its facilities to assist foreign filmmmakers on whether they qualify for the Italian tax breaks. Cinecitta is comprised of 30 soundstages and 300 acres of backlots,