New Zealand is a member of the AFCI.
Tuesday 11th March
Anyone filming a large budget production in New Zealand may be eligible for assistance under the Large Budget Screen Production Grant Scheme.
For full details on this scheme please visit the Large Budget Screen Production Grant Scheme page of this website.
The Screen Production Incentive Fund provides a grant to eligible New Zealand feature film, television and other format screen productions deemed to have significant New Zealand content.
For full details on this scheme please visit the Screen Production Incentive Fund page of this website.
For both financial and creative reasons, an increasing number of feature film projects worldwide are being developed as international co-productions.
The New Zealand Film Commission supports this trend, acknowledging that an official co-production structure sometimes may be the only way for a producer to realise a project.
If a co-production is appropriately structured, it will be eligible for certification as a New Zealand film. Furthermore, it may be able to attract production funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.
New Zealand has entered into a number of bilateral co-production agreements. As at 9 July 2010, agreements have been signed with Australia, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the Republic of Korea and the People's Republic of China.
The co-production agreements state that co-productions made under the terms of the agreement (and certified as such by the New Zealand Film Commission) will be entitled to all the benefits accorded to national productions in New Zealand. This includes the ability to access New Zealand Film Commission funding, and to receive the benefits of any tax incentives.
There are two types of co-production - official and unofficial.
An official co-production is subject to the various government to government treaties that exist. New Zealand currently has treaties with Australia, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Singapore, Germany, Ireland, Spain, the Republic of Korea and the People's Republic of China. You can download copies of these treaties from the New Zealand Film Commission website. The regulatory authority is the New Zealand Film Commission.
The minimum participation is 20/80 or 30/70 funding/creative split in an official co-production. It is extremely unlikely to find funding within New Zealand under the treaty for a project that did not have either a New Zealand director or writer or is totally led from overseas.
For an official co-production it would be necessary to find a production partner within New Zealand who has experience working with overseas producers.
New Zealand on Air and New Zealand Film Commission funding is from government and forms the majority of New Zealand production funds. Television networks pay very little for license rights in New Zealand and there is limited private investment available.
Non New Zealand producers are unlikely to secure funding in this region for a production originated elsewhere. However, producers who want only to utilize crew and/or locations should contact a local production company with experience working with international producers or partners.
Important points to keep in mind when setting up a co-production:
The New Zealand Film Commission is authorised to provide both provisional and final approval as an official co-production for film and television projects, provided the project meets the required eligibility criteria.
In addition to all the usual policy requirements, the following apply when the New Zealand Film Commission is asked to finance a co-production:
A high percentage of New Zealand-produced feature films and television programmes are made with the help of government funding.
In the case of feature films, government funding is made available through the New Zealand Film Commission.
With a total annual investment budget of around NZ$8 million, the New Zealand Film Commission generally allocates funding across a maximum of five feature films in any one year. These films usually fall within a budget range of NZ$1 million to NZ$5 million.
The Film Commission is restricted in the application of its funding by the terms of its implementing legislation which require that funding be made available only to films containing significant New Zealand content. The Film Commission will therefore only accept funding applications from New Zealand producers.
The Film Commission is authorised to provide both provisional and final approval as an official co-production for film and television projects, provided the project meets the required eligibility criteria.
Further information is available on the New Zealand Film Commission website.
Before a feature film production is eligible to receive funding from the Film Commission, it must first qualify as a New Zealand Film. It will do so if it is assessed by the Film Commission as containing significant New Zealand content as set out in Section 18 of the New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978.
Private investors in New Zealand films may wish to take advantage of special tax incentives available in the Income Tax Act 1994.
To qualify for these tax incentives the film in question must first be certified as a New Zealand Film. The Film Commission is authorised to certify a film or television programme as a New Zealand Film provided it contains significant New Zealand content as set out in Section 18 of the New Zealand Film Commission Act 1978. Certification allows a film to qualify for a one-year tax write-off in the year in which the film reaches double-head fine-cut under the New Zealand Income Tax Act.
Certification will generally be given in two stages:
You can download application packs for provisional and final certification from the New Zealand Film Commission website. Where the Film Commission issues either a provisional or final certificate, it is required to send a copy to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue.
Further information is available on the New Zealand Film Commission's website.
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