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Frisco Fling

A favourite among tourists and filmmakers alike, San Francisco offers an eclectic mix of backdrops with incentives to sweeten the bait

San Francisco, the consolidated city-county of California in the US not only boasts skyscrapers and fashionable living but also lets individuals unwind at the Bay Area, swanky restaurants and old-dive bars. The place is very popular among tourists considering it has an eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown and a whole lot of other exciting settings.

Where this 12th most populous town of the US boasts coveted artistes from the fields of music, art and literature, it is also known for its island prison, Alcatraz, which receives more than 1.5 million visitors a year.

Take the Highway 101 (different names in different areas) and view the astounding city at a speed of 100 kmph. Or, take the cable car from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf and visit across some of the most significant tourist sites in the city.

Chinatown is another important attraction. The shops, restaurants and Chinese buildings draw more people than any other part of the city. Apart from this, San Francisco is also famous for its hills, beaches and parks. There are more than 50 hills within the city limits and some of the neighbourhoods are named after them.

Overall, the city, day-after-day has something new to offer, and one can encounter all this in umpteen films, which have captured this splendid destination in various emotions.

INCENTIVES

1. Scene In San Francisco

How does it work?

Feature films are eligible for the programme. For budgets under $ 3 million, 55 per cent of principal photography must take place in San Francisco. For budgets of $ 3 million or more, 65 per cent of principal photography must take place in San Francisco.

What costs are eligible for refund?

• Fees paid to city departments for the use or rental of city property, equipment or employees including: Port, MUNI, SPFD, SFFD, DPT, DPW, Treasure Island, Recreation and Parks, and all city buildings

• All daily use fees paid to the San Francisco Film Commission

• All payroll taxes paid to the city and county of San Francisco.

2. Tax Credit Programme

How does the tax credit work?

Qualified taxpayers are allowed a credit against income and/or sales and use taxes, based on qualified expenditures, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. Credits applied to income tax liability are not refundable. Only tax credits issued to an independent film may be transferred or sold to an unrelated party. Other qualified taxpayers may carry over tax credits for five years and transfer tax credits to an affiliate.

How much is allocated to the programme?

• $ 100 million annually beginning fiscal year 2009/2010 through fiscal year 2013/2014

• $ 10 million of the annual funding will be set aside for independent films each year

What types of productions qualify for the programme?

To apply for the California Film and Television Incentive Programme, a qualified motion picture must be one of the following:

• Eligible for 20 per cent tax credit:

i. Feature Films ($ 1 million – $ 75 million production budget)

• Eligible for 25 per cent tax credit:

i. An independent film ($ 1 million –

$ 10 million budget that is produced by a company that is not publicly traded and that is not more than 25 per cent owned by publicly traded companies)

A qualified motion picture must also meet the following conditions:

• 75 per cent test (production days or total production budget) in California

• Application must be submitted at least 30 days prior to principal photography

• Once an application is approved, principal photography must begin with 180 days and post production must be completed within 30 months

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