Location versus budget… It’s a filmmaker’s eternal dilemma. Rohini Nag brings you a a fabulous destinations that don’t pinch. And for deeper insights into why they work, Q&A with Thomas Fuchs, Location Service Crew & Facilities Film Commissioner, Cine Tirol Film Commission. Here are some tempting facts and figures you might like to save for future reference
What benefits does the Film Commission or the government offer foreign film producers?
Cine Tirol provides services and information to domestic and international filmmakers interested in creating audiovisual products in the Tirol, especially theatrical movies. Cine Tirol aims to position the Tirol as the leading film location in the Alps and attract a meaningful variety of international film projects. The activities of Cine Tirol include:
• Cine Tirol Location Service: A free service available to all filmmakers, which includes information and assistance, especially in finding the perfect locations in the Tirol.
• Extended Location Service for shooting songs, exclusive for Indian Film Productions. Details on request
• Cine Tirol Production Incentive: Selected productions may receive financial support. The main grant criteria include the economic effect of the production on the region (‘Tirol Effect’) and the thematic relation of the production to the region (‘Tirol Reference‘), all based on the Cine Tirol Guidelines.
How can a filmmaker approach you with a project to be shot in your region?
Filmmakers can contact me directly via e-mail at [email protected] and we can discuss possibilities. In case I connect them via our Cine Tirol representative in India, details can be clarified face-to-face directly in India.
Is there any potential for co-production for Indian film producers?
There is an Austrian incentive for international co-productions – FISA (www.filmstandort-austria.at ). Austrian producers have been very successful in co-producing in recent years.
What, according to you, makes the destination exquisite for filming an Indian film?
The Tirol has become an ideal movie location in the heart of the Alps for several reasons. There is convenient mountain access with roads and trails leading into high-Alpine regions and cable cars reaching mountain peaks and glacier tops. Historic towns and authentic villages are other interesting, pristine locations which represent Central Europe on a very small footprint and can also be ‘look-alikes’ for other towns and countries. Creative and committed locals impress with their knowhow, talent, and experience and bring innovative ideas and a ‘gut instinct’ for film projects to the table.
Why should an Indian filmmaker shoot their production in your region?
Production crews can count on high public safety and excellent medical care in case of unforeseen events. Another benefit is the climate with four distinct seasons and five glacier regions with full infrastructure, which make filming in snow possible any day of the year.
Further advantages include warm and hospitable, award-winning accommodation and gastronomy and outstanding local infrastructure. The Tirol is conveniently situated at the crossroads of Europe, making it an easy-to-reach destination by any means of transportation, including plane via Innsbruck International Airport. Production facilities in major film destinations, such as Munich and Vienna, are in close reach.
What are the tax incentives? Are there any different tax benefits if a producer associates for multiple projects?
There is an Austrian incentive for international co-productions – FISA (www.filmstandort-austria.at ) and productions can also apply for VAT return (10 per cent on food, books, theatrical and cultural events, artistic activity, domestic passenger transportation, rentals for private residential use (including hotel rooms), etc, and at 20 per cent for everything else)
Can you share some anecdotes about film production in your region?
I remember the story of an Indian production shooting in Tirol. On the last day of shooting, the location was set on a glacier about 3,000 meters above sea level in the snow in the Tyrolean Alps. When the shoot was about to start, suddenly a loud voice was heard and the words ‘Where is the coconut!’ The director used to start every day by smashing a coconut, to
win the favour of the Gods. But someone had forgotten to bring the coconut on location. A phone call was made to Innsbruck, and Johannes Koeck, Director of Cine Tirol Film Commission, arranged to get some coconuts at a special shop. He brought them on location himself. Shooting began only after the coconuts arrived, two hours later!
Are there any special rebates that can be availed for short-scheduled shoots?
There can be deals arranged concerning accommodation, location fees, shooting permits, product placement etc. And Cine Tirol has excellent connections to tourism offices and location owners across the country.
Which Indian films have been shot here in the past?
More than 80 Indian film productions from Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai have been brought to Tirol including Yuvvraaj, Raju Chacha, Tera Mera Saath Rahen, Chal Mere Bhai, Mehbooba andMast. Actors who have shot here are Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn, Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Kajol, Sonali Bendre, Katrina Kaif and many more. We recently shoot for Prabhu Dheva’s Action Jackson too.
Are there any post-production funds provided by the Film Commission?
There are no post-production funds provided by Cine Tirol, but very good connections to post-production facilities in Munich that can be of interest.