Thomas Fuchs, Cine Tirol Film Commission
What are the benefits offered by the Film Commission or the Government?
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.
• 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 of that based on the Cine Tirol Guidelines
What makes this destination exquisite for shooting 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 choose to shoot in your region?
Production crews can also 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 special tax benefits for large production companies?
There is an Austrian incentive for International Co-productions – FISA 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 the coconut had been forgotten at the hotel. 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 and brought them on location himself. Shooting began only after the coconuts arrived, two hours later!
Are there any other rebates that can be availed?
There can be deals arranged concerning accommodation, product placement etc. And Cine Tirol has excellent connections to tourism offices all over the country.
Have any Indian films been shot in your region? If so, can you name some and the assistance provided?
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, Mehbooba, Mast etc. Actors who have shot here are Salman Khan, Ajay Devgan, Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Kajol, Sonali Bendre, Katrina Kaif and many more.
What is the procedure to obtain authorisation to shoot?
The procedure is simply, ‘come, see, shoot’. But, of course, a producer must carefully apply for a visa at the Austrian Embassy in New Delhi. The guidelines for visa application are available with the Austrian Visa Service.