European films for a global audience
by Birgit Heidsiek
- Killing Time, La Vida Inesperada and Welcome to New York co-produced with U.S partner
For the English-language thriller Killing Time, which Spanish writer/director Antonio Hernández is going to shoot in Madrid this spring, producer Beatriz Bodegas (La vida inesperada [+see also:
interview: Jorge Torregrossa
film profile]) has Rene Bastian from the New York-based Belladonna Productions on board as a partner. "Due to the economic situation in Spain, producers are trying to find new ways to finance their films," says Bastian, producer of independent films such as Sue by Amos Kollek,Transamerica by Duncan Tucker and the recent Sundance competition entry Cold in July by Jim Mickle.
The German-born producer has already collaborated with Beatriz Bodegas on La vida inesperada by Jorge Torregrossa, which was shot - with Spanish actors such as Javier Camara and Raul Arevalo - entirely in New York where productions can benefit from tax credits. "38 U.S. states are offering tax credits, all of which work a bit differently," explains Bastian. "In New York 30 percent of the below-the-line spend is credited. Combining this with presales, European soft money and equity are a great way to finance movies."
Abel Ferrara‘s Welcome to New York [+see also:
film profile] about the Dominique Strauss-Kahn scandal, with Gerard Dépardieu and Jacqueline Bisset, co-produced by Belladonna, also took advantage of tax credits. "The budget was completely raised in Europe through the world sales company Wild Bunch which had developed the project."
For many years, European producers preferred to produce films in their native language in their home country where they had access to film support and TV presales. Meanwhile however, the entire structure has changed worldwide. "We are growing together culturally," concludes Bastian. "But we also need business practices which follow this trend. In every country there are producers who are interested in producing English-language films to attract a global audience."
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.