CASH REBATE INCENTIVES IN BRAZIL – HOW DO THEY WORK?

The truth is that when it comes to filming incentives and cash rebate programs, Brazil is still crawling. The first ever cash rebate in the country was launched in 2019 by the São Paulo film commission – and, therefore, was valid for the São Paulo state only. Three years later, in 2022, the Rio film commission, RioFilme, also launched their own cash rebate incentive for the first time. 

SÃO PAULO CASH REBATE PROGRAM FOR FOREIGN PRODUCTIONS

As of May 25th, 2023; the São Paulo film commission, SPCine, has opened a new round of incentives. Registrations are accepted on a continuous flow mechanism until the funding is potentially depleted. However, there are some requirements for a project to be eligible on this program.

SÃO PAULO CURRENT CASH REBATE CONDITIONS: 

– Exclusive for international productions 

– At least 80% of the original version of the finished product must be spoken in a non-Portuguese language (except for Portuguese speaking African countries)

– Minimum total expenditures in the State of São Paulo: BRL $10M / approximately USD $2M (or BRL $7M / approximately USD $1.4M for animation projects) 

– At least 2/3 of the technical and artistic team involved in the project must be composed of Brazilian citizens

MAXIMUM FINANCIAL RESOURCES PER PROJECT: BRL $16M / ~USD $3M 

The exact cash rebate percentage will be determined after a detailed form about the project is submitted along with a submission fee (approximately USD $6k). This form asks for precise information about the overall project’s budget, crew department heads, talents involved, local production plan, etc. There is a score for each answer and assets like bigger budgets, wider distribution, previously awarded talent and diverse crew mean a higher score. 

BPS has recently spoken to the heads of the program at SPCine and here’s what you can do to increase your project’s score:

– hire diverse heads of departments (women, black and trans people, etc)

– have a plan to reduce the carbon footprint of the production

– have a plan to reduce the production’s waste (like avoiding the use of single use plastic water bottles)

The final project score will determine how much cash rebate will be granted. The reimbursement percentage ranges from 20% to 30% with a maximum of  ~USD $3M. 

RIO DE JANEIRO CASH REBATE PROGRAM FOR FOREIGN PRODUCTIONS

As of July 27th, 2023; the Rio de Janeiro film commission, RioFilme, has opened a new round of incentives. Registrations are accepted through October 31st, 2023 or until the funding is depleted. The judging committee will analyze the registered projects on 3 pre-scheduled dates:

(source: SPCINE)

  • 1st meeting on September 20th, 2023 (for projects registered until Sept. 5th)
  • 2nd meeting on October 20th, 2023 (for projects registered until Oct. 5th)
  • 3rd meeting on November 20th, 2023 (for projects registered until Oct. 31st)

Below are the requirements for a project to be eligible on this program:

RIO DE JANEIRO CURRENT CASH REBATE CONDITIONS:

– Minimum eligible expenditures in the city of Rio de Janeiro: BRL $2M / approximately USD $400K (to be spent up until December, 2024)

– Maximum eligible expenditures in the city of Rio de Janeiro with RIOFILME resources equivalent to 30% or 35% of the amount spent, up to a maximum limit of BRL $2M / approximately USD $400K

– The project must have a distribution plan in at least 6 non-portuguese speaking countries whose populations sum up to at least 100M people

Extra requirements for projects to be eligible for the 35% rebate:

  • The finished product must show at least 2 emblematic Rio de Janeiro locations (at least one scene for each – scenes can be shot on location or reproduced in a studio)
  • Use Rio de Janeiro as a shoot location for at least 60% of its scenes
  • Establish the city of Rio de Janeiro as the diegetic location in which the narrative takes place

Projects that are eligible for this program are:

  • FICTION or ANIMATION non-serial feature-length projects with a minimum duration of 71 minutes
  • FICTION, ANIMATION or REALITY SHOWS series with at least 03 episodes and with a minimum season duration of 150 minutes

The Rio de Janeiro cash rebate program also requires a registration fee. The price is BRL $20k / ~USD $4k and the amount paid will be considered an eligible expenditure in case the project is selected for the grant. 

Rating criteria:

  • Potential impact of the project on the city’s audiovisual sector and other related sectors, including: volume of financial support, preferably from private resources; generation of jobs in the sector’s value chain; intention of hiring heads of technical and artistic teams composed by Brazilians residing in the city of Rio de Janeiro for at least 2 years
  • Distribution strategy and its contribution to the international visibility and promotion of the city of Rio de Janeiro
  • Background of the entities involved as well as the technical and artistic team
  • Economic, technical feasibility and coherence of the project, including: status of the production schedule, fundraising carried out and established partnerships 

Do you have any questions about cash rebate programs in Brazil? Contact us today and we’ll be happy to assist you. 

(source: RIOFILME)