Turkey’s popularity to increase in Hollywood
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
The photos show the making of ‘Ghost Rider’ and ‘Taken 2’ in Turkey. Thanks to the new regulations, the country will become more popular for foreign producers.Turkey, a popular destination for foreign film producers in recent years, will continue to increase its popularity in 2012 with new arrangements that will make it easier for producers to film here, Anatolia News Agency reported.
“There will be 5 to 25 percent financial support for foreign producers who will shoot films in the country. But the films should have some certain factors. Work on new regulations continues,” said Culture and Tourism Ministry General Director Mesut Cem Erkul.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Erkul said foreign production companies have been focusing on Turkey. “Starting in February, more big Hollywood productions may be filmed in Turkey. The new ‘James Bond’ is being filmed here right now and shooting for ‘Taken 2’ and ‘Ghost Rider’ [the sequel] has already finished.”
Erkul said foreign producers took their budgets into consideration when choosing a country to shoot a film and Turkey has not had regulations on filming in the past. “Previously, there were only VAT returns for foreign producers. From now on, there will be 5 to 25 percent of financial support given to foreign producers in exchange for the inclusion of certain factors about Turkey.
“Work on new regulations continues and I hope that we will be done with it by the end of January ,” Erkul said. “The share of the country’s promotion in the script is very important. Even two minutes in a film is a very significant promotion. Our budget, passed with the latest Budget Law, has factored in the financial support for producers. Now it is time to implement it.”
Why film in Turkey?
Erkul said they spoke with foreign producers on conditions for filming in Turkey when they came together in an international organization. “Now we have economic answers to the question ‘Why film in Turkey?’” he said.
Erkul said Turkey had many beauties and there were many strong actors and actresses in the sector. “Foreign producers attach importance to all these things that cut costs. Now, there is the VAT return, and there is a support mechanism and the chance to use various instruments here. Producers can come to Turkey without bringing any equipment. This is a factor that cuts costs,” he said.
Turkey also had a laboratory system with the latest technology along with developing film platforms, Erkul said. “We have many different destinations with unique architectural and natural features [in Turkey] like Odunpazarı in Eskişehir, Safranbolu and Mardin. Cappadocia is already known all around the world.”
Ankara Cinema Association Chairman Ahmet Boyacıoğlu told Hürriyet Daily News the project would be sure to have a positive outcome for the promotion of Turkey and tourism inflow would subsequently increase. “This procedure is being implemented in many European countries; Romania started it and Hungary followed its example, meanwhile, the Czech Republic and even Germany are known to provide huge discounts and tax exemption to American production companies.
The greatest problem foreign companies faced in taking footage in Turkey had been the high VAT rate. Recently, the Finance Ministry abolished the VAT procedure for them and, if the Culture Ministry’s new regulation follows without much delay, we will see positive results in 2012.
He also said the privileges provided for American companies would not have negative effects on the domestic sector because Turkish national cinema had a very solid audience base in Turkey.
“We are on top of the list in the whole of Europe in terms of audience rates. In 2010, Turkish films made up 52.9 percent of the movies seen in Turkey. France follows us in terms of the support given to national cinema by the local population. The rates are 14.4 percent in Poland, 14.5 percent in Russia, 32 percent in Italy, 24 percent in the U.K., 12.7 percent in Spain and 16.8 percent in Germany.”
On the contrary, Boyacıoğlu said, the new regulation would have a further positive outcome in terms of employment. “American firms will have to collaborate with Turkish line-producers who will be aiding them logistically. This means new business ventures in the local sector.”