Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Puerto Rico film industry banking on local talent, incentives

By on June 5, 2019

Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy (Jaime Rivera/CB)

Subsidizes local productions; seeks to further attract investment with tax break on half of production spending

SAN JUAN — Eight Puerto Rican productions with an estimated economic impact of about $4.3 million will get about $2 million in cash subsidies from the island Film Industry Development Program’s (PDIC) Film Investment Fund (FIF).

The announcement was made Wednesday by Economic Development (DDEC by its Spanish acronym) Secretary Manuel Laboy, who added that these “productions, which represent 192 days of filming, will generate 775 direct jobs and represent 192 hotel [room] nights.”

The official stressed the importance of supporting these productions so they can be exported to other markets.

“These are great opportunities to market our talent and the quality of our products to attract other producers to film in Puerto Rico,” Laboy said.

Pedro Piquer Henn, the director of the Cinematographic Industry Program, said the films, “Perfume de Gardenias,” “The Butterfly,” “Julia de Burgos: Una Leyenda en Veinte Surcos,” “La Maravilla,” “La Pecera,” “Scammer,” “Receta No Incluida,” and “Al Revés,” will get about $1.9 million in subsidies from the Film Investment Fund, after the Treasury Department authorized the increase to the maximum credit grants for this fiscal year.

Laboy said Puerto Rico already has talent that is recognized worldwide but that the administration hopes to further promote.

“At DDEC, we continue to work on alternatives that result in the sustainability of this sector, which is why, in the new Incentives Code, we propose up to 50 percent of local film production expenses as a tax credit to strengthen the development of this industry,” the secretary said.

Piquer Henn added that the developing industry is solid in Puerto Rico, saying new projects underway, locally and abroad, will help promote the island as a film investment destination.