Movie industry employees to receive tax break. Sector requesting additional incentives - Lebanon

Movie industry employees to receive tax break
Sector requesting
additional incentives
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The Cabinet approved a draft law yesterday, to reduce the income tax of movie industry employees by 50 percent. The bill will be sent to Parliament for voting.

Maya de Freige, President of the Fondation Liban Cinéma, said this is a first step in supporting local movie productions.

“Reducing income taxes is not enough, but is a very positive start,” she said. Movie industry players are seeking additional incentives and investments, according to de Freige. “We aim to benefit from an investment supporting body such as IDAL.”

De Freige said that her industry is pushing to be included as a beneficiary of the Central Bank’s Circular 331 which encourages banks to invest in startups.

Most local movie productions cost between $300,000 and $1.5 million. Investors consider this business to be risky and the success of the movie not guaranteed. “The market is too small and the industry cannot be highly profitable,” said Julien Khabbaz, Head of Investment Banking at FFA Private Bank.

Euromed Audiovisual, a program financed by the European Union, published a report on Lebanon's film industry, in 2013. It said that with 15 multi-screen facilities, 94 screens and 16,500 seats, Lebanon has the largest operating infrastructure in the region.
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Nov 28, 2014