African and Arab cinemas have experienced a tremendous explosion of creativity in the last decade.
Unfortunately the eternal problem of financing films continues to be a sword of Damocles on the heads of producers and filmmakers in the South.
These film industries depend mainly on state fundings, but in these times of crisis, public finances are under pressure and priorities do not include cinema. Yet, beyond film-making successes, the film industry is generating jobs, income and development.
Typically, in countries like Tunisia, thanks to various aids, the state finances films up to 35% maximum. While the most seasoned and "bankable" producers are ingenious enough to find additional funding from a few backers from other countries and NGOS, the fact remains that filming is very often difficult for an industry that employs approximately 5,000 people directly and 25,000 indirectly.
In order to guarantee new and local resources for cinemas in the South, it is necessary to involve national and international private investors. The only incentive is to offer them creative tax advantages that encourage them to invest in film production, not just as patrons but as investors who can benefit from a return on their investment.
For this, there are success stories in progressive taxation, with positive financial repercussions for producers, investors and even states whose tax revenues will eventually increase by the simple fact of the multiplication of film shootings.
The Carthage Film Festival, through their professional platform Carthage Pro, will organize on November 5, 2018, an international conference named "Looking new forms of cinema financing: The Tax Shelter".
The Tax Shelter is a tax mechanism that offers exceptional tax credits to companies investing in film. This conference chaired by Mr. Hakim Ben Hamouda, former finance minister of Tunisia, will see the presence of leading film finance specialists and will present successful experiences in other countries. We will see in particular the experience of Belgium which thanks to its tax shelter has managed to increase its cinematographic production ten folds in less than 15 years.
We will also have the testimonials of producers who have benefited from this type of mechanism and the experience of the Belgian Ministry of Finance with concrete figures on the repercussions in terms of financial resources for the Belgian State.