Essential Guide to Filming Incentives in the United States & Canada

The United States and Canada have been vying against each other for film production bragging rights since the 1990s. Once Canada became a hot bed for productions with its film incentive program in 1997, many U.S. states followed suit and began launching their own production incentives. Luckily for every filmmaker the U.S. and Canada both offer many attractive filming incentives that could mean filming on every type of budget.

Filming Incentives in the United States

Each state has specific requirements that need to be met to qualify for the incentive programs and many also have an annual cap on the amount of funds to be awarded under their incentive program. You can find more in-depth information about each state’s incentive program more by clicking on the links provided.


30% base transferable tax credit, plus an extra 20% for using Alaska cast and crew, another 6% for shooting in rural areas, and 2% for shooting off season, and 6% for the first scripted series


20% transferable base investment tax credit, plus a 10% uplift for including required Georgia promotional logo/end title credit in the project


30% partially refundable, fully transferable motion picture production tax credit for expenditures incurred within the state, and an additional 5% credit (up to the first $1,000,000) for the use of Louisiana workers


25% partially refundable, transferable payroll expense credit and a 25% production expense tax credit

Puerto Rico

40% transferable tax credit of the money paid to Puerto Rican resident vendors and individuals

Filming Incentives in Canada

Federal Incentives are 16% of qualifying Canadian labor expenditures and stackable with the following provincial credits:


25%–29% cash rebate of qualifying Alberta (AB) expenditures (not limited to AB labor)

British Columbia

33% refundable tax credit of qualifying British Columbia (BC) labor expenditures


30% tax credit on all Manitoba (MB) expenditures, including MB labor and MB purchases/rentals OR 45% of qualifying MB labor expenditures

New Brunswick

25% refundable tax credit of qualifying New Brunswick (NB) expenditures (not limited to NB labor) if no NB company has any ownership in the production; or 30% of qualifying NB labor and other non-labor expenditures if an NB company owns the production


40% refundable tax credit of qualifying Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) labor expenditures

Nova Scotia

50% refundable tax credit of eligible NS labor, plus a bonus of 10% of qualifying NS labor expenses for productions shooting outside of metro Halifax and  a “Frequent Filming” bonus of 5% of qualifying labor expenses on 3rd film shot in a 2-year span


25% refundable tax credit of qualifying Ontario (ON) expenditures (not limited to ON labor)


20% refundable tax credit of qualifying Quebec (QC) expenditures (not limited to QC labor)


25% cash rebate of below-the-line Yukon (YT) spend, provided criteria are met

Incentive Definitions

Film Production Rebate
A rebate (or grant) is funds paid to the production company based on the amount of qualifying expenditures, or jobs created in the state or country by the project. The production company does not need to file a tax return for rebates.

Film Refundable Tax Credits
A refundable tax credit is similar in function to a rebate, however, the production company must file a tax return to claim it, and receive a credit for taxes owed. Tax credits can sometimes be used as collateral to obtain a loan so that the production company receives an advance, which is usually discounted.

Film Transferable Tax Credits
A transferable tax credit may be sold or assigned to a local taxpayer. Some states offer transferable tax credits, which allow production companies to sell or get a refund for tax credits that they are not able to use. Many times brokers are used to perform these transactions.

Film Non-Refundable, Non-Transferable Tax Credits
This type of tax credit can be used to offset a production company’s current tax liability, and can be carried forward for a set time, but not transferred to third parties.

The information stated herein is for reference only and based on a source using data as of January 2015. Make sure you consult a qualified tax adviser and professional who is familiar with tax incentive programs to determine the best fit for your project.


At the Global Media Desk we have been helping productions find the highest-quality local crews in the United States and Canada for fifteen years.  We are here to help!  Please contact us with any questions you may have about filming in the region or fill out a quote to see how we can make your production a complete success.

Top International Film Festivals 2015

Top International Film Festivals 2015

Getting recognized at the right film festival can be a turning point for any filmmaker.   Many films have premiered at film festivals, been picked up by an international distributor and then even go on to win an Oscar (see the list here).   To help you figure out which film festivals to budget for, submit and/or attend we have put together this list of the top film festivals for 2015.

List of 2015 Film Festivals

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November

February 2015

berlinale-2015 Berlinale – International Film Festival Berlin
Berlin, Germany
February 5 – 15, 2015
 fantasporto-2015 Fantasporto Film Festival
Porto, Portugal
February 27 – March 7, 2015

March 2015

tampere-2015 Tampere Film Festival
Tampere, Finland
March 4 – 8, 2015
 ficg-2015 Festival Internacional de Cine en Guadalajara
Guadalajara, México
March 6 – 15, 2015
 sxsw-2015 SXSW – South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival
Austin, Texas
March 13 – 22, 2015

April 2015

ecu-2015 ÉCU The European Independent Film Festival
Paris, France
April 10 – 12, 2015
 bafici-2015 BAFICI Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente
Buenos Aires, Argentina
April 15 – 26, 2015
 tribeca-2015 Tribeca Film Festival
New York, New York
April 15 – 26, 2015
 nashville-2015 Nashville Film Festival
Nashville, Tennessee
April 16 – 25, 2015
 sfiff-2015 San Francisco International Film Festival
San Francisco, California
April 23 – May 7, 2015
 newport-beach-2015 Newport Beach Film Festival
Newport Beach, California
April 23 – 30, 2015

May 2015

 cannes-2015 Cannes International Film Festival
Cannes, France
May 13 – 24, 2015
 siff-2015 SIFF – Seattle International Film Festival
Seattle, Washington
May 14 – June 7, 2015

June 2015

shanghai-2015 Shanghai International Film Festival
Shanghai, China
June 13 – 21, 2015
 moscow-2015 Moscow International Film Festival
Moscow, Russia
June 18 – 27, 2015

July 2015

karlovy-vary-2015 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic
July 3 – 11, 2015
 durban Durban International Film Festival
Durban, South Africa
July 16 – 26, 2015
 giffoni-2015 Giffoni Film Festival
Giffoni, Italy
July 17 – 26, 2015
 zanzibar-2015 Zanzibar international Film Festival
Zanzibar, Tanzania
July 18 – 26, 2015
 miff-2015 Melbourne International Film Festival
Melbourne, Australia
July 30 – August 16, 2015

August 2015

locarno-2015 Locarno International Film Festival
Locarno, Switzerland
August 5 – 15, 2015
 gramado-2015 Festival de Gramado
Gramado, Brazil
August 14 – 22, 2015
 sarajevo-2015 Sarajevo Film Festival
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
August 14 – 22, 2015
 mwff-2015 Montreal World Film Festival
Montreal, Canada
August 27 – September 7, 2015

September 2015

venice-2015 Venice International Film Festival
Venice, Italy
September 2 – 12, 2015
 telluride-2015 Telluride Film Festival
Telluride, Colorado
September 4 – 7, 2015
 tiff-2015 Toronto International Film Festival
Toronto, Canada
September 10 – 20, 2015
 san-sebastian-2015 San Sebastián International Film Festival
San Sebastián, Spain
September 18 – 26, 2015
 raindance-2015 Raindance Film Festival
London, UK
September 23 – October 4, 2015
 viff-2015 Vancouver International Film Festival
Vancouver, Canada
September 24 – October 9, 2-015
 nyff-2015 New York Film Festival
New York City, New York
September 25 – October 11, 2015

October 2015

busan-2015 Busan International Film Festival
Busan, South Korea
October 1 – 10, 2015
 sitges-2015 Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia
Sitges, Spain
October 9 – 18, 2015
 warsaw-2015 Warsaw Film Festival
Warsaw, Poland
October 9 – 18, 2015
 tokyo-20156 Tokyo International Film Festival
Tokyo, Japan
October 22 – 31, 2015
 morelia-2015 Morelia International Film Festival
Morelia, México
October 23 – November 1, 2015
 austin-2015 Austin Film Festival
Austin, Texas
October 29 – November 5, 2015
 abu-dhabi-2015 Abu Dhabi Film Festival
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
October 2015

November 2015

cottbus-2015 Film Festival Cottbus
Cottbus, Germany
November 3 – 8, 2015
 tous-ecrans-2015 Festival Tous Écrans, Geneva International Film Festival
Geneva, Switzerland
November 5 – 12, 2015
 thessaloniki-2015 Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Thessaloniki, Greece
November 6 – 15, 2015
 cairo-2015 Cairo International Film Festival
Cairo, Egypt
Nov 8 – Nov 17, 2015
 india-2015 International Film Festival of India
Goa, India
November 2015
 idfa-2015 IDFA International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Amsterdam, Netherlands
November 18 – 29, 2015
 tff-2015 Torino Film Festival
Turin, Italy
November 20 – 28, 2015
 mar-del-plata-2015 Mar del Plata Film Festival
Mar del Plata, Argentina
November 22 – 30, 2015

January 2015 (Festivals that have already happened)

 palm-springs-2015 Palm Springs International Film Festival
Palm Springs, California
January 2 – 12, 2015
 tromso-2015 Tromsø International Film Festival
Tromsø, Norway
January 12 – 18, 2015
 rotterdam-2015 International Film Festival Rotterdam
Rotterdam, Netherlands
January 21 – February 1, 2015
 sundance-2015 Sundance Film Festival
Park City, Utah
January 22 – February 1, 2015
 goteborg-2015 Göteborg Film Festival
Gothenburg, Sweden
January 23 –February 2, 2015

At the Global Media Desk we specialize in bringing your visions to life.  We only work with the top regional professionals in such varied fields as video production, photography and film & video crews. Contact us today to find out how we can make your project a reality!