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Baja Hollywood? Mexico sets sights on California's film production business

March 10, 2010 |  6:51 pm

As if California didn't have enough to worry about from north of the border.

The state's neighbor to the south, Mexico, has launched a new program to entice filmmakers with incentives in a bid to snare some of the lucrative movie and TV production business.

President Felipe Calderon unveiled the program Wednesday at a film studio in Rosarito, Baja, declaring that he wants Mexico to become "Latin America's movie capital," competing with countries like Canada, South Africa and Australia, according to the Associated Press.

That may be a tall order, however. Mexico's incentive program is relatively minor compared to incentives offered in most U.S. states and Canada. The country would reimburse producers just 7.5% of their expenses on projects that cost at least $5.5 million.

"It's nice they are giving something back, but I don't think it's going to have any impact on productions in the U.S.,'' said Jeff Begun of The Incentives Office, which helps filmmakers navigate incentive programs around the world.  "It's just not competitive."

-- Richard Verrier