Malaysia Chases Runaway Production With 30% Incentive, New Studios
Malaysia looms as the next hot destination for U.S. and other runaway production with the lures of a 30% cash rebate on production costs and a new $130M facility, Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios. The incentive will be available to all productions which start principal photography in Malaysia from Jan. 1, 2013 and includes the salaries of foreign cast and crew while working in the country. There is a minimum production spend of RM5M ($1.6M) for foreign projects and RM2M for local productions. Located in Johor in the southern tip of the country, the studios are financed by the Malaysian government’s investment arm Khazanah and are being developed in collaboration with the UK’s Pinewood Studios Group. Five sound stages plus production offices, hair, make-up and wardrobe facilities and construction workshops are due to open next May. Two HD-equipped TV studios and post production facility are scheduled to open in September. “There is a lot of interest in the facility from the U.S., Europe, India and Australia,” the studios’ chief executive Michael Lake tells Deadline. Lake ran the Warner Roadshow Studios in Australia for many years and later served as president of WWE Films. “We are still finalizing our rate card and once that is done we will be aggressively chasing firm bookings,” he said. “ I am in advanced discussions with four productions at the moment.” – Don Groves

EFA Honors Bernardo Bertolucci
The European Film Academy will present Bernardo Bertolucci with its Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2012 European Film Awards on December 1 in Malta. Bertolucci began his career as an assistant director to Pier Paolo Pasolini on Accattone and directed his first feature film at the age of 21. He went on to direct Before The Revolution (1964), The Conformist (1970) which won the Italian David di Donatello for Best Film, and Last Tango In Paris (1972). Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor (1987) won nine Oscars, three BAFTA Awards, the French César, nine David di Donatello awards, and a special jury award at the inaugural European Film Awards in 1988. His later films include The Sheltering Sky (1990) and The Dreamers (2003). His latest film Me And You (2012) premiered in the official selection, out of competition, at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.