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$13.9m Film Tax Rebate For Survivor Series Handed Over

Government has paid out $13.9 million film tax rebate to the production company behind the US-based reality television show Survivor (Season 33). In handing over the cheque yesterday, Attorney-General and
11 Aug 2016 11:04
$13.9m Film Tax Rebate For Survivor Series Handed Over
From left: Film Fiji CEO Dallas Foon and chairperson, Shaenaz Voss, Survivor Co-Executive Producer, Jesse Jensen, Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, FRCA acting CEO, Visvanath Das, FRCA General Manager Customs and Excise, Kumar Sami Goundar and FRCA National Manager Revenue Collection, Muni Ratna at Film Fiji Suva office yesterday. Photo: RONALD KUMAR

Government has paid out $13.9 million film tax rebate to the production company behind the US-based reality television show Survivor (Season 33).

In handing over the cheque yesterday, Attorney-General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, confirmed this was the largest film tax rebate payout.

Shot in the Mamanucas between February and June, around $50 million was spent on the production which created employment for around 340 locals on the set.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “The reality is that over 300 Fijians were employed, people gained skill sets and I believe there are other Fijians used in other series maybe shot somewhere else.”

Government introduced the film tax rebate a few years ago when it realised a game-changer was needed in the audio-visual world and to be able to attract more productions.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the decision seems to be now paying off with interest coming from all over both Hollywood and Bollywood.

The production house shot Survivor Season 33 and 34 back-to-back in the Mamanucas over the past six months.

The film tax rebate for Survivor Season 34 would be handed over later on during the year as the production has just been wrapped up and is pending paperwork submission.

Survivor Co-Executive Producer, Jesse Jensen, described Fiji being one of the best places they have been to.

In terms of further shooting her, Mr Jensen said: “We have definitely thought about it and we would like to come back for sure. We are definitely in talks.”

 

Promotion for Fiji

Film Fiji chief executive, Dallas Foon, highlighted for the Survivor series, US alone has 11 million viewership per episode and around 110 million viewers worldwide.

He added Fiji will get 17 hours of prime TV time on a major US networks and so the exposure for Fiji and Fijian Tourism in particular is fantastic.

 

Economic benefits

Film Fiji chairperson, Shaenaz Voss, said for a production to be on an Island for six months brings huge value in every aspect.

“The number of people who were employed, the number of boats that were chartered, the flights that went in and a big value was spent as far as Survivor is concerned,” she said.

“Back to back filming of seasons 33 and 34 – this is a huge plus for Film Fiji as well for going out there and getting Survivor to choose Fiji as their destination.”

Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority acting chief executive, Visvanath Das, said it was very important that we enable such productions to happen.

The first Survivor season (Season 33) filmed here starts airing on September 21 in the USA with season finale to be on December 14.

The second Survivor season (Season 34) filmed here will start airing in January with the finale in May.

Edited by: RACHNA LAL

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