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Mongolia passes new film law

Mongolia is a land of stunning natural beauty, from sweeping grasslands to the Gobi desert, to canyons and ancient seabeds and snow-capped mountains. 

On my many visits to Mongolia, I have always wondered out loud why more production companies did not make their movies in Mongolia (the obvious logistical issues and lack of infrastructure aside - but hey, they brought the New Zealand army in to build a road for the filming of the Lord of the Rings). 

That is not to say that films have not been made in Mongolia. These include the award-winning The Story of the Weeping Camel, a German-Mongolian co-production which was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Documentary category at the 77th Academy Awards and won the International Film Critics Award at the 2004 San Francisco International Film Festival and Out of Paradise, a Swiss-Mongolian co-production which won the Golden Goblet Award for Best Feature Film at the 21st Shanghai International Film Festival. 

The Parliament of Mongolia recently passed a law to promote film production in Mongolia (the Law on the Promotion of Cinematograpy and Film Production). Among other things, the law provides for the following reimbursements: 

  • a 30% location expense reimbursement if USD 500,000 was spent by the foreign legal entity producing the film in the territory of Mongolia;
  • a 10% cultural expense reimbursement if the film highlights Mongolia's unique culture and heritage;
  • a 20% incentive to Mongolian filmmakers who have positively promoted Mongolian culture and heritage internationally.

Mongolia is not an easy country to work in (not least because the weather is harsh and unforgiving). But perhaps this law will lure more filmmakers to the beautiful and vast natural landscapes, and introduce more people to the warmth of the Mongolian people. 

“We wanted to show that Mongolia is focusing on developing a film industry that meets the world standard. Mongolia is ready to welcome leading television studios and work with them to develop the creative industry.”

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asia, mongolia, film, steppelands, nomads, mongolianfilm, gobidesert, filmnews, legislation, laws

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