British television executives attending the Edinburgh International Television Festival are expressing hope that the government's plan to offer major tax credits to TV companies that shoot their productions in the U.K. will significantly boost the local industry and attract American producers. Britain's Guardian newspaper quoted Stephen Bristow, an associate director of film and TV and accountants RSM Tenon, as saying, "We have a great groundswell of talent in production, cast and crew but are the only country that doesn't offer tax incentives," he said. "I talk to all the major American companies and they are all very interested because of the depth of talent here and the potential tax incentives." Local TV producers told the newspaper that the tax credits will allow them to film at home. One described how he had to disguise Belgian castles to make them look British for a TV drama about the Wars of the Roses. Another told of how he wanted to film a miniseries about the Titanic at the Irish shipyard where it was built but had to film the scenes in Budapest instead. Responding to those who contend that taxpayer dollars should be not be used to subsidize private companies, John McVay, CEO of the producers' group PACT, said, "It's not about subsidy. It is about bringing offshore production back to the U.K."
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