The finance committee has released funds set aside to pay for Jiu Jitsu, despite accusations from MPs on the left that something did not add up in the recently-launched cash rebate scheme.
According to Philenews, members on the House finance committee approved a cheque for €8.5 million to pay for Jiu Jitsu, a film starring Nicolas Cage, which was being held up in the Cypriot parliament.
After approving the rebate, Akel and the Greens suggested that money in the future aimed to pay for films ought to be earmarked in advance
Jiu Jitsu, an action-packed martial arts movie shot in Cyprus last summer, was the first film to use tax-payer money in a government cash rebate scheme aimed at promoting the making of films on the Mediterranean island. The movie plot involves an ancient order of expert Jiu Jitsu fighters facing fearsome alien invaders in a battle for Earth every six years.
The plan gives cash back to the tune of 35% of the whole production budget under certain conditions outlined in the programme.
In the case of Jiu Jitsu, the production company submitted a budget of €25 million, but Akel and Green party MPs initially blocked the €8.5 million until they could see proof of all legitimate expenses.
The MPs reiterated their suspicions about the budget, accusing the government of allocating funds to favour specific individuals.
MPs from ruling party Disy, centre opposition Diko and Edek, all had approved the budget for the film but none were present to counter the arguments during the final committee hearing.
Only €1.8 million was originally approved in the film budget, with the government later submitting an additional budget of €16 million, of which only half had been finally approved by the House.
Akel and the Greens, after okaying the rebate, suggested that money aimed to pay for films in the future ought to be earmarked in advance.