Monthly Archives: 二月 2009

Time running out to take part in a movie


From 
February 26, 2006

INVESTORS are being tempted into schemes that back films such as The Da Vinci Code before the curtain falls on lucrative tax breaks in a month.Gordon Brown, the chancellor, offers tax relief on investments in certain British films, attracting about £6 billion into the industry over the past 10 years, but these breaks are to be phased out from April 1.

Film promoters are desperate to drum up interest from investors before then, and several schemes are after your cash.

You generally get a 40% tax rebate by investing in a film scheme, assuming you are a higher-rate taxpayer — and some are even encouraging investors to get a second 40% government handout by reinvesting the money in a pension.

Invicta Capital is promoting a scheme giving tax relief when you invest in The Da Vinci Code, one of the most hotly anticipated films of this year. It is based on Dan Brown’s best-selling novel and stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.

The film is completed and due for release on May 19, but it still needs money from investors to cover post-production costs such as marketing.

Invicta was also behind an investment scheme that funded Wallace and Gromit — the Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Movie buffs could also invest in new British films, but the risks are higher because most are not even in production yet. To qualify for the tax breaks, they have to be at least nominally in production by the end of next month.

Prescience Film Partners, for example, has a scheme that invests in productions such as Nightwatching, a film about Rembrandt, by the British director Peter Greenaway.

It will star Emily Mortimer and Matthew Macfadyen, and filming is due to start in the spring. A release date is pencilled in for the autumn to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s birth this year.

You could even get tax relief through schemes that back British Bollywood.

These films are made mostly in Britain to qualify for the tax breaks, but they are designed to appeal to the huge Indian market as well as UK cinemagoers. This increases their chance of commercial success, according to promoters.

Crossover Capital is promoting a scheme that invests in productions such as Provoked, about an arranged marriage starring Miranda Richardson, Robbie Coltrane and Aishwarya Rai, who was in Bride and Prejudice.

Brown launched tax relief for British films in the 1990s to boost the UK industry. There are two main types — Section 48 and Section 42. With the former, you can get immediate tax relief at 40% when you invest in a British film with a budget of less than £15m. So if you invested £100,000, Revenue & Customs would send you a tax rebate of £40,000.

The schemes from Prescience and Crossover both use this type of tax relief.

Section 42 is designed for British films with budgets of more than £15m. You still get 40% tax relief but it is spread over three years rather than one. The Invicta scheme uses this form of relief.

The tax breaks, particularly Section 48, have been enormously popular and thousands of investors have ploughed an estimated £6 billion into UK films since its introduction in 1997, according to Martin Churchill of Tax Efficient Review, a magazine that analyses film schemes.

However, the government has baulked at the estimated £2.4 billion cost of the tax breaks and is scrapping them this year. They will be replaced with a tax credit that will be paid direct to the film producer, so investors will benefit only indirectly.

For films to be eligible for the reliefs they must start their principal photography before April 1 and be completed before January 1.

Film promotors say that the crackdown on tax relief will have a devastating impact on the British industry. George Sitwell of Crossover Capital said: “Until now, our investors have been wealthy individuals working in the City and I doubt we will ever see their money again.

“The producer credit will go some way toward the shortfall, but the changeover will usher in a period of uncertainty for the British film industry.”

Film producers are therefore desperate to grab investors’ cash before the tax reliefs start to be phased out.

Lyndon Berry, a producer who has worked on films such as Rob Roy and The Hunt for Red October, said: “Many people are very unhappy about the way this has been handled by the government.

“The phasing out of Section 48 will have a big impact on film financing and I am hoping to get my current film, The Betrayers, into production before the March 31 deadline.”

Film schemes can be structured in two ways, as a sale and leaseback or as a production partnership. Both qualify for Section 48 and 42 reliefs.

Sale and leaseback plans, which invest in completed productions, are the most popular because they do not rely on the success of the film; they are simply a means of deferring tax (see below).

However, there are very few on the market at present because demand has been so strong.

Invicta’s is one of the few available, but the downside is that it offers tax relief under Section 42 — available over three years, not immediately.

Richard Allen of Allenbridge, a tax consultant, said: “If you are getting the tax breaks over three years rather than one, the benefits of a sale- and-leaseback scheme are reduced and it becomes a less clear-cut investment decision.”

More sale and leasebacks may come on stream later in the year, and if principal photography started before April 1, they will still qualify for tax relief. However, they are likely to be snapped up fast.

Alternatively, there are several schemes that offer the more attractive Section 48 relief, including the Prescience and Crossover schemes.

However, they are risky production partnerships, where your money is genuinely invested in the production of the underlying film and your return depends on its success.

Churchill said: “I am generally sceptical of production partnerships. Very few small British films recoup their budget, let alone make money.”

Film promoters point to successful British films such as Summer of Love and Ladies in Lavender, which were partly funded by Brown’s tax reliefs.

But Churchill is not convinced. “They may have been a critical success, but that does not mean they made money for investors,” he said.

If the film is not a hit at the box office, investors could still get perks such as visits to the production studio, invitations to the premiere and even walk-on parts.

A chance to get in the picture

FILM buffs who want to get tax relief on their investments before the perks are phased out have several options.

Sale-and-leaseback plans These generally invest in completed productions, and crucially do not depend on the success or failure of the film.

Sale-and-leaseback schemes are so-called because investors pool their cash, usually through a partnership, to purchase a film and then lease it back to the production company.

The production company generally uses about 15% of the cash from the sale of the film to fund post-production costs and puts the rest on deposit to pay rent to the partnership.

The minimum investment is usually about £100,000, but investors typically contribute only 20% and borrow the rest. They then get tax relief at 40% on the full amount.

The rent from the production company is used to clear the 80% loan over the next 15 years. The rent is normally guaranteed by a bank, so it should clear the debt even if the film bombs at the box office.

The partnership’s rental income is taxed, which offsets the benefit of the initial tax relief. You are therefore deferring tax over 15 years, not saving it. But if you invest the money wisely in the meantime and your return is greater than the tax you must repay, you can beat Revenue & Customs.

Martin Churchill of Tax Efficient Review, an adviser, said: “Many investors are planning to put their film-scheme rebates into their pensions to get a second lot of 40% tax relief, which reduces the return required to make the plans worthwhile.”

There are not many schemes on the market, but more may be launched later this year.

As long as the underlying films were in principal photography before April 1 they will qualify for Section 48 tax relief.

Production partnerships As with sale and leaseback, you typically invest 20% of your total contribution and borrow the rest. However, your loan is not guaranteed to be paid off over 15 years; it is cleared using the income from distribution deals signed by the production company. These schemes therefore carry a higher risk.

Enterprise investment schemes Investors in an EIS qualify for 20% income-tax relief on investments of up to £200,000, as long as the shares are held for three years. The EIS shares are free from capital-gains tax when they are sold if you meet the holding requirement. You can also defer CGT on other assets if you reinvest the money in an EIS. Many EISs invest in either individual films, although these are highly speculative, or a portfolio of films. For more details visit taxshelterreport.co.uk or taxefficientreview.com.

曾俊華談壯語


2008-12-13

經濟日報

 

節錄:

據鬍鬚曾講,廣東話其實保留不少壯語的說法,例如「細想」叫「諗」,「抓住」叫「拈實」,「一團」叫「一舊」,這些日常用語,其實都是壯語而來的,更問壯語是否如廣東話一樣,將北方語顛倒,將「客人」叫「人客」,「公雞」叫「雞公」等,如果是這樣,他與壯人就更易溝通了。

長洲戲院


立法會十六題:活化歷史建築伙伴計劃
*****************
  以下為今日(二月四日)立法會會議上余若薇議員的提問和發展局局長林鄭月娥的書面答覆:
問題:
  關於把具悠久歷史的舊戲院列入「活化歷史建築伙伴計劃」(活化計劃),政府可否告知本會:
(一) 除油麻地戲院已被評定為二級歷史建築外,有否為全港的舊戲院(包括長洲戲院和坪洲戲院)進行歷史建築的評級;若有,有關的詳情;若否,會否盡快為全港舊戲院進行歷史建築的評級;若否,原因為何;
(二) 有否研究澳門伯多祿五世劇院的活化模式是否可套用於香港的舊戲院;若有,研究的結果;若否,會否盡快進行研究;及
(三) 會否考慮把已評定為歷史建築的舊戲院納入活化計劃,以保育和活化該等歷史建築?
答覆:
主席:
(一) 根據古物古蹟辦事處(古蹟辦)的紀錄,香港有兩所戰前所建的戲院,分別為由政府擁有的油麻地戲院及由私人擁有的長洲戲院。其中油麻地戲院於一九九八年被古物諮詢委員會(古諮會)評為二級歷史建築。古蹟辦正為長洲戲院進行評估,結果將於稍後提交古諮會考慮,以決定此建築物的評級。至於坪洲戲院,因它只屬於一九六○年代後才落成之建築物,古蹟辦現時未有計劃為其進行評估。
(二) 世界各地都有很多活化歷史建築的例子,包括澳門伯多祿五世劇院。我們在進行歷史建築活化時,會參考及學習這些例子。
(三) 政府會按個別歷史建築的情況以制定合適保育方案。就目前政府擁有的唯一屬於戲院用途之已評級歷史建築,即油麻地戲院,政府已決定將它和附近位於上海街344號的紅磚屋(又稱前水務署抽水站工程師辦公室)一併改建為戲曲活動中心,為小型粵劇演出和訓練粵劇新秀提供表演和練習場地。該項目已獲立法會財務委員會轄下的工務小組委員會在其二○○九年一月二十一日之會議通過。

2009年2月4日(星期三)
香港時間15時00分

 

長洲戲院稍後評級 04.02.2009 15:29
   

 

     
商業電台

政府表示,本港有兩間戰前興建的戲院,分別是油麻地戲院及長洲戲院,油麻地戲院早前已評為二級歷史建築物,至於長洲戲院,古物古蹟辦事處正進行評估,之後向古物諮詢委員會提交建議,以決定評級。至於坪洲戲院,由於是在六零年代後期落成,古蹟辦未有計劃進行評估。

2009-2-5

文匯報

【本報訊】政府已決定將被評定為二級歷史建築的油麻地戲院(見圖)改建為戲曲活動中心,為小型粵劇演出和訓練粵劇新秀提供表演和練習場地。發展局表示,根據古物古蹟辦事處的紀錄,本港有兩所戰前興建的戲院,分別是由政府擁有的油麻地戲院及由私人擁有的長洲戲院。

 發展局局長林鄭月娥稱,古物古蹟辦事處正為長洲戲院評估,之後向古物諮詢委員會提交建議,再決定建築物評級。至於坪洲戲院,由於是在1960年代後期才落成,古蹟辦未有計劃為該戲院進行評級。

 

2009-2-15
太陽報

〈長洲戰前戲院瀕清拆〉
本港碩果僅存的戰前戲院長洲戲院正面臨清拆危機。長洲戲院的業主早前公開招標出售地皮,幸因價錢不合而告吹,古物古蹟辦事處雖正為戲院進行評級,但長洲居民擔心在現行機制下難阻業主發展私有歷史建築,即未能排除戲院隨時易主改建為度假屋的危機,促政府與業主洽商收購或租予非牟利團體保育及活化戲院。

建於一九三一年的長洲戲院樓高兩層,採中式折衷建築風格,由石磗及大石砌成,入口上方有螺旋柱頭裝飾的簷篷,大堂極具氣派,內設逾六百座位,在全盛時經常全院滿座,連路口及通道亦逼滿企位的戲迷,戲院外則有大量小販銷售烤魷魚、甘蔗、話梅等看電影的良伴,可說是全長洲最熱鬧的地段。

不過,戲院因客路大減而在九十年代結業後一直鮮有修葺,外牆早已斑斑駁駁,門外放滿單車及雜物,戲院尖頂上蓋中間更已塌毀,日曬雨淋下戲院內櫳亦告千瘡百孔。

據土地註冊處資料,長洲戲院在結業後售予現任業主廖德順及方鳳善(譯音),據悉新業主非長洲居民,且長年居於外地。美聯物業營業董事馮劍釗透露,業主在0七年中曾招標放售戲院連相連農地的地皮,面積達三萬四千多平方呎,足以重建為五幢度假式洋房,曾吸引發展商出價,但因出價低於估值才告吹,現時該地皮仍然放售。

離島區議員李桂珍表示,長洲戲院滿載所有長洲人的集體回憶,若任由戲院清拆甚為可惜,她希望政府可收購長洲戲院及相連地皮,加入活化歷史建築夥伴計劃,活化為小型文娛中心或可促進長洲旅遊業的用途,否則亦可與業主協商保留戲院最具物色的正門大堂及二樓的放映室,留下歷史印記。

老一輩居民重提戲院當年盛況,無不津津樂道,對戲院可能被清拆感到無奈,不期望忽視文物保育的政府會出手介入;新一代則主要因本地電影《一碌蔗》曾到長洲戲院取景,加添對戲院的認識,認為戲院有保留價值。

2009-2-16
《經濟日報》
〈長洲戲院重建權 掀官民角力〉 辛佩蘭報道

政府快將公布1440幢戰前歷史建築物的評估結果,市場關注千多幢舊建築若獲評級,會否凍結私人產業的重建權,官民角力戰一觸即發。

據悉,將評級的長洲戲院率先變角力場,戲院業權人代表稱,不會放棄出售戲院及相連屋地和農地的意向,買家有權拆卸戲院,除非政府買下物業或與業主換地。

長洲戲院是現存曾放映默片的私人擁有戲院,建於1936年距今70多年,戲院1950年代曾加建,現佔地面積3000多平方呎,比鄰6100呎屋地部份建2層高物業,戲院後方有2.8萬呎農地,合共3.71萬呎。

金融海嘯令地價縮水,加上評級對土地重新發展或有負面影響,業界估計長洲戲院等地皮價值會下跌,料業主需降價求售。

長洲戲院創辦人姚德順及姚德江(譯音)兄弟的後人,部份已移居澳洲或從事專業工作,無意繼續持有長洲戲院及相連地皮,近年積極放售,但還價不理想,叫價由最初2200多萬元減至最後價值1650萬元,惟最貼價的買家陳姓的印尼華僑,去年中堅守1550萬元,雙方在100萬元之間爭持,拖拉到下半年因股市波動而告吹。業主代表透露,姚家後人關注政府為長洲戲院評級,但因政府未接觸解釋,故不了解評級的影響。

「政府想保留戲院,可以出錢買,或者與業主換地作補償,以前政府都曾出錢買古迹(甘棠第),又有換地前科(景賢里)…… 如果政府只幫戲院復修又無補償,業主怎會接受!」

發展局發言人稱,古物古蹟辦事處正為長洲戲院的歷史價值評級,稍後會連同1440幢戰前建築物的評估結果,向古物諮詢委員會提交建議。

政府是否為歷史建築提供保育的經濟誘因,需按個別情況,而要成為受保護古迹,有極高門檻,先要被評為一級歷史建築,列入「備用名單」。二或三級歷史建築會以其文物價值相稱的方式來保護,文物價值較高會較優先處理。發言人並強調,私人物業就算被評級,業主都有責任維修和保養,但可向發展局申請最高60萬元維修資助。

「唔願」到「唔想/唔肯」


昨日提起「唔願」一詞,感嘆言語的變遷。

 

尤記得兒時,外婆每次見我睡到日上三竿,就會笑笑口責備:「又試夜晚唔願瞓,日頭唔願起身」。到了父母親的一代,已經很少聽見他們講「唔願」;現在香港人更加普遍不會說。

 

不講唔願,講什麼?取而代之的是「唔想」或「唔肯」。雖然「唔」字仍然保留,但過百年沿用的字詞已變。

 

方言慣用語的變遷沒有好與壞、正統與不正統之分,一切約定俗成,天要下雨、娘要嫁人,任誰也擋不住。

俚歌鬼才 ﹣詞人黎彼得


談起廿世紀七十年代的粵語流行曲填詞人,不少人會說黃霑、鄭國江等,但他們所填的詞其實是頗書面語,甚至可追溯文言詩詞曲目。真正貼近廣府話的,反而是黎彼得的詞。

 

去年黎彼得獲頒【CASH音樂成就大獎】,可謂實至名歸。劉天賜先生稱他「前有古人,後無來者」,稱頌他可清代嶺南鬼才何淡如相輝映。

 

黎彼得的詞雖然俚俗市井,但達意精妙,盡得戰後廣東諧趣歌的神髓。

 

上世紀五十年代,大陸山河變色,不少音樂公司和人才避走自香港。粵劇在那個年代固然盛極一時,但粵語時代曲(或稱廣東歌)此時也開始興起。一方面,既有周聰等人的鴛鴦蝴蝶派婉約情歌,另一方面也有朱老丁、胡文森等填詞人的市井諧趣歌曲,並由鄭君錦、鄧寄塵等人唱紅。黎彼得的風格,應較接近朱老丁、胡文森等人的一系。

 

諧趣廣東歌,雖被當時認為不能登大雅之堂,卻貼近廣東人的生活,口語化的歌詞勝在夠啜核,因而亦廣受歡迎。其實,像胡文森、黎彼得等詞人亦莊亦諧,是廣東不可多得的創作人才。

 

黎彼得較前輩幸運的是,碰上了當時得令的許冠傑,兩人合作創造出《財神到》、《學生哥》、《印像》、《杯酒當歌》等經典金曲。

 

說黎彼得後無來者,除了個人因素外,自八十年代起,香港人的廣東話已經漸漸轉變,也有一些關係。以「唔願」一詞為例,黎曾將此廣府話在《天邊一隻雁》一曲中入詞,但現在香港已很少聽到年輕一輩講「唔願」兩字。查實此詞源遠流長,清末民初用粵語說唱的曲種如「粵謳」、「南音」,就有不少歌曲譜上「唔願」兩字。可見時代變遷,語境丕變,不同年代詞人的風格亦隨之而轉變。

 

延伸閱讀:

粵語流行曲發展過程

胡文森作品研究

朱老丁