Film Estonia, the Baltic state’s new system of cash rebates, was introduced at the beginning of this year, under the auspices of the Estonian Film Institute. There are four annual submission deadlines designed to “encourage better cooperation between local and foreign film producers to shoot in Estonia.” By providing rebates worth up to 30 percent of in-country production costs, the scheme, though small, is among Europe’s most generous. Promising “easy access and fast procedure,” $540,000, is available this year, rising to more than $2 million next year for features, TV films, documentaries and animation. (2016)
Source: Hollywood Reporter
The Film Fund Luxembourg manages the National Support Fund for Audiovisual Productions (Fonds national de soutien à la production audiovisuelle). The Luxembourg Film Fund has an annual budget of around 30 Million Euros.
Film Fund Luxembourg offers two different support mechanisms for audiovisual productions carried out by a Luxembourg registered film production company:
– the Audiovisual Investment Certificate Program (CIAV), in place from 1988 to end of 2013, which provides assistance to offset a proportion of production costs incurred in the European Union and in particular on the Luxembourg territory;
– the National Audiovisual Production Support (AFS), is a refundable selective scheme which provides discretionary loans to producers to finance development and scriptwriting, distribution and production/coproduction for fiction, animation, documentaries, short films, transmedia projects (repayable from the finished work’s receipts).
In 2013, 14 films benefited from audiovisual investment certificates for a total sum of 15,491,579 euros, meanwhile 58 projects benefited from selective financial assistance for a total amount of 35,224,371 euros.
A new law adopted on 22 September 2014 created a structural fund for private investment in the audiovisual production, which restructured the Film Fund. CIAV was considered a less adopted instrument, following the financial crisis. The selective financial assistance under this Law may only be granted to resident and fully taxable limited companies whose purpose is audiovisual production.
Tax system: created in 2007. More than a tax incentive it is a discount system. No private investors involved.
Based on spend or content? German spend. NO financial and legal fees. Actors: only up to 15% of the total. NO development costs.
How does it work?
– 20% of eligible German costs for EU co-production Or German film (cultural test)
– 75% of the financing cost has to be in place
– You have to spend 25% of your budget in Germany (20% for budgets > 20M €)
– You have three months to start production after reception of the certificate
– the budget must be a minimum of 1M € (200,000 € for documentaries) CaP: 4M € (exception: 9M €)
– It can be paid in three equal parts during production but that case will need a completion bond.
Where does the money come from?
This is a new Government Fund, the DFFF. 80 M € / year for three years were allocated.
What’s the catch?
The need for a German distributor (with a history of 3 films) for at least 30 prints during a week. It is hard for co-productions to spend the 25% in Germany.
What about TV?
No TV projects are eligible.
Section 481 of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 as amended (“Section 481”) was introduced to promote the Irish film industry by encouraging investment in Irish made films which make a significant contribution to the national economy and the Exchequer. The scheme is a fiscal incentive to taxpayers as it allows tax relief in film projects certified under the Act. Further provisions are included in Regulations made by the Revenue Commissioners, with the consent of the Ministers for Finance and Arts, Sport and Tourism on 12/09/2008.
Historically, investors could invest up to 66% of the production cost for films up to IR£4 million (€5,078,950) and 55% of production in excess of IR£5 million (€6,348,690) with a maximum investment of €15 million. The Finance Act 2006 provided that the amount that could be invested in any one film was raised to 80% of the cost of production, capped at €35 million.
In 2008 however, the Irish government introduced new welcomed measures to strengthen this tax incentive even further. The amount which can be invested depends on “qualifying expenditure” ie. total spend by the production on Irish goods, services and facilities including the cost of EU cast and crew working in the State. The new improvements mean the ceiling on qualifying expenditure for any one film is increased from €35 million to €50 million. By virtue of SI No 97 of 2009 [Finance (No 2) Act 2008 (Commencement of Section 28(1) ) Order 2009], individuals buying shares in a special purpose film or television production company may now individually invest up to €50,000 under the scheme in any year of assessment, an increase of €18,250 over the previous cap of €31,750. More importantly these investors may now claim 100% tax relief on their investment as opposed to the previous 80%. This means that for each investor the available tax relief in cash terms has nearly doubled from €10,414 to €20,500. These changes result is a large increase in the producers net benefit available to each Section 481 project as projects may now derive a benefit of up to 28% of their qualifying expenditure.
Introduced in January 2014, productions that are spending up to a fifth of their budget in Lithuania can quality for a 20 percent tax rebate via a local production partner that may use the rebate to reduce local corporate income tax liability. Incentives are available to feature films, TV films, documentaries and animated movies. Domestic films and co-produced or commissioned films all are included in the incentive, which is managed by the Lithuanian Film Center.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Another Eastern European territory offering attractive incentives is Latvia, where two cash rebate schemes have been running for the past six years.
The Riga Film Fund and the National Film Center of Latvia fund, which can be used in tandem, have been increased to a total of $2.6 million (€2.3 million) from 2017.
One recent beneficiary is Cannes’ regular, Ukrainian director Sergey Loznitsa, whose new film A Gentle Creature – inspired by Dostoyevsky’s short story about a woman’s quest for truth in a land of crime without punishment – is shooting in Latvia. The $2.5 million project will get a $220,000 rebate from the Film Center. Loznitsa shot his Cannes 2012 competition entry In the Fog in Latvia. Sales for sis new film, a coproduction between Marianne Slot (France) and Film Angels Studio (Latvia) are being handled by Wild Bunch.
There will be more money available in Latvia for productions celebrating the country’s 100th anniversary of independence in 2018. The Latvia100 initiative is making $8.5 million (€7.5 million) available to support 12 new feature length movies, including five features, six documentaries and one animated film.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
International co-productions working with Polish partners can access grants from the Polish Film Institute. The Polish Film Institute (PISF) is the largest source of funding with additional funds coming from the television, a well-developed network of regional film funds, as well as private sources. The most frequent coproduction partners for Poland are Germany, France and the Czech Republic, with growing involvement of the Scandinavian countries including Sweden and Denmark. An annual budget of 22 million euros ($24 million) is available for production, subsidizing up to 40 features a year and a further 160 documentary and animated projects. A new minority co-production scheme is designed to “foster international experiences of Polish producers.” From 2016, up to $520,000 per project will be available, with up to 70 percent of Polish costs underwritten. The Institute says it is “looking for projects by established directors or young filmmakers, with an interesting festival or workshops track record, backed by an experienced producer.” There is “no geographic limits” for project proposals — “as long as there is a strong artistic involvement.”
Poland has a well-developed network of regional film funds with 10 active funds. The film funds offering production support as coproducers or funders are: Łódź FF, Gdynia FF, Silesia FF, Lower Silesia FF,Poznań FF, Krakow FF, Białystok FF, West Pomerania FF, Lublin FF and Mazovia FF. A new fund for the Warmia and Mazury region is planned for 2017.
The Ministry of Culture proposed a bill in 2017 for a production rebate scheme dedicated to film and TV productions. The money will be paid out of an annual 22 million-euro fund and will offer 25% back on spends for productions that meet certain criteria, including using Polish crews, goods and services. Feature films – live-action or animated – documentaries and high-end television dramas will qualify under the proposal.
The Portuguese Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Works (Instituto do cinema e do audiovisual) offers financial help to the cinema and audiovisual productions through a variety of support schemes. The Portuguese tax incentive for film production, provided for in the State Budget Act of 2016, has been established by decree-law, approved by the Council of Ministers on 15 December 2016. The incentive offers a refundable tax credit (corporate income tax) of 20% to 25% of the costs of production in Portugal, depending on the characteristics of the project. The incentive applies to cinematographic works (feature length) of every type (fiction, documentary or animation), with a minimum production expenditure in Portugal of 1 million euros, covering national productions, official coproductions, de facto coproductions and foreign films (executive production/services).
Support schemes launched by ICA in 2017, call for proposals:
Support to the cinema for:
– the writing of the script and development of cinema pieces: € 500.000
– fiction long movies: € 2.400.000
– fiction short movies: € 630.000
– cinema documentaries: € 800.000
– animated long movies: € 1.000.000
– animated short movies: € 750.000
– finalization of cinema pieces: € 660.000
– automation (depending on the sales of the last national cinema piece produced by the candidate): € 665.000
– international co-production with participation from the Portuguese minority: € 900.000
– the distribution in Portugal of cinema pieces supported by ICA: € 350.000
– the distribution in Portugal of national, European, and other cinema pieces: € 350.000 (for those pieces which did not already have the support of ICA; for those European and international pieces whose distribution in Portugal is lower than 5% of the market quota relative to the number of spectators in 2016 – the year prior to the launching of the call for proposal)
– showcase: € 225.000 (for those national, European and international pieces whose distribution in Portugal is lower than 5% of the market quota relative to the number of spectators in 2016 – the year prior to the launching of the call for proposal)
Support to the audiovisual and multimedia industry for:
– the writing of the script and development of audiovisual and multimedia pieces: € 450.000
– audiovisual and multimedia innovation: € 350.000
– production of audiovisual and multimedia pieces: € 2.500.000
Support to the public education in schools in the area of cinema and audiovisual for:
– education initiatives for the children and youth: € 300.000 (3 year program)
– education for students: € 240.000 (3 year program)
Support to internationalization for:
– the international release and promotion of national pieces: € 430.000
– the international release and promotion of national pieces – for associations which have as an objective the release and promotion of Portuguese cinema: € 570.000 (3 year program)
– the distribution of national piece on international markets: € 150.000
Support to the showcasing of Portuguese cinema in national and international festivals
Slovenian Film Fund (SFF) was founded in 1994 and it represents the centre for planning and realisation of film activities. Its founding coincides with the new wave of Slovenian film. In 2011 the Slovenian Film Fund changes its name in the Slovenian Film Centre.
A new Slovenian law on film incentives voted for on 27 September 2016 introduces a cash rebate scheme amounting to 25% of qualified spend for foreign producers filming in Slovenia. Most kinds of film and TV projects: feature films, animation, documentaries, TV series, etc are eligible. Excluded are commercials, sitcoms and pornography. The scheme has an estimated budget of 1m EUR per year. If the scheme proves to be successful, this budget may increase. All the bidding projects need to pass a ‘cultural test’, as required in the EU for similar EU film incentive schemes.
The Greek Parliament voted for the provision of investment incentives focusing on the growth of audiovisual sector in Greece. In addition to film productions, this industry includes video games and the production of TV and animation programs.
The Greek case
Based on other EU countries’ standards, the new legislation shall provide for a refund of 25% on expenditure for productions filmed in Greece. More specifically, after the completion of the business plan, the production expenses incurred within the Greek territory will determine the calculation basis of the refund rate, allowing a maximum absolute refund of 5 million Euros per production. However, if the expenditure incurred within the Greek territory does not exceed 100,000 Euros, the film, animation or TV program will not qualify for a refund.
The General Secretary of Information and Communication, Mr. Lefteris Kretsos, stated that the budget of the Ministry amounts to 450 million Euros and is expected to be allocated in the following 5 year period to audiovisual productions, which qualify through cultural tests.
The National Audiovisual and Communication Center (E.K.O.M.E.) is going to receive and assess the applications for investment projects concerning audiovisual productions. It is also noted that all the procedures included in
this scheme, are carried out through the Information System for Government Funding of the Ministry of Development.
Source: Tax Experts