Incentive covers features, documentaries, animation and TV drama

The Croatian Parliament has approved the introduction of a 20% cash rebate from January 2012, aimed at film and television productions made in Croatia.

At a session on July 15 the Croatian Parliament adopted amendments to the existing Law on Audiovisual Activities (The 2007 Film Act), introducing financial incentives in the form of a 20% cash rebate for production costs incurred in Croatia for feature films, documentaries, animation and TV drama. The amendments were put forward by the Ministry of Culture.

The benefit is based on the cost of Croatian cast and crew working in Croatia, as well as goods and services purchased in Croatia, up to a maximum value of 80% of the overall budget spent in Croatia.

There is a ceiling of €3m on qualifying local expenditure per project. The minimum local spend per project is €300,000.

The introduction of the incentive was supported by the Croatian Producers’ Association, whose members took an active part in devising the scheme along with other stakeholders in the audiovisual sector as well as the Ministry of Culture, which sponsored the Bill.

Other approved amendments to the existing Film Act include those aimed at streamlining the paying-in mechanisms by contributors, other than the state.

Croatian Producers’ Association president Ankica Jurić Tilić said: “The introduction of incentives is a major step forward, the step which will benefit us all in the longer run. The bigger the market, the bigger the volume and quality of work.”

The amended Film Act marks a first step towards realisation of strategic goals outlined in the four-year National Strategic Programme for the Audiovisual Industry, devised by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre and approved by the Ministry of Culture in October last year.

The Croatian Audiovisual Centre is a government-backed strategic film agency, set up in 2008, which has since taken the overall responsibility for the growth of Croatia’s audiovisual industry. Its remit ranges from supporting development, production, distribution, exhibition, marketing and promotion, to professional training and supporting national film archive through the system of public subsidies. The centre also promotes Croatian films and co-productions at all major film festivals and markets.

Hrvoje Hribar, chief executive of the Croatian Audiovisual Centre, said: “We strongly believe that these amendments to the existing Croatian Film Act will help us improve the quality of our national film and TV output, and at the same time enable us to reap the benefits of strong inward investment, which will inevitably invigorate our home-grown production.”