The HungarianParliament has passed a new film law which should position the country as oneof the most attractive in the world for incentive-hungry internationalproductions.

The law, which passed justbefore Christmas on Dec 22, offers two kinds of incentives. The first is astraight rebate system for productions shooting in Hungary which offers a 20%tax rebate on the Hungarian spend of the budget.

The secondincentive is a co-production programme in which a tax rebate of 20% of thebudget's Hungarian spend is offered if a Hungarian co-producer is involved in thepicture and a Hungarian distributor is attached.

The bill wassponsored by the Ministry of Finance and the Hungarian Cultural Ministry and comesinto effect on April 1.

Hungarian ProducersAssociation vice president Kornel Sipos told Screendaily that the secondincentive programme is designed to attract large-scale films not necessarilyfrom Hollywood studios which would want to retain Hungarian rights. "If a movieis budgeted at $40m and $20m is below the line and $10m of that is spent inHungary, a producer can be looking at a $2m tax rebate," said Sipos. "Similarlyif a Hungarian citizen or corporation invested their taxes in films, they can write off 20%." Sipos described the new law as "a combination of the UK andIreland systems."

Among the movieswhich have shot in Hungary are I Spy, Underworld, Spy Game and Sniper 2 as well as large-scale TV miniserieslike Dinotopia and Napoleon.