The Greek government has created a new 30% tax credit which it will be possible to combine with the country’s existing cash rebate, which has been increased to 35% from 25%, in what is an ambitious move to attract international production to the country.
Qualifying international and local film and TV projects will be able to access both immediately, as long as the amount they receive does not exceed 50% of each project’s total production spend.
Additionally, the rebate is no longer capped at €5m per project.
It is though to be the first time productions can access a tax credit and a cash rebate on the same spend at national level anywhere in the world.
The tax credit programme will be run by the National Centre for Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME) which also administers the cash rebate - one of the most generous offered by any territory in the world.
“The government has decided to launch the tax credit now is thanks to the sucess of the cash rebate, ” said Panos Kouanis, president and CEO of EKOME. “As well as the desire to offer foreign productions a complete package of incentives making Greece a hub for foreign shoots.”
The cash rebate was launched in April 2018. To date, 28 projects have been approved to receive rebate funds totalling €8.5m. Six projects are completred and will receive €2.1m.in total. Half of the approved projects are international. They include Michael Winterbottom’s Greed, produced by the UK’s Revolution Films and starring Steve Coogan, and Miguel Angel Jimenez’s Sumendia, a Spain-Greece co-production between Gariza Productions, EITB and Heretic. Approved international TV projects to access the rebate include Dominik Moll’s Eden for ARTE, the ITV series The Durrells.
According to EKOME, the rebate has generated a local production spend of €27.5m to date. Upcoming shoots include Costa-Gavras’ new film Adults In The Room, two US films and a Chinese feature.
At present, the total rebate fund is worth €75m., however EKOME says this likely rise in line with the success of the rebate but did not put a specific figure on by how much.
The cash rebate is open to local and international fiction and documentary features that spend at least €100,000 in Greece (including pre and post production costs) and pass a cultural test. It is also open to TV series budgeted at a minimum of €30,000 per episode and spending at least €100,000 in Greece. Animations and video games for traditional or interactive platforms are also eligible to apply.
To access the cash rebate an international producer needs to work in Greece with a local Greek company or producer; to access the tax credit, an international producer must open a local office to be registered with the Greek tax authorities.
EKOME is also working to support a national network of film offices to encourage film and TV shoots. The aim is to create 13 film offices around the country by the end of 2019 with three already open: the Greek Film Centre’s Hellenic Film Commission, Central Macedonia and the Central Greece (Sterea Ellada).
EKOME is also funding the training of local film crews in collaboration with the Nu Boyana Studios in Bulgaria.
However, at present Greece lacks a big international-standard film studio. The two-stage Kappa Studios, just outside Athens, recently upgraded its operations.
EKOME is also creating a depository centre for the digitalization of audio-visual works and will have an increased presence at international film markets starting with the European Film Market in Berlin in February followed in March by the Guadalajara Film Market in Mexico and a presentation in Los Angeles the same month.
The investment is part of the Greek Public Investment Programme aimed at stimulating the local industry and bringing inward investment to the country.