Romania extends cashback from 35% to 45% until 2023
Romanian lawmakers voted late Wednesday to revise the country’s 35-45% cash rebate, supplementing the annual 50 million euro ($59 million) fund to finance the rebate program until 2023 and injecting a new impetus to the local film industry.
The move ended a period of anxious speculation for the Romanian firm, which experienced months-long delays in claims for reimbursement after a bureaucratic reshuffle following a change of government last winter. The coronavirus pandemic also suspended film industry legislation earlier this year.
“It’s definitely a good thing for the whole industry,” said Bogdan Moncea of Castel Film Studios in Bucharest, who helmed the fifth installment in Universal’s “Dragonheart” fantasy franchise. “Castel Film is in the process of negotiating two feature films for the end of the year that rely on the rebate to be economically viable. So that would be a positive impact for our business.
The 35% cashback is available for feature and short films, documentaries, TV and web series, and animation projects, with a minimum spend of €100,000 ($118,000) and a cap of 10 million euros ($12 million) per project. At least 20% of the budget must be spent in Romania. If the project explicitly promotes the country, the discount increases to 45%. The call for applications should open in the coming weeks.
Among the benefits of filming in the Eastern European nation are its rich and varied locations, skilled English-speaking crews and some of the lowest production costs in the region. The capital, Bucharest, has several world-class studios, including Castel and Bucharest Film Studios, which is renovating its facilities.
The decision to extend repayment until 2023 allows Romania to keep pace with neighboring countries in an increasingly competitive region. This summer, Greece raised its rebate to 40%, following recent increases in Croatia (25%) and Lithuania (30%). Poland also introduced a 30% cashback last year.
Recent projects on target in Romania include episodes from seasons one and two of BBC America’s ‘Killing Eve’ (pictured), Amazon Studios’ ‘The Romanoffs’, Corin Hardy’s ‘Conjuring’ spin-off ‘The Nun” and “Voyagers,” a dystopian “Lord of the Flies”-style space thriller from Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios and Thunder Road, directed by Neil Burger, which will be released in the United States by Lionsgate.