16-12-2020

Bulgarian Cash Rebate Passes First Parliamentary Hurdle

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SOFIA: Bulgaria’s cash rebate for film production has passed its first hurdle. The cash rebate of up to 25%, which is included in amendments to the country’s 2003 Film Industry Act, passed its first of two parliamentary votes on 4 December.

The amendments to the Film Industry Act include significant changes which still have to pass a second parliamentary vote in January if they are to become law. Under the amendments the total amount of public support would be divided into two main schemes: one dedicated to the national film industry and another for foreign productions shooting in Bulgaria, and this in the form of a cash rebate mechanism.  

The envisaged annual public support will be allotted to not less than 12 feature films, 20 documentaries and 250 minutes of animation. The current annual subsidy based on the average budgets of the films produced in the previous year will continue to function. According to the European requirements the public subsidy will not exceed 50% of eligible costs. 

Several exceptions include projects for script development which can receive 100% support, up to 80% for “difficult” films and up to 90% for first and second features.

Foreign producers that will shoot in Bulgaria would be able to recover up to 25% of their eligible costs.

The Parliamentary Committee for Culture and Media has asked for additional details as well as additions and corrections to be made by the end of 2020.

The second parliamentary reading is currently scheduled for 21 January, 2021.