FNE at Connecting Cottbus 2013: 2014 Brings Changes for CEE Film Funding


COTTBUS: Countries across the CEE region are gearing up for major changes in funding in 2014, as outlined by a panel at the 15th edition of Connecting Cottbus (CoCo) held 7-8 November 2013.

Lithuanian Film Center CEO Rolandas Kvietkauskas told CoCo participants that the country’s new tax exemption system goes into place on 1 January 2014, when any international production or Lithuanian film with a minimum spend of 35,000 EUR can get a tax rebate of up to 20%. The scheme, which will be administered by the Lithuanian Film Center, is designed to benefit domestic production as well as the foreign film services sector in Lithuania. Kvietkauskus added that the fund is looking for two to three minority coproduction to fund, but plans to introduce a specific fund for minority coproductions next year.

Macedonia has a new audiovisual law coming into effect on 1 January which will have a huge impact on both funds available for domestic films and film incentives. The new system provides roughly the same amount of state funding that was available in 2012 (3.6m EUR) with the addition of private funding coming from a variety of sources that should double the amount going into the fund when all the agreements are in place. Macedonia is also offering a 20% tax rebate, which Macedonian Film Fund CEO Darko Basheski said was in effect film incentives, since the amount of taxes collected by the government on various film industry sectors and professions is usually in the range of 6-11%.

In the Czech Republic, the new film law will be fully operational in 2014, following its adoption into law at the start of 2013 and EU approval in August, while Slovenia is expected to have more stable funding in place after struggling for funding over the past two years. Slovakia is expected to add 20% film incentives in 2014 as well. Finally, the new Creative Europe programme of the EU is expected to begin on 1 January, with final approval expected at the end of November. The new funding scheme will include money for coproduction funds that will cover more countries than just EU members.