BELGRADE: Serbia has successfully implemented a tax incentives programme for feature films, TV series and commercials. Film Center Serbia opened the first call for projects eligible for the 20% cash rebate on 15 April 2016 and the call will last until 30 September 2016. There is no cap per project and the overall budget for 2016 is 3.2 m EUR.
All local spending for feature films, TV series, animations and TV commercials, as well as postproduction works on all these formats is equally eligible and includes goods and services purchased in Serbia, the use of locations and salaries of crew members who are Serbian nationals or foreigners who have at least a year-long residence in the country. The money is to be distributed on a “first come, first serve” basis.
In order to be able to apply for the rebate, the production needs to spend in Serbia at least 300,000 EUR for features, 100,000 EUR for TV commercials and 50,000 EUR for documentaries, while animated films and postproduction works are subject to rebate for budgets of a minimum of 150,000 EUR. The same rules apply for domestic projects.
“It is our great pleasure that the incentive programme has officially started in Serbia,” says Ana Ilić, the Head of Serbia Film Commission, an institution that has been advocating for the tax incentives programme since 2008. The Film Commission has worked closely with the Ministry of Economy on the development of a “very clear, simple and straightforward programme.”
According to Ilić, with the new sound stages just 20 minutes from downtown Belgrade, very experienced English-speaking crew members, easily accessible locations and film friendly policies, as well as the newly implemented attractive incentive programme, there is no doubt that Serbia “will become a big production center in the coming years”.
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