FNE Visegrad 2010: Coproductions in Hungary

By Zsolt Gyenge

    Hungary has become one of Europe's international coproduction hubs over the past six years, following the passage of important legislation that set up a tax rebate system that allows producers to get back up to 25% of the cost of the production.

     The tax rebate system in Hungary is quite simple: a coproducer must have a Hungarian partner who applies for the tax rebate certificate which if approved - and it usually is - results in the producer being able to get between 20 and 25% of the total production budget from a third party partner who writes the corresponding amount off on his taxes. The producer does not have to wait for the production to be completed to get the money back. The rebate can even be paid out on a monthly basis while shooting is taking place.

    The studio boom of the past several years now offers big, modern facilities and well-trained but cheap crews for production services. This together with the efficient tax rebate system made Hungary an attractive option. However, beginning in late 2010, Hungary is again facing competition from the Czech Republic where a very similar tax rebate has been introduced.

    A complete list of Hungarian production companies can be found here: http://magyar.film.hu/filminhungary/companies/services/49/production-company/50/feature-film/. A comprehensive database of all film related companies operating in Hungary with advanced search possibilities based on operations, types of productions and offered services can be found here: http://magyar.film.hu/filminhungary/companies/.

    Productions in 2010

    Due to the unstable financial situation within the Hungarian Motion Picture Association (MMKA - http://english.mmka.hu/) the number of films produced in Hungary has decreased considerably, from an average of 25-30 feature films in previous years to an estimated 14 or 15 films in 2010. However, in addition, Hungarian producers are participating as partners in numerous international coproductions.

    Regional funds

    In 2008 the legislation was adopted for the creation of regional film funds which can develop local film production structures and advertise local shooting possibilities in various regions of Hungary. The regional film funds should also play an important role in education. Three regional funds have been created, all of them organized around an international film festival. The Film Fund Győr (http://filmfundgyor.eu/index.php?nyelv=eng) operates in Western Hungary and is linked to the Mediawave International Film and Music Festival (http://www.mediawavefestival.hu/index.php?nyelv=eng); the North-Hungarian Regional Film Foundation - Miskolc (http://www.mifilm.hu/eng/index.htmlI is based in the city of Miskolc and works in close cooperation with the Jameson Cinefest (http://www.cinefest.hu/eng/nyito_eng.html); the Southern Transdanubia Film Fund has its center in the city of Pécs and is in connection with the CinePécs International Film Festival (http://www.cinepecs.hu/english/).