WARSAW: New Polish cash rebate scheme, designed to bring in more international projects, offers a reimbursement of 30% of Polish production costs. Check out FNE guide to see who can apply and what costs are eligible for support from the Polish Film Institute.
On principle, the producer or coproducer of a film or a series must bear the costs of production in Poland, but the newly introduced cash rebate offered by the Polish Film Institute allows the reimbursement of up to 30% of the production costs. The financial support is available year round and works on a first come, first served basis. It is available both to domestic films and international coproductions, as well as service provided by Polish companies to foreign productions. In order to apply, the foreign producer must have a Polish partner or a registered legal entity in Poland.
Projects eligible for the cash rebate must be feature films, animated films or documentaries, as well as fiction, animated and documentary series. The maximum amount of financial support granted for one project will not exceed 3.4 m EUR / 15 m PLN, and the maximum amount of total support granted to one entrepreneur in a calendar year cannot exceed 4.6 m EUR / 20 m PLN.
Who Can Apply?
The cash rebate is open to audiovisual producers and coproducers, as well as service providers who are: based in Poland; were a producer or a coproducer of an audiovisual production, or a service provider for at least one production distributed in cinemas, broadcast on TV / VoD or presented at a festival accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), or they employ a person with such experience; before applying entered into a legal contract as a coproducer or a service provider to an audiovisual production made in Poland and fulfills all the legal requirements to receive public funding.
The reimbursement is also available to foreign audiovisual producers based in Member Countries of the European Union other than Poland or based in a Member Country of the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) if they have a legal entity based in Poland and they apply for support to an audiovisual project produced by their Polish entity. A service provider can receive the financial support only if the producer of the film or any of the coproducers don't have a legal entity in Poland.
What Productions Qualify for Support?
Reimbursement is available for feature films, animations, documentaries and series (fiction, animated and documentary). The projects eligible for support must pass a cultural qualification test that includes: the use of Polish or European cultural heritage in the film; the location of the audiovisual production on the territory of Poland; the production of the film on the territory of Poland; the participation of Polish artists, teams and service providers in the audiovisual production and the use of Polish film infrastructure. If the stage of development of the project does not allow for submission of financial support application, the applicant may apply for a certificate, confirming that the project meets the criteria of the qualification test. The certificate confirms the fulfillment of the qualification test criteria, but does not guarantee the allocation of funds. It is not necessary to obtain a certificate before applying for financial support.
To enter the scheme an applicant needs to pass the qualification test and meet minimum spending thresholds. The minimum spending levels are different for different genres – i.e. for feature films the threshold has been set at approximately 600,000 EUR / 2.5 m PLN for those applying in 2019 (increased to 715,000 EUR / 3 m PLN in 2020 and 950,000 EUR / 4 m PLN from 2021), for feature animated films the threshold is set at 240,000 EUR / 1 m PLN and for documentaries at 70,000 EUR / 300,000 PLN .
The producers of series need to prepare to spend at least 240,000 EUR per episode in case of fiction live action series; and 240,000 EUR / 1 m PLN per season in case of documentary or animated series. There is a cap per project – 3.33 m EUR / 15 m PLN and a cap per applicant per calendar year – 4.76 m EUR / 20 m PLN. The reimbursement is paid after the presentation and positive verification of the final report on production or the stage of work covered by the support.
The production costs eligible for the cash rebate include: preparations for production created as part of the location search; the preparation of the audiovisual production; set design and costumes; obtaining the technical equipment; editing and postproduction; production of animation and special effects; costs related to the employment of people in the production, including income taxes and social security contributions; rights and licenses for music and archival materials; production of formats allowing access to an audiovisual work for people with disabilities, including audio description and subtitling for the deaf. The reimbursement can also be obtained for the costs of goods and services purchased from entrepreneurs with a registered office or branch in Poland and costs of goods and services, including rental or lease of technical infrastructure, purchased or provided in Poland as well as fees, remuneration and other benefits for creators and crew.
Polish eligible costs do not include tax on goods and services as well as costs related to running a business activity by producers or coproducers, not directly related to audiovisual production or providing services for audiovisual production, which is the subject of financial support provided by the Polish Film Institute.
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