Romanian Producers Appeal for Unlocking of Cash Rebate Scheme


    BUCHAREST: The Romanian Alliance of Film Producers (AFP), comprising most of Romanian production companies, has issued a new appeal to the authorities, hoping that they will finally restart the cash rebate scheme (which has been halted for 20 months) and will pay a debt of more than 35 m EUR to international productions shot in Romania since the scheme was launched in the autumn of 2018.

    Romania’s cash rebate scheme was launched on 8 October 2018, but halted in 2019. It was only in August 2020 when Romania officially decided to resume the scheme by allotting 150 m EUR until 31 December 2023. However, the scheme still does not work, because the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Business Environment, which had taken over the management of the scheme from the National Commission for Prognosis, failed to finish the paperwork, despite the continual appeals of film professionals and the Romanian Alliance of Film Producers, presided over by Iuliana Tarnovețchi.

    From the 50 m EUR allotted by the Romanian Government in 2018 for two years, only 494,000 EUR  / 2.4 m RON have been returned to one single project - Alex Rider serviced in Romania by Alien Films Entertainment for Eleventh Hour/Sony Pictures. The amount of 494,000 EUR represents 2% from the debt that the Government has towards 24 film productions which spent more than 100 m EUR / 500 m RON in Romania, generating over 40.5 m EUR / 200 m RON to the local budget.

    Legally, the state aid scheme offers a 35% cash rebate on qualified expenditure for international productions shooting in Romania. Additionally, productions explicitly promoting Romania, with a minimum local spend of 20% of the total budget of the production, can also apply for a rebate of 10%.

    Presently, Romania is welcoming the biggest international production since Anthony Minghella’s Cold Mountain, which was serviced by Castel Film, in 2003. The TV series Django directed by Francesca Comencini and starring Matthias Schoenaerts started shooting in Romania on 10 May 2021. The Sky TV and Canal + series is serviced in Romania by Frame Film and is expected to shoot until the end of 2021.