Financial incentives for audiovisual production in Poland in 2019

27 November 2018

The system of financial incentives - 30% cash rebate for audiovisual production is planned for 2019. The Polish Film Institute will be the operator of the incentives.

Reimbursement of parts of costs incurred for production or 30% cash rebate will be available to producers of feature films, animations, documentaries and TV series. The main purpose of introducing incentives is the comprehensive development of the Polish audiovisual industry and the development of culture and the promotion of Polish cultural heritage in the world.


Current status of the Act

The Act on financial support for audiovisual production was adopted by the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish Parliament, on November 9th, 2018, and then directed to work in the Senate - the upper house. The act is expected to enter into force in the first quarter of 2019.


Beneficiaries

The direct beneficiaries of the new financial support mechanism will be producers, co-producers or entrepreneurs performing services for the production of audiovisual works who bear the costs of production of films and series in Poland. Individual productions will be granted financial support in the amount of 30% of Polish eligible costs. The maximum amount of financial support granted for one audiovisual production will not exceed PLN 15 million (EUR 3.33 million / USD 4.05 million), and the maximum amount of total financial support granted to one entrepreneur in a calendar year will not exceed PLN 20 million (EUR 4.76 million / USD 5.4 million). The annual budget earmarked for financial incentives will amount to approximately PLN 200 million (EUR 47.6 million / USD 54 million), of which under the Act a minimum of 10% must be allocated to support animated production. The cash rebate scheme will be promoted worldwide by the Film Commission Poland, which has been operating within the structure of the Polish Film Institute since autumn 2018.


Operating principles

The incentive system operator will be the Polish Film Institute, the main institution financing film production in the country. The tasks of the Polish Film Institute will include, above all, the granting, payment and settlement of financial support for audiovisual production in the form of reimbursement of a part of Polish eligible costs. Simple procedures implemented in stages with minimum duration will apply. The necessary element for submitting the application for support will be a cultural test containing a set of criteria and a corresponding score. The main goal of the test is to identify cultural reasons related to audiovisual production and to assess the impact of audiovisual production on the development of the Polish audiovisual sector. In this context, the following criteria will be taken into consideration: use in the audiovisual work of Polish or European cultural heritage; location of the audiovisual work on the territory of Poland; implementation of an audiovisual work on the territory of Poland; participation in audiovisual production of Polish artists and other entities as well as the participation of the Polish film infrastructure.

After a positive consideration of the application, the PFI will conclude an agreement on financial support. After the conclusion of the contract, the funds allocated for the payment of the financial support will be transferred by the Institute to an escrow bank account. The beneficiary will be able to take the funds collected on the escrow account only after the presentation and positive verification of the final report on audiovisual production.

Key points

30% CASH REBATE IN POLAND – HOW THE INCENTIVES WORK?

  • 30% cash rebate on qualifying Polish expenses;
  • a refund available for feature films, animations, documentaries and TV series;
  • Polish productions, international co-productions or services are eligible for support;
  • Polish partner required or company must be registered in Poland;
  • a cultural qualifying test applies;
  • minimum spending levels apply (to be confirmed);
  • the annual budget is up to PLN 200 million (EUR 47.6 million / USD 54 million);
  • applications are evaluated in order of submission until the funds reach the limit for a given year (first come, first served);
  • a cap per project is PLN 15 million (about EUR 3 million / USD 4 million), a cap per applicant is PLN 20 million (about EUR 4.7 million / USD 5.4 million) per year;
  • at least 10% of the budget will be for supporting animation;
  • the incentives are managed by the Polish Film Institute, the main funding body supporting production in the country.

When applying for cash rebate in Poland:

  • the application for support may be submitted if at least 75% of the costs of the project to be financed are confirmed;
  • application can be made at the earliest 6 months before and the latest 2 months before the project begins;
  • only costs expended after the date of application are eligible for the refund;
  • the PFI will take up to 28 calendar days to assess the application;
  • an application fee is 0.05% of estimated amount of support but no more than PLN 1000 (about EUR 240 / USD 270 );
  • a non-obligatory certificate confirming the project’s eligibility, but not guaranteeing the money is possible to secure, such document will be issued in max. 28 calendar days and valid for 4 years.