Poland to Launch Production Incentives as Eastern European Battle for Shoots Intensifies

Warsaw Poland 2010 - Getty - H 2017
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All foreign and local shoots will be entitled to a 30 percent cash rebate on qualifying expenses.

Poland, the only major Central European country that didn't have a tax incentive scheme so far, is catching up with neighbors as the country's government has this week approved the introduction of a 30 percent cash rebate for film productions.

Rebates will start being available next year.

For years, Poland, one of the region's major film industry players, did not offer tax incentives, although some cash was still available to international productions via the Polish Film Institute, which administers public film funding.

The Polish Film Institute will remain in charge under the new system, as it will select projects that will collect rebates, with an annual budget of 200 million Polish zloty ($54.7 million) earmarked for that purpose.

Of that figure, 10 percent will be reserved for animated films and animated series. All applications for rebates will have to be considered by the Polish Film Institute within four weeks.

Poland's move comes as Central and Eastern European countries are competing with each other for attracting major foreign shoots. Last month, Hungary boosted its film production tax incentives from 25 percent to 30 percent. Romania recently unveiled a cash-back incentive of up to 45 percent. Most countries in the region offer tax rebates of around 30 percent.

Central and Eastern Europe have attracted big Hollywood productions for years. Most recently, Fox’s spy drama Red Sparrow and Blade Runner 2049 shot in Hungary, Borg McEnroe and Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan took advantage of the Czech incentive scheme, while Croatia welcomed the shoot of Game of Thrones.