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Slovenia introduces cash rebate


- The country's parliament has approved changes in film legislation, including a 25% cash rebate for foreign productions filming in Slovenia

Slovenia introduces cash rebate
A shoot in Slovenia

Last week, the Slovenian Parliament voted on vital changes to Slovenian film legislation that will introduce a cash rebate scheme for foreign producers filming in Slovenia, and make changes to legislation governing funding for the Slovenian Film Centre (SFC).

The new Slovenian law on film incentives introduces a cash rebate scheme amounting to 25% of qualified spending for foreign producers filming in Slovenia. Qualified spending includes all taxable production costs (hotels, logistics, rentals, services, food, accounting and legal services, etc) incurred in Slovenia. Feature films, animation, documentaries, and TV series are eligible, while the production of commercials, sitcoms and pornography is excluded from the scheme.

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The scheme has an estimated budget of €1 million per year. This budget is subject to increase if rebate proves a success, however. All bidding projects need to pass a ‘cultural test’, as required by the EU for similar film incentive schemes in other member states.

“The new law creates a more competitive environment for foreign productions in Slovenia, due to the fact that all neighbouring countries already have these incentives. It will bring new job opportunities to Slovenian film professionals and, finally, it will prove the film sector can also enrich other sectors in Slovenia. Hopefully, this can be an added argument to stop decreasing the SFC budget, and start increasing it,” said Nerina T Kocjančič, the acting director of the SFC.

Other former Yugoslav nations have also set up similar incentives. Croatia has had a 20% cash rebate in place since 2012 that has been used extensively by big US productions, namely Game of Thrones and Star Wars. Macedonia introduced a 20% cash rebate last year. The country has, as a result, hosted several international productions, the most prominent of these being Nicolas Benamou's road comedy, À fond. Montenegro, which shares the Adriatic Coast with Croatia, has also recently introduced a 20% cash rebate. It has been a popular destination for international productions, especially Italian ones, even before the rebate, and Ralph Fiennes' Berlinale title Coriolanus [+see also:
film profile
was shot in both Serbia and Montenegro. Serbia introduced a 20% cash rebate in mid-2015, and its scheme benefits from the fact that it is not an EU member, so it can offer the rebate to TV commercials as well. The country has played host to a number of international productions, the most prominent of these in recent years being Roger Donaldson's The November Man. Luc Besson's EuropaCorp also used Serbian locations several times.

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