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INDUSTRY / MARKET Israel

Israel launches a 25% rebate to attract international shoots

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- The measure, announced last week by the Ministry of Finance, will require an initial budget of 45 million shekels (approx. €12 million)

Israel launches a 25% rebate to attract international shoots
Israeli finance minister Avigdor Liberman (© U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr)

Last week, the Israeli government approved a 25% rebate for international TV and film productions allocated an initial budget of 45 million shekels (in total, approx. €12 million, 24 million shekels in 2022, 21 million in 2023) for two years. The plan was announced by the country’s finance minister, Avigdor Liberman.

The initiative has been defined as the result of joint effort by the culture, foreign, economy, tourism and finance industries and has been in talks for a very long time.

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According to The Times of Israel, one of the outlets reporting the news, similar plans have been announced “with much fanfare every few years since a 2008 law was passed offering tax benefits and other incentives to encourage filming in Israel.” The main obstacle imposed by said law, however, was the requirement for foreign producers to receive their returns through a local film outfit, a process that was deemed needlessly bureaucratic and impractical.

“This important step brings with it a significant message that focuses on Israel’s positive branding in the world as a centre for filming international films and series, using Israel’s natural resources and unique and historical sites that exist in Israel,” commented Liberman. 

The announcement was received positively by the local industry. Speaking to Variety, Adar Shafran, chairman of the Israeli TV & Film Producers Association, described the implementation of the rebate programme as “a very big deal for Israel and the local TV and film industry” and said that it would “provide thousands of jobs for Israelis and tens of millions of shekels that will be invested in the Israeli economy as a result of using services such as flights, hotels, catering, transportation and more.”

Despite the efforts of single municipalities in setting up dedicated film funds to lure international productions, Israel struggled to attract new shoots and has suffered the competition of other countries, including Jordan, Cyprus, Malta and Tunisia, which offered more favourable conditions for filming. The government and the local film industry hope that this move will turn the tide.

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