Finnish Rebates Lure Shoots to Northern Wilderness

Variety | 11/29/2018 | Christopher Vourlias
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Finland’s Arctic landscapes have an almost otherworldly beauty, and the country is spoiled for natural riches. Along its spectacular Baltic coastline, visitors can access the world’s largest archipelago, while the interior boasts fairy-tale backdrops of crystal lakes, brooding forests and unspoiled wilderness areas brimming with reindeer, elk and other wildlife.

Turning that natural bounty into an asset has been a priority of the Finnish government, which introduced a 25% cash rebate for film and TV productions last year. Designed to make the country more competitive with its neighbors, the system is a marvel of Finnish efficiency.

Goal - System - Merja - Salonen - Business

“Our goal was to make a very lean system,” says Merja Salonen of Business Finland, the innovation funding, trade, investment and travel promotion organization owned by the Finnish government and tasked with administering the cash rebate. “We tried to be very straightforward and with very flexible minimum requirements,” she says.

Finland’s incentive scheme is open to a yearround application process.

Cash - Rebate - % - Spend - Feature

It offers a cash rebate of up to 25% on qualifying local spend for feature films, fiction series, animated productions and documentaries, provided they meet certain financial and artistic criteria, and use a Finnish co-producer or production service. No cultural test is required.

The minimum spend per film is €150,000 ($170,100) and €250,000 ($283,600) for TV and toon projects. Qualifying spend can be a maximum of 80% of the total production budget. The rebate can also be applied to projects doing post-production in Finland, even if they were shot entirely outside the country.

Years - System - Reputation

Hardly two years after it was introduced, the system has earned a reputation for...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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