With a Cash Rebate Up to 45%, Romania Readies for Close-Up

Variety | 6/6/2019 | John Hopewell
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CLUJ, Romania–A year after introducing a cash rebate of up to 45% to keep pace with neighboring countries in an increasingly competitive region, Romania is seeing signs that the incentive scheme is paying off.

“This year seems to be quite busy—much busier, I would say, than last year,” says Bogdan Moncea, of Castel Film Studios in Bucharest, which recently serviced the fifth installment in Universal’s “Dragonheart” fantasy franchise. “Romania was fairly competitive even before, but many producers would go to a country that had a rebate, even if the cost of doing business in Romania was very competitive.”

Lot - Terms - Production - Costs - Efficiency

He adds: “Now it’s become a lot more attractive in terms of production costs and efficiency. Significantly better than Hungary, significantly better than Czech Republic.”

A €50 million ($56.3 million) annual fund has been set aside by the government to woo foreign productions to this scenic corner of Eastern Europe. The 35% cash rebate is available to feature and short films, documentaries, TV and web series, and animated projects, with a minimum spend of €100,000 ($113,000) and a €10 million ($11.3 million) cap per project. At least 20% of the budget must be spent in Romania. If the project explicitly promotes the country, the rebate rises to 45%.

Projects - Lens - Romania - Corin - Hardy

Recent projects to lens in Romania include Corin Hardy’s “Conjuring” spin-off “The Nun,” Season 1 of Netflix’s “Killing Eve,” and Amazon Studios’ “The Romanoffs.” Upcoming productions include “Voyagers,” a “Lord of the Flies”-style dystopian space thriller from Stuart Ford’s AGC Studios, directed by Neil Burger, which will begin shooting this summer.

The rebate, which had been bandied about in industry circles for years, arrives at a time when regional players are all jockeying to get a slice of the pie that has transformed countries like Hungary and the Czech Republic into major international production hubs. Poland introduced a...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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