As a result of the lobby activities of various Romanian film industry organizations since the end of 2018, including the Creative Romanian Film Makers Association, the Romanian Government has approved a state aid program that offers a 35 percent cash rebate on qualified expenditures for international productions shooting in Romania.
An extra 10 percent can be obtained if the story or the main characters are Romanians. Productions that spend 20 percent of their total budgets toward local expenses can also get an extra 10 percent. Thus, a production that meets all of these specifications could claim a rebate of up to 45 percent.
This makes the Romanian film incentive the most generous one in Europe and one of the most generous ones worldwide.
The program runs until December 31, 2020, but is expected to be extended until 2022. Program details can be found at: www.crfm.fepic.ro. A Romanian delegation will be attending the American Film Market in Santa Monica, California to provide more information.
Eligible productions that can benefit from the cash rebate include service productions, with the involvement of a registered Romanian film production company; co-productions between either European or other international companies with financial and/or creative participation of a Romanian co-producer; and Romanian films.
The minimum of qualified expenses is 100,000 euro, and there is a total cap per project of 10 million euro. The yearly budget to fund the program is 50 million euro.
All films must meet the cultural criteria test, which follows the usual cultural eligibility tests in Europe. All film categories qualify, from short and medium fiction projects to TV series and documentaries. Even films intended for direct-to-video or Internet distribution qualify.
On average, the entire procedure — from filing the application until issuance of the applicant’s certificate — takes around 35 days. Upon completion of the production, within 20 days from the last expenditure made in the territory of Romania, but no later than two years from the issuance of the applicant’s certificate, a request for payment of state aid is to be filed, accompanied by an audit report certifying the amount of eligible expenditure actually incurred. Generally, the whole procedure — from filing the payment request until effective payment — takes approximately 130 to 160 days.
Alien Film, one of the most reliable members of the Creative Romanian Film Makers Association, has been helping to ease the entire process by providing all the administrative and legal framework for this undertaking, assuring the correct identification of the amount of cash to be refunded and covering all administrative activities related to the cash rebates. Alien Film is run by Iuliana Tarnovetchi, managing director and founder, and Oana Prata, managing partner.
Pictured above is Creative Romanian Film Makers Association director Mihai Lupu