At the beginning of February, after two successful years of offering a film incentive program, the Serbian government adopted a new “Decree on Incentivising Investments in the Production of Audio-visual Works” (“the Film Incentives”).
After supporting a total of 28 projects in 2017, the Ministry of Economy has decided to double the annual budget in 2018 for investments in audio-visual productions to EUR 6.7 million. The new Film Incentives, which come into effect on 15 February 2018, offer a direct cash rebate of 25% of qualified expenses relating to filming on location in Serbia. This increase in the incentive offer for filming is designed to bolster Serbia as a destination for international film production.
The former Serbia Film Commissioner, Ana Ilic, now Adviser to the Prime Minister for Digital and Creative Industries, has been a long-standing supporter of the legislation. According to Ms Ilic: “Figures from the previous period show that, in the first 16 months of implementation, incentives attracted 9.6 EUR worth of production investment for every euro paid in incentives and created over 2,000 jobs. Feature film production alone increased by 54% over the previous year’s total volume of productions. This is a significant boost to the local economy, and we are proud of the fact that Serbian incentives are not only supporting feature films and television, but are also open for post-production, television commercials, and even virtual reality projects.”
The year 2017 was a record year for Serbian inbound productions with almost EUR 30 million spent across all categories envisaged by the program from over 15 territories and markets.