Greece prepares new filming incentive
Greece has set aside funding for a formal filming incentive that is being prepared for a launch in 2018.
A 25% cash rebate will be available for productions spending at least €100,000 in the Mediterranean country, and will have a per-production cap of €5m. The new support programme will have a fund of €450m over five years.
Greece has had a challenging time attracting high-profile international productions in recent years due to its well-publicised economic crisis and problematic bureaucracy.
Stories set in Greece generally use other parts of the world as stand-ins, the latest example being musical sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, which has used Croatia as a double for its Greek island setting.
“It’s ridiculous that so many Greek-themed films should be shot elsewhere,” said Andonis Kioukas, a film director, in comments to the Guardian newspaper.
“There have been so many missed opportunities. In the last decade we’ve lost Alexander, Troy, 300 and Mamma Mia 2. Greece could be the best open-air studio in the world. For years we’ve been saying ‘Take measures to become more competitive.’”
One of Greece’s central appeals is its historic locations, but archaeological organisations frequently demand script approval to authorise shoots, which studios and production companies rarely agree to.
The Athens-based Hellenic Film Commission will be setting up regional offices to help ease any bureaucratic hurdles, according to the Guardian report.
Greece has work to do to compete with regional production rivals such as Croatia, Italy and Hungary, but the launch of a filming incentive will help boost its international profile.
See KFTV's production guide for more on filming in Greece.
Images: FreeImages.com/Aidas Subkonis/Costas Tolis