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Czechs face pressure to boost filming incentive

The Musketeers in Czech RepublicThe Czech Republic is under pressure to boost its filming incentive support in order to attract more productions from the US and other parts of the world.

International producers shooting in the Czech Republic can currently get a 20% cash rebate, but when a delegation visited Los Angeles earlier this year, US executives made it clear they wanted this figure to be increased.

“One of the topics of the debate with American filmmakers in Los Angeles was the option of increasing film incentives from the current 20% to 25%,” said prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka in an interview with Variety last week at the country’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.  

“The Czech government is aware of the competition in this industry, and therefore it is currently analysing and considering this option.” 

In a separate panel discussion at Karlovy Vary, Czech film commissioner Ludmila Claussova talked about the importance of her country’s experienced crew base and production infrastructure embodied by Barrandov Studios in Prague. However, she admitted this was all ultimately reliant on competitive filming incentive support.

“The incentives are the starting point,” Claussova told Variety in the panel talk. “Without them there wouldn’t be any further discussion.”

Despite this pressure to increase financial support, international filming accounted for 90% of production spending in the Czech Republic in 2015, according to figures from the Czech Audiovisual Producers’ Association.

Gothic horror sequel Underworld: Blood Wars was the largest international production, spending $35m in the Czech Republic and getting an incentive payment of just over $5m. Crime drama Crossing Lines and the BBC’s period adventure The Musketeers (pictured) were the next biggest spenders, delivering around $30m between them.  

This year the Czech capital is hosting Nat Geo’s first scripted series Genius and finished filming recently on the fictionalised Mozart feature Interlude in Prague.

For more on filming in the Czech Republic see our production guide.

Image: Larry Horricks/BBC


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