The Republic of Kosovo is planning to introduce a 30% cash rebate under a new cinematography law expected to be passed in 2021, as part of plans to attract more international productions to the country.
This will be a major drawcard for the small, landlocked country in the centre of the Balkans, which offers a stunning array of landscapes, including vast plains, mountains, gorges, waterfalls, brutalist architecture and Ottoman neighbourhoods.
The new cinematography law and incentive details are still being discussed, but the plan is to offer an enticing 30% incentive to films, TV series, commercials and music video productions that spend at least €100,000 in Kosovo on their project.
“Access to the rebate will be on a first come first served basis,” Lum Citaku at the Kosovo Cinematography Center, which will oversee the incentive, tells KFTV at the Berlin Film Festival. “We will work with the Ministry of Finance to agree a fixed budget for the incentive.”
Once the new law is introduced, the Kosovo Cinematography Center will negotiate and adapt the regulations every year or two, including potentially introducing a culture test to be passed.
This comes at a crucial time for Kosovo as its two biggest political parties, the left wing Vetevendosje (self determination) and the centre-right Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), have just agreed a deal to form a new government.
The country is keen to open its doors to international projects, having already established a co-production fund, which offers up to €70,000 for each project.
Recent local and international films to shoot in the country include the Oscar nominated short Shok; the Bafta winning Kosovo and English film Home; German-Kosovo-Macedonia drama Father (Babai); and the Turkish-German co-production, The Wooden Sword.
“We have also been very popular as a location for music videos and are keen to now attract major projects to the country,” enthuses Citaku.