Romania relaunches cash rebate programme after two-year pause

The first call for projects to be published in early April

By Martin Blaney 28 Mar 2024

Romania relaunches cash rebate programme after two-year pause
Bucharest; Cr: Pexels

Romania’s cash rebate programme, which had been suspended since 2021, is to be relaunched this week with the first call for projects to be published in early April.

Speaking to our sister site Screen, Ana Mirea, manager of the Office for Film and Cultural Investments (OFIC), said that the programme will have a budget of up to €55m per year to support national and international productions wanting to shoot in Romania. The budget for the period 2024–2026 is an estimated €122m.

Last Thursday (March 21) the Romanian government approved amendments to the previous cash rebate programme.

It is now being extended until 2026 and the value of the rebate has been set at 30% on eligible local spend (down from 35% of the initial programme).

The amended programme will still require a minimum local spend of €100,000 and the rebate per project is capped at €10m.

The rebate can be awarded to short, medium and long feature films, series, mini-series, documentaries and animation projects, but soap operas, sitcoms, commercials and video games cannot apply for this support.

“Romania had initially implemented the ‘first come, first served’ principle, [where] a project would be submitted for approval and the financing agreement signed immediately after approval,” Mirea explained. “By analysing the results of the calls for projects during 2018, 2019, and 2020, it turns out that this system encourages producers to submit projects, regardless of the chances of actually going into production, a fact which led to the allocation of a considerable amount of the budget towards projects which never went into production.”

“After conducting extensive research on EU rebate systems, we decided to change the structure of the financing steps, similar to the current Slovak model, which would translate into ‘first into production’”, Mirea added.

OFIC was launched last autumn to begin preparing the relaunch of the cash rebate and to manage unresolved payment requests for projects submitted in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 sessions.

The first two projects to then receive outstanding payments were Alexandr Mindadze’s Parquet, produced by the UK’s Reason8 Films with Russia’s Passenger Films, with Romania’s Alien Films Entertainment as the local service provider, and Mona Fasvold’s The World To Come produced by Casey Affleck and Whitaker Lader’s Sea Change Media with Arsia Production as service provider.

A version of this story appeared on our sister site Screen

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