The Application Process in the Operational Programme for Film Production
Deadlines: There will be three application sessions in 2019:
session 1/2019: February 14, 2019 – February 24, 2019
session 2/2019: May 20, 2019 – May 27, 2019 – not for the minority scheme
session 3/2019: September 2, 2019 – September 9, 2019
Who can apply
Polish producers as well as EU and EEA producers are eligible, however it is strongly advised to have a Polish co-producer on board.
Language of application
The application including all attachments is to be submitted in Polish (this concerns also the script).
The project review process lasts 90 days and involves two stages:
in the first stage, the project has to be approved by one of the commissions for the respective genre (the commission is selected by the producer);
in the second stage, the project is evaluated by all the commission leaders of the respective film genre. The final decision is at the discretion of the General Director.
In order to strengthen the ties of Polish film industry with European and non-European countries and with the aim to foster the international experience of Polish producers, the PISF strongly supports minority co-productions. In 2016 a new scheme has been launched, that supports around 15 projects each year. In 2019 the budget for this scheme has been increased.
a separate selection commission dedicated solely to minority co-productions
a separate budget for the scheme in amount of approx. EUR 2,3 million
up to EUR 470.000 per project;
up to 70% of Polish financing
Two calls per year: 14.02.2019 – 24.02.2019 and 2.09.2019 – 9.09.2019
Application may be submitted by a producer based in other EEA countries, however it is strongly advised to have a Polish co-producer.
What are we looking for?
We are looking for medium and small budget projects by established directors or young filmmakers, with an interesting festival track record, backed with an experienced producer. Most of our films are European, but we have also supported projects from the United States, Israel, Canada, India, Mexico, Argentina, so there are no geographic limits as long as there is a strong artistic involvement.
Minority co-productions are assessed by a dedicated commission in a one-stage procedure. The final decision is at the discretion of the General Director.
For a Polish co-producer, the maximum subsidy is PLN 2 million (approx. EUR 470 000), which cannot exceed 70% of the Polish financing.
The projects in general must follow the requirements set in the bilateral treaty with the co-production country or in the European Convention on Co-production, which has been ratified by Poland.
The artistic contribution must be adequate to the requested subsidy;
At least 80% of the subsidy must be spent in Poland;
The artistic contribution must be adequate to the requested subsidy and meet the following minimum requirements:
Features: at least one Polish artist among the following: Director, Screenwriter, DoP, Set Designer, Editor, Leading Actor or at least three artists among the following: Composer, Vfx Supervisor, Sound Designer, Make Up Artist, Costume Designer, Actor in Supporting Role;
Animation: at least 30% of animation must be done in Poland and at least one Polish artist (Director of Animation, Storyboard Writer, Author of Artistic Project, Composer);
Documentaries: at least one of the following: use of Polish Archives, Polish character or subject, Polish artist (DoP, Composer, Editor). The topic must be related to Poland (historically or geographically);
The distribution of the film must be confirmed at least by a letter of intent from a Polish distributor;
for bilateral co-productions, the Polish contribution must account for at least 20% of the total budget;
for multilateral co-productions, the Polish contribution must account for at least 10% of the total budget;
a detailed budget of Polish spending must be submitted in addition to the overall budget;
The Polish producer's own contribution must amount to no less than 5% of the expected cost of the Polish financing.
If the director of the film is of Polish nationality, the rules for majority co-production apply, even if Polish financing accounts for less than 50% of the budget. This means that the project is eligible for financing of up to ca. 950.000 Euro and up to 1.400.000 Euro in case of a historical film.
Decisions are issued within ninety days of the session.
Decisions are valid for six months and can be extended for up to another six months.
During this period, the producer must finalize an agreement with the PISF (having completed the budget and signed the remaining production agreements).
The maximum subsidy for a contemporary full-length feature film is set at PLN 4 million (approx. EUR 950 000) or no more than 50% of the budget;
If the director of the film is of Polish nationality, rules of a majority co-production apply even if Polish financing accounts for less than 50% of the budget. It means that the project is eligible for financing of up to ca EUR 950 000;
For international co-productions, the application must include details on the total amount to be spent on Polish territory, as well as a list of creative and production elements contributed by the Polish side;
When applying for a subsidy for film production, the producer's own contribution must amount to no less than 5% of the total expected cost of the project.
To be eligible for consideration, applications must include the following: script, director's statement, synopsis, budget, estimated production costs, script rights agreement;
Important: Applicants must provide proof (letters of intent, memorandum or co-production agreement) of the remaining sources of financing (excluding the grant requested from the Institute);
The submitted project budget must comply with the cost limits set for 2018;
The Institute takes into consideration the opinions of appointed experts;
The grant decision remains valid for six months. This can be extended by a maximum of another six months;
During this period, the producer must finalize an agreement with the PISF (having completed the budget and signed the remaining production agreements);
If the film makes a profit, the grant is to be reimbursed (applicable only in the first six years after the film's premiere).