1. What are the legal foundations of the financial support system for audiovisual production?
The principles, conditions and procedure for granting and accounting for financial support are specified in the Act on the financial support of audiovisual production of 9 November 2018 and the Regulation of the Minister of Culture of February 18, 2019 on a detailed list of Polish eligible costs, audiovisual works parameters and documents related to granting financial support for audiovisual production by the Polish Film Institute.
2. What productions are eligible for a 30% refund?
Feature fiction films, documentaries and animated films as well as fiction, documentary and animated series are eligible for a 30% refund.
3. Are there any requirements as to the minimum runtime of specific production?
Yes, only productions with specific runtime are eligible for reimbursement:
4. What are the minimum spending thresholds?
The thresholds for minimum expenses depend on the type of production and the agreement specifying the conditions for the production of the work - a co-production or audiovisual service is possible. The value of Polish eligible costs must exceed the values indicated in the table below.
|TYPE OF PRODUCTION||MINIMUM RUNTIME||SPEND TO BE EXCEEDED (PLN)|
|FICTION FEATURE||co-production||70 min.||2 500 000 (in 2019)
3 000 000 (in 2020)
4 000 000 (from 2021)
|service||1 000 000|
|FICTION SERIES||co-production||40 min. / episode||1 000 000 / episode|
|service||1 000 000 / season|
|DOCUMENTARY FEATURE||co-production||40 min.||300 000|
|DOCUMENTARY SERIES||co-production||150 min. / season||1 000 000 / season|
|service||300 000 / season|
|ANIMATED FEATURE||co-production||60 min.||1 000 000|
|ANIMATED SERIES||co-production||50 min. / 10 episodes / season||1 000 000 / season|
|service||500 000 / season|
5. Is there a limit of support for the project?
Yes, the limit is PLN 15 million for one audiovisual work.
6. Is there a support limit for the applicant?
Yes, the support limit for one applicant is PLN 20 million in a calendar year. This means that if an entrepreneur applies for support for more than one project, support for all its production in total cannot exceed PLN 20 million in a calendar year.
7. Is the reimbursement available for Polish production, i.e. production carried out without the participation of foreign partners?
Yes, Polish production can be reimbursed if it meets all the criteria required by the Act on the financial support of audiovisual production and the regulation of the Minister of Culture.
8. Does the production of one episode of the series qualify for reimbursement?
No, in the case of the series, financial support is granted for each season of the series separately.
9. Is there a minimum number of shooting days to be completed in Poland?
No, the number of shooting days carried out in Poland is one of the criteria for the qualification test, but there is no minimum required number.
10. Is it possible to use both the Polish Film Institute grant and financial support from the incentive scheme for one project?
Yes, as long as you keep limits on the use of public funds specified in the Act. The maximum share of public funds together with the amount of support may not exceed:
a) 50% in the case of domestic co-production;
b) 60% in the case of an international co-production, in which one of the countries of origin of producers or co-producers of an audiovisual work is the Republic of Poland, and other producers or co-producers of an audiovisual work come from other European Union Member States or from Member States of the European Free Trade Agreement Trade (EFTA) - parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area;
c) 70% in the case of a difficult work, with limited commercial values and addressed to children under 12 years of age;
d) 70% in the case of a difficult work, with limited commercial values and promoting Polish historical or cultural heritage in the world, which eligible production costs exceed twice the minimum required eligible costs.
1. Who can apply for granting financial support?
An entrepreneur who is a producer of an audiovisual work, a co-producer of an audiovisual work or an entity providing a service for audiovisual production with achievements and based in Poland. As an achievement it counts at least one realized (as a producer, co-producer or service provider) and publicly available (in cinemas, on TV or on VOD, shown at the FIAPF accredited festival), feature fiction, documentary or animated film or fiction, documentary, or animated series. The criterion of having appropriate achievements can also be met if the entrepreneur hires a person responsible for production with adequate experience. Before submitting the application, the entrepreneur must conclude a co-production agreement or for the provision of an audiovisual service on the territory of Poland. The entrepreneur must also meet the requirements set out in the provisions on state aid.
2. Can a foreign entrepreneur apply for financial support?
Yes, if it is located in another Member State of the European Union or the European Free Trade Agreement (EFTA) and has a branch in Poland and this branch is the producer of the work to be reimbursed. The Polish branch of a foreign company must also meet the conditions regarding the relevant achievements, the prior conclusion of the contract and the requirements set out in the public aid regulations, which are described in point 1 above.
3. Can a Polish entrepreneur provide a service for audiovisual production for another Polish entrepreneur?
No, financial support for a company providing a service for audiovisual production can only be granted if the producer of the audiovisual work or any of the co-producers is not based in Poland.
4. Is it possible to apply for financial support from an entrepreneur who has so far only realized commercials?
The act requires that the entrepreneur applying for financial support should have at least one completed feature fiction, documentary or animated film or fiction, documentary or animated series as producer, co-producer or service provider for audiovisual production or employ a person responsible for production with adequate experience.
5. Can a cultural institution or foundation apply for a refund of eligible costs?
Yes, as long as it meets the criteria set out in the Act on the financial support of audiovisual production and the regulation of the Minister of Culture. The Institute grants financial support to an entrepreneur who is a producer of an audiovisual work, a co-producer of an audiovisual work or an entity providing a service for audiovisual production. An enterprise is an entity engaged in an economic activity, regardless of its legal form. This includes, in particular, self-employed persons and family businesses involved in handicraft or other activities, as well as companies or associations conducting regular economic activity (Article 1 of Annex I to Regulation No. 651/2014).
6. If I am an only producer of an audiovisual work, can I apply for financial support?
No, the Institute grants financial support to an entrepreneur who has contracted to co-produce a work in the territory of the Republic of Poland. It could be a domestic co-production or an international co-production.
7. Is it possible to assign the granted support to another entity?
No, as part of the audiovisual production support system "incentives" it is not possible to assign the granted support to an entrepreneur other than the applicant.
1. Is it possible to submit an application in English?
No, the application for financial support is made in Polish and all documents and attachments to the application should be translated into Polish, including a copy of the co-production agreement or contract for the provision of services and a financing plan with copies of documents confirming 75% of the total value of financing that must be translated by a sworn translator.
2. Is it possible to apply with more than one project?
Yes, there is no limit to the number of applications submitted; there is only a limit to the total amount of support for one applicant, which cannot exceed PLN 20 million in a calendar year.
3. Can I apply twice with one project if I have already received financial support for the project, e.g. in successive years?
No, only one financial support can be granted for the production of one audiovisual work. In the case of the series, support is granted for each season separately.
4. How many times can I apply?
An application for one project can only be submitted once. The exception is the situation in which the application is returned to the entrepreneur by the PISF due to deficiencies or errors. And also the situation in which the entrepreneur will not start work covered by the support within 3 months from the date of commencement of work declared in the contract. The Institute may then withdraw from the contract for financial support, and after the withdrawal from the contract, the entrepreneur may submit the application only once.
5. When can I apply for a certificate?
At any stage of production, but before submitting an application for financial support. The certificate is valid for 4 years.
6. Does the certificate guarantee that I will be granted the support?
No, the certificate only confirms the fulfilment of the qualification test criteria.
7. How long does it take to process the certificate application?
Up to 28 calendar days.
8. Can I apply for a certificate if I do not have the participation of all required filmmakers confirmed yet (director, screenwriter, cinematographer, composer) or my script is unfinished?
In order to submit a certificate application, please attach a completed scenario. The application for a certificate should contain the names of the filmmakers (director, screenwriter, cinematographer and composer). There is no need to attach contracts with creators, however, you need to specify the date of concluding the contract with the director.
9. Do I have to first apply for a certificate to apply for financial support?
No, if the entrepreneur is ready, he can immediately apply for financial support. The certificate is not obligatory.
10. When can I apply for financial support?
At the earliest 6 months, and at the latest 2 months before the start of work to be financed. At the same time it should be noted that this may not always be the beginning of the entire production process, e.g. if only post-production is to be covered with financial support, the application should be submitted at the latest two months before the beginning of this stage. Example: the entrepreneur plans to start work covered by the support, and thus start to incur costs from June 1, then the first possible date for submitting the application is 1 January, and the last possible deadline for submitting the application is 1 April.
11. Are there any deadlines for submitting applications?
No, applications are accepted on a continuous basis throughout the year. The funds are awarded in the order of applications.
12. Is the fee charged for examining the application for financial support?
Yes, the Institute charges a fee for processing the application. The fee is 0.05% of the estimated financial support requested by the applying entrepreneur, however, not more than PLN 1000. If the application is not examined due to the depletion of funds in a given year, the fee will be refunded to the applicant.
13. How long does it take to process the application for financial support?
Up to 28 calendar days, if the application is submitted correctly.
14. Who decides whether to grant support?
The granting of support is determined by the fulfilment of certain conditions: the value of eligible costs, the type of production, the results of the qualification test. Incentives are based on an automatic scheme, which means that there are no experts assessing the artistic value of the project. The application is verified by the PISF staff in terms of meeting formal requirements and compliance with the actual state.
15. Do I have to document in the application for support a financing of 75% of the costs of the total production budget or 75% of the costs of the work to be supported?
When submitting a request for support, it is necessary to document financing at least 75% of the costs of the work to be supported and 75% of the total production budget.
16. What kind of documents shall I present to confirm 75% of funding?
The financing of an audiovisual work is confirmed by documents that create the obligations of the parties, for example a co-production agreement, a credit agreement, a grant agreement, a bank statement. Documents that do not confirm financing are, for example, letters of intent, certificates.
1. From which date are expenses eligible for a refund?
Expenditure is eligible for reimbursement if it is incurred during the period of works covered by the support in accordance with the agreed schedule constituting an annex to the contract between the applicant for support of the entrepreneur and PISF.
2. Can I settle the remuneration of my employees employed under a contract of employment?
Yes, provided that they work on the project, for which the entrepreneur requests 100% of their working time, and thus 100% of their remuneration is paid for the production, for which the entrepreneur applies and if the remuneration is covered by the tax obligation in Poland within the meaning of tax regulations and are included in the catalogue specified in art. 54 par. 5 of Regulation No. 651/2014.
3. Can I settle the remuneration of a foreign actor / filmmaker?
Yes, if the tax on this remuneration is covered by the tax obligation in Poland as defined by tax regulations and falls within the directory specified in art. 54 par. 5 of Regulation No. 651/2014.
4. Can I get a refund of travel expenses?
Yes, you can get the reimbursement of tickets for an airplane, train, bus or ship if Poland is the starting or ending place of your trip. The entity that provides the transport service must have its registered office or branch in Poland, operate on the territory of Poland and be entered in the relevant register.
5. Is VAT taxation eligible?
No, the eligible costs do not include VAT.
6. Can I settle office and administrative costs, e.g. the cost of renting an office?
As part of the "incentives" only the costs incurred in the place of production other than the permanent seat or other business premises of the entrepreneur can be settled, i.e. the rent for the office will not be an eligible cost, but the rent for a production office dedicated only to the production of a given project constitutes an eligible cost.
7. Can I settle the costs of social security contributions and income tax for the team's members?
Yes, as long as they are documented and concern the labour costs of people according to the list specified in the regulation of the Minister of Culture.
8. Are the amounts of support limits and minimum expenditure thresholds gross or net?
Amounts of support limits and minimum expenditure thresholds are net amounts, i.e. in Polish zlotys without VAT tax. The Act on supporting audiovisual production excludes a tax on services and goods from Polish eligible costs.
9. Does the catalogue of eligible costs for "incentives" coincide with the catalogue of eligible costs in grants awarded by the PISF?
No, the list of eligible costs for "incentives" is specified in the regulation of the Minister of Culture to the Act on supporting audiovisual production and does not fully cover the catalogue of eligible costs under the PISF Operational Programs.
10. Is the eligible cost an expense from an invoice or a check issued after submitting an application for financial support or after the final awarding of a grant?
An application for financial support can be submitted 6 to 2 months before the start of work to be financed. Only costs incurred in the period of work covered by the support declared in the schedule are eligible for settlement.
11. Can expenses incurred directly by a foreign co-producer / employer in Poland be eligible costs?
No, the entrepreneur applying for support can only get back the costs he incurred himself / herself.
1. Can I pay the crew after receiving the reimbursement from the Institute?
Not if these costs are to be refunded. All liabilities must be settled before submission of the final report accounting for production to the PISF. Documents confirming the settlement of obligations are a required attachment to the report.
2. What should the final report contain?
The report submitted after completion of the work covered by the support should contain company data, contact details, production information (title, language, literary basis, planned runtime, genre and type of audiovisual work, name and surname of the director, screenwriter, operator and composer, and indication of whether this is co-production or service and whether production can be classified as difficult), a brief description of the various stages of production covered, data on costs necessary for verification, data on meeting the criteria of the qualification test, the amount and percentage of public funds, the indication of producers or co-producers. The report shall be accompanied by: a list of eligible costs incurred together with invoices and receipts as well as financial documents confirming the payment; confirmation of payment of remuneration and fees and other benefits constituting the labour costs of persons engaged in audiovisual production during the period of audiovisual production; a qualification test completed on the basis of current data at the time the report was presented; name list of film crew members along with their functions and information on the number of shooting days / post-production days in Poland.
3. What additional materials, apart from the report and required attachments, should be submitted to the PISF by the entrepreneur applying for support?
In addition to the report and required attachments, the entrepreneur should submit to the PISF an unused copy of the audiovisual work and the script, editing and dialogue list, photos, posters, list of end credits and advertising materials within 30 days after production, but no later than on the day of distribution.
4. In what mode is the qualification test verified if the financial support only covered the shooting period? Do I have to wait until the editing stage ends?
No, the report shall be submitted after completing the part of work covered by the support. If the applicant applied for support only for the shooting period, he / she submits the report after completing this stage of work.
1. In what amount are the costs reimbursed?
Financial support is granted in the amount of 30% of Polish eligible costs, however, the Polish costs which constitute the basis for calculating the support may not exceed 80% of the total audiovisual production costs.
2. When will I receive a refund?
After positive verification of the submitted report. The Institute verifies the report within a maximum of 90 calendar days. After positive verification, the Institute instructs the bank that maintains the escrow account as to the release of funds from the account.
3. For whom are the costs reimbursed in the case of international co-production or service for a foreign company?
The reimbursement is always paid to the applicant, that is, the entrepreneur who concluded the contract with the PISF, in this case the Polish co-producer or service provider.
4. My eligible costs were less than the amount indicated in the contract. How much will my reimbursement be?
The applicant will receive a refund of 30% of Polish eligible costs. The difference resulting from the discrepancy between the amount accumulated on the escrow account and the amount actually spent will be transferred back to the pool of resources available to the Institute.
5. My eligible costs were more than the amount declared in the application. How much will my reimbursement be?
The amount of reimbursement will not increase. The applicant will receive the amount originally specified in the contract and collected on the escrow account.
6. To what extent can the PISF control an entrepreneur who has been granted financial support?
PISF may conduct audit in order to verify the timeliness of production in accordance with the agreement on financial support and the reliability of information contained in the report and its annexes. The scope of audit results from the provisions of the Act on the financial support of audiovisual production (Articles 28-30.)
7. In what period can PISF audit an entrepreneur who has been granted financial support?
From the day of signing the contract to the date of completing the verification of the report.
1. What happens if my project does not reach the required 51% of the qualification test?
The project is not eligible for financial support
2. Can I submit an application and complete some of the required attachments at a later date?
No, only correctly filled applications will be evaluated together with a set of required attachments and documents.
3. What happens if the application is incomplete or does not meet the requirements?
PISF returns the entrepreneur's application and informs in writing about the deficiencies found and the possibility to submit the application again.
4. What happens if the PISF has doubts about the item in the cost estimate in relation to the project assumptions and the scenario?
PISF provides the entrepreneur with remarks to the cost estimate along with a written justification and calls for a modified cost estimate to be submitted within 14 calendar days from the date of delivery of the request (by mail or e-mail). If the entrepreneur does not submit a modified cost estimate at a given time, the Institute sets the maximum amount of the eligible cost which will be subject to settlement and presents it to the entrepreneur in writing within 14 calendar days from the expiration of the deadline in which the entrepreneur was to submit a modified cost estimate. PISF has 28 calendar days to reconsider the application from the date of submission of the modified cost estimate or from the day the Institute presents the maximum amount of costs.
5. What happens if I submit an application and the pool of funds for a given year runs out?
PISF informs the entrepreneur about the non-examination of the application, returns the fee for processing the application and places the project on the reserve list of applications, which may be considered in the event of the emergence of funds in the pool, e.g. resignation from granted support by another entrepreneur.
6. What happens if I have been granted support but production has not started?
If the entrepreneur does not start production within 3 months from the date specified in the agreement on granting financial support as the starting date, the Institute may withdraw from the contract. After the withdrawal from the contract, the application can be re-submitted only once.
7. What happens if, as a result of the audit, PISF determines that the entrepreneur does not fulfil obligations resulting from the Act or contract for financial support?
The PISF issues a post-audit recommendation and calls for clarification or removal of irregularities within a period of not less than 30 calendar days. If, after the deadline, the entrepreneur does not remove the irregularities, does not provide explanations or provides insufficient explanations, the PISF may indicate the manner and date of removal of the irregularities. Failure to comply with the recommendations is the basis for withdrawal from the contract for financial support.