26 projects benefited from the incentives for filmmakers in Poland in the first few months of operating. The Polish Film Institute has granted over EUR 12 million to support audiovisual production within the incentive scheme.
The incentives were introduced in Poland in February 2019. The scheme which primary task is to support audiovisual production allows reimbursing 30% of the eligible costs incurred for the production of films and series in Poland.
The incentive system is managed by the Polish Film Institute and is open for national and international productions, for feature, animated and documentary films and series. In order for the project to receive support, its producers must spend a certain amount of money in Poland, cooperate with Polish talents and crews, and shoot in Polish locations or film studios. When the required criteria are fulfilled, the support is granted automatically as the scheme is based on economic and legal criteria, not artistic.
The first few months of operating the incentive scheme in Poland brought positive decisions for 26 projects for a total amount of nearly EUR 12 million. Another 5 projects which are currently assessed, jointly apply for over EUR 1.6 million.
- We are satisfied with the first effects of the incentive system - says Radosław Śmigulski, director of the Polish Film Institute. - Over the last six months, we spent EUR 12 million to support audiovisual production, while the amount of expenses incurred in Poland under the co-financed projects reached EUR 50 million. This is a real profit for the Polish economy.
"Sloborn". © Syrreal Entertainment
So far, the German producers are the leaders among the international companies using Polish incentives. In summer, "The Turncoat", a German mini-series set during World War II was shot in the southern part of Poland. In autumn, two productions used the picturesque Polish seaside as their locations: "Sloborn"- a German-Danish disaster series about deadly virus besetting a little island and "Ein Sommer" - a feature film about a woman leaving behind her ordered life to travel with a circus. Among supported productions, there are also three TV series commissioned by international broadcasters or streaming services. Opus Film, the producer of "Ida" and "Cold War", has shot in Lodz the second season of "Ultraviolet" for AXN; ATM Grupa is producing for Netflix an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Harlan Coben, the thriller "The Woods"; and HBO is preparing to film in Szczecin the criminal series "Thaw".
Four international co-productions have also been positively verified: "Mission Ulja Funk", a German-Luxembourg-Polish family comedy and a road movie; the Polish-Czech drama "Leave No Traces", a sophomore film by Jan P. Matuszyński ("The Last Family"); "Masseur" - a new film by Małgorzata Szumowska ("Body", "Mug"), realized in co-production with Germany, and "Other People", a contemporary hip-hop musical co-produced by Warner Bros. Studio. Support was also given to two animated series for the youngest viewers, "Patchwork Kingdom" and "Flying Bear and the Guardian of Legends".
- I hope that 2020 will be even more effective when it comes to the use of funds - sums up Radosław Śmigulski. - We clearly see increased interest in the Polish offer on the international arena. The introduction of incentives was a key factor when it comes to our competitiveness among other countries of the region, but the international successes of Polish artists also help in proving the potential and creativity. We are trying to prepare for this growing interest and we are conducting talks that are aimed at improving film infrastructure in Poland, including the construction of new soundstages - continues the director of the Polish Film Institute.
The call for applications for incentives is ongoing and the budget allocated to support audiovisual production in 2020 is up to EUR 50.2 million.
* Exchange rate: 1 EUR = 4.3 PLN