Ten Countries to Consider for your Next Film Project

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Ten Countries to Consider for your Next Film Project

Where to film your next project, based on tax incentives and rebates.

So you received funding for your next film. Congratulations! Don’t spend it all in one place. No really. With the rise of competitive international film production incentives, there is little reason to not get out and find the location of your dreams for you and your budget. While not every country offers the same incentives, the commonality is that many open their borders to foreign filmmakers in an effort to stimulate job creation and boost their economy. There are limitations, naturally, but when it comes to budgeting, you might just get the best bang for your buck filming outside your comfort zone. Not that a beautiful Australian beach is uncomfortable…

Australia

For film, television and other screen productions, look no further than the Australian Screen Production Incentive. The Producer Offset offers a 40% rebate on eligible feature films and 20% for other projects with sufficient Australian content. The Location Offset offers a 16.5% rebate supporting bigger budget film and television productions filmed in Australia. As if that weren’t enough, they also offer the PDV (Post, Digital and Visual Effects) Offset which is a 30% rebate supporting work on digital, visual and post effects in Australia, even if the production is not shot there. Find out more info on eligibility here.

The Matrix (1999) was partially filmed in New South Wales, Australia.

Canada

Each Canadian province offers a different financial incentive, though anything shot in Canada will give American companies an advantage because of how often the Canadian dollar is weaker. Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and Manitoba are all well known for their Hollywood history, but British Columbia might be the most notable with Film Incentive BC (FIBC), offering a basic tax credit of 35%.

Croatia 

Sweeping coastlines, charming countryside, and chromatic cities are all found within Croatia’s borders. It’s the perfect place to film your project if you want options. In order to receive the 20% tax rebate, you must meet the qualifying Croatian expenditures. In order to apply, your producer, co-producer or production service provider must be Croatian and have provided these services for at least one publicly shown project within the last three years. Visit Filming in Croatia for more details. 

Game of Thrones is partially shot in Croatia, specifically, it’s location for “King’s Landing”. 

Czech Republic

According to the Czech Film Commission, there is a 20% rebate on qualifying Czech spending. You also can get a 10% rebate on qualifying international spend. There is no cap on grants per-project, but you do need to pass a cultural text and meet the minimum expenditure levels. For more information, visit the Film Commission’s website.

The Illusionist (2006) was filmed in Prague. The Czech city was a stand-in for Vienna. 

Estonia

With a rich cinematic history, Estonia offers a cash rebate of up to 30% making it amongst the highest in Europe. If you use an Estonian based crew, you can access more funding. Visit Film Estonia for more information.

Fiji

Film Fiji offers a 47% tax rebate, which is calculated on Qualifying Fiji Production Expenditure (QFPE). It’s a heady rebate, which is why some of their qualifying expenditures are so specific. For example, foreign airfares for cast and crew must be provided by Fiji Airways, and raw stock must be provided by a local company. When you consider the natural beauty of Fiji, it’s a small price to pay for filming in paradise. 

Hungary

The Hungarian National Film Fund provides a 25% tax incentive, but in order to be eligible you must take a cultural test and include “European content or cultural values”. Visit their thorough and extremely useful website for a more detailed breakdown. 

The Hungarian capital of Budapest was used as a stand-in for Buenos Aires in the 1996 film Evita

Iceland

The Icelandic countryside could substitute for almost any place on the planet and beyond. Surreal, almost alien landscapes, mystical lagoons, and stark open spaces are just a handful of what Iceland has to offer. If you film there, you could be eligible for a 25% cash rebate or reimbursement for production expenses. Visit Film in Iceland for more info on their relatively simple incentive program.

New Zealand

The Lord of the Rings, The Last Samurai, Whale Rider, The Chronicles of Narnia, the list goes on of famous pictures shot in New Zealand. The New Zealand Film Commission offers a screen production grant with a 20% cash rebate for qualifying production expenditure which you can find more on here. If you can prove that your project will boost the country’s economy you might qualify for an additional 5%.

Jane Campion’s 1993 film The Piano was shot in New Zealand.

Spain

Tax rebates in Spain vary depending on where you shoot within the country. If you’re filming in common territory, you can get a 20% tax rebate. In Navarre, a 35% tax credit. If you film in the Canary Islands,  you can receive a 40% tax rebate. To see more information on limitations, visit Shooting in Spain’s website.

The Trip to Spain (2017) was, obviously, shot in Spain.