European Commission expected to approve production incentive
The Czech Republic’s long-awaited film production incentive looks set to come into force next month.The rebate has been submitted for approval to the European Commission, which is expected to pass it without problems. The effort to turn around a precipitous fall in foreign shoots since 2004 offers a 20% refund on investment to producers of films that qualify, using cultural criteria and other factors, as is already the case in other European countries. Viktorie Plivova of the Czech Culture Ministry points out that the incentives would not just benefit foreign producers but would also help stanch the flow of Czech production talent abroad. Currently, many of the top talent in Czech studios, from cinematographers to costumers, spend months abroad, often working in neighboring countries such as Hungary, where production incentives have proved effective. Prague industryites have advocated the cash-back policy for over a decade, but only with last year’s collapse of the Czech government did a caretaker administration of nonpoliticians and businesspeople finally approve the plan. Many Prague-based shingles, both Czech and foreign, have applauded the move and credited the current government’s lack of party political infighting for the progress. With the European and global economy recovering, it’s hoped that more big-budget projects will return to Prague, where “Wanted,” “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” and Bond pic “Casino Royale” all shot.