Croatia ushers in tax incentives for foreign films

Tax rebate worth 20% of local spend will bow in December

LONDON — Croatia is to introduce tax rebates worth 20% of production spend for movies shooting in the Balkans country.

The incentives — good for film and TV features, shorts, drama and animation projects — will be launched in December.

Designed to boost the use of Croatian cast and crew working in the country, a popular European holiday destination, qualifying projects can reclaim 20% of audited in-country expenditure up to €3 million ($4.4 million).

To qualify, producers must team up with a Croatian co-producer who will be responsible for compliance and “providing a full range of production services including location scouting, scheduling, budgeting, casting and crewing,” according to the Croatian Audiovisual Center, which will administer the scheme.

The rebate puts Croatia — which boasts a long Adriatic coastline, a mountainous interior and a rich range of historic castles and other locations — on par with other Eastern European countries, including the Czech Republic and Hungary.

Productions must meet Croatian cultural criteria, which include local content, creative talents and production services.

Commercials, reality TV, game shows and soap operas are excluded from the scheme.

The scheme — being promoted under the slogan “You can’t film tropical rain forests in Croatia, but you can film just about anything else” — will be presented to industryites during the Cannes Film Festival, which kicks off May 11.

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