How does the updated incentive differ from the earlier program?
The amendment to the audiovisual law was approved in May 2016 and will come into effect Jan. 1, 2017. The most important changes make the system smoother and more flexible. In contrast to the previous system, allocations of rebates will be possible at any time of the year but not sooner than three months before the start of filming in the Czech Republic and not later than the first day of shooting.
How will applications for payments be handled?
Two applications will be possible: the first after filming is concluded in the Czech Republic; the second, after all production and post-production is completed in the Czech Republic.
Can you quantify the effectiveness of the incentive?
It has clearly brought back international production to the Czech Republic. It was introduced in 2010 when the volume was very low due to incentives in other countries and the hesitation of the Czech government, which waited too long to introduce an incentive here. With the new scheme we became competitive again and the volume of what international production spends here increased maybe five times compared to 2009. The spend of international film and TV productions that took advantage of the rebate in 2015 was around $168 million. Since the rebate was introduced in 2010, the Czech government has paid out more than $80 million in rebates to more than 150 film and TV projects. Rebates of $46 million are currently allocated to new projects.
How many producers are American, and how many are from other countries?
In 2015 over 30 international film and TV projects shot in the Czech Republic. The U.S. was involved in five of those either as major (and only) producer or as co-producer. The majority of films and TV projects shot in the Czech Republic were European. This year, we have two big TV productions from the U.S. that will be shooting for several months (History channel series “Knightfall” and Fox 21’s “Genius” for National Geographic Channel), and ABC Studio shot a pilot with us earlier this year, “Spark.”
What do you like most about this job?
It’s been a rewarding 12 years. I love promoting what I believe in and communicating with passionate, creative people.