Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Canton of Sarajevo is introducing a new €1 million ($1.1 million) film funding initiative next year aimed at promoting domestic and international film and television production in the region. The incentive is the first of its kind in the country.
Government representatives of Sarajevo Canton, including Prime Minister Edin Forto and culture and sports minister Mirvad Kurić, joined Sarajevo Film Festival director Mirsad Purivatra at a press conference on Tuesday to announce the rebate program.
The Canton Sarajevo government will allocate 2 million Bosnian marks, approximately €1 million, in its 2020 budget for film and TV production grants. The film and TV production incentive program will entail “substantial rebates to national and international investors in production of high-quality content.”
The initiative will allow the local producer, co-producer or executive producer of projects shot in Canton Sarajevo to receive a share of the qualified production costs spent in the region.
The rebate amounts will be calculated using a clearly defined formula and will be transferred directly from the Cantonal budget by the Cantonal Ministry of Economy, according to the announcement. The rebate amount could be as high as 30% on some projects, a source familiar with the plan told Variety.
Film and television production is of strategic importance for the sustainable development of Canton Sarajevo and the city of Sarajevo since these two industries are the driving force of a wide spectrum of creative industries that currently employ 5% of the region’s workforce, according to the announcement.
The Canton Sarajevo government said it “recognized the potential of the creative industries to generate jobs and economic growth,” noting that the creative industries – such as film, television, publishing, music, video games and mobile apps – were the fastest growing sector of the global economy. In Europe, the creative sector employs more young people than any other sector of the economy and the creative economy is growing faster than the overall economy, it added.
The canton hopes to achieve a number of goals with the incentive, including the creation of new jobs; an increase in the output of high-quality film and TV content in the region; a return on investment and increase in revenue for the canton; higher direct foreign investment by luring co-productions; skill development for a young workforce; the creation of new film and TV sector capacities; and boosting Sarajevo’s international brand as a film and tourism hub.
Sarajevo Canton, which includes the city of Sarajevo, is one of 10 cantons in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, along with Republika Srpska, forms the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina.