Cash rebate scheme for audiovisual productions
An incentive scheme for refunding financial costs for audiovisual productions will be introduced on 01/01/2017. In the scheme, film production companies will receive refunds on salaries and services paid for in Finland. This will increase the business and employment impacts of the audiovisual sector in the region.
The Government approved the regulation on the funding for audiovisual production on 29/12/2016 (Government Decree on Incentive for Audiovisual Productions). The incentive scheme will take the form of cash rebate and the Government has earmarked a total of EUR 10 million for this purpose in the state budget proposal for 2017. Tekes will be responsible for the governing of the scheme.
It is expected that the cash rebate scheme will increase production volumes and bring new jobs to the industry, which is highly labour intensive. In Finland, about 70 % of audiovisual production costs are labour costs. In 2015, the overall budget for films funded by the Finnish Film Foundation in Finland, totalled approximately EUR 42 million. According to a report on the situation in Finland, the cash rebate scheme could result in twice the current production volume, more than EUR 80 million, in the space of a few years. Growth in production volumes will improve the development of the filmindustry and increase job opportunities in different parts of Finland as international productions will go to where they find suitable locations and decent services. Local production companies will have an opportunity to provide services to international co-productions and create better opportunities to reach international networks.In addition to creative professionals, almost without exception, audiovisual production requires a wide range of services in shooting equipment, computer generated images and sound editing, set construction , make-up and hairdressing, warderobe, logistics, transport and catering and accommodation. The cost refund scheme could provide new job opportunities, particularly in those sectors and regions where jobs are seasonal or where there is otherwise little work on offer.
Furthermore, the scheme will have impacts on the development of international expertise of professionals and service companies in the audiovisual sector. Encouraging international productions in Finland will strengthen the expertise of the sector and increase the opportunities for Finnish audiovisual companies in international networks. The resulting networks, in turn, will aid the export efforts of the Finnish audiovisual sector.
Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, expects the first applications already in the first week of the year. The scheme has attracted international attention, because in addition to the funding Finland offers good infrastructure and high levels of expertise. The aim is to attract major international productions to Finland which will also bring extensive visibility and further contribute to the international image of Finland.
Petra Tarjanne, Special Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. 029 506 3691