Act on financial support for audiovisual production published in the Journal of Laws

An Act on financial support for audiovisual production was published in the Journal of Laws on 10 January 2019. The Polish Film Institute (PISF) will soon provide financial support for the production of audiovisual works created in Poland.

The new scheme provides for a modern support system and improvement of the conditions for the functioning of the audiovisual industry in Poland. Its aim is to strengthen the position of the Polish audiovisual sector on the international market, increase the competitiveness of domestic companies operating in the sector, and, in the long run, attract foreign investments into Poland.

Audiovisual producers, co-producers or service providers for the production of audiovisual works will be able to submit an application to the PISF. After a formal evaluation and a so-called qualification test encompassing the criteria prescribed in the act, the PISF will conclude an agreement with the producer that will guarantee reimbursement of part of the eligible costs incurred. Financial support will be granted in the amount of 30% of eligible costs; however, this sum cannot exceed 80% of the total costs of the audiovisual production.

Support can be granted to Polish producers, co-producers or service providers, as well as to EU/EFTA producers, provided that they open a branch office in Poland.

Under the Act, service providers can qualify for support only if neither the producer of the audiovisual work nor any of the co-producers is based in the Republic of Poland.

The financial support will only be granted once the production or a part of it has been completed and all costs associated therewith have been incurred by the producer, as well as after an audit of the documentation by an independent audit firm. In order to receive financial support, the audiovisual producer should incur certain eligible costs in Poland. Only on the basis of actual costs incurred in Poland will the producer be able to receive a refund. It is also important that before receiving the support, the producer is obliged to pay taxes related to the audiovisual production in Poland.

The criteria for obtaining financial support includes:

  • using Polish or European cultural heritage in the audiovisual work
  • placing the plot of the audiovisual work in Poland
  • placing the production of the audiovisual work in Poland
  • hiring Polish employees as part of the production and/or as part of the creative and technical staff, and
  • using a Polish film infrastructure.

Only applicants who pass the above test (and having obtained at least 51% of the points available) may receive financial support for audiovisual productions.

The annual budget for subsidies related to the introduced scheme has been set at a maximum level of PLN 200 million (EUR 46 million) for the first year, and similar sums for the subsequent years, with annual inflation adjustments.

The support per calendar year is limited to PLN 20 million (EUR 4.7 million) per applicant and PLN 15 million (EUR 3.5 million) per project.

Pursuant to the act, at least 10% of the amount assigned for financial support by the PISF each year will be allocated to the production of animated films and series.

The new provisions will come into force one month after their publication in the Journal of Laws.

By Oskar Tułodziecki and Natalia Jarząbek

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