Another fantastic year of film productions and ”Cash Rebate” incentive for Poland
The system of financial support for audiovisual production in Poland, offering reimbursement of up to 30% of Polish eligible costs, which has been operating efficiently for the last 4 years now, set forth by the Polish Film Institute. As part of the ”incentives", in 2023 - PLN 94 million and 28 movies and series, in 2022 PLN 94 million and 27 movies and series, in 2021 PLN 105 million and 37 movies and series.
Support systems for audiovisual production, similar to the Polish one, have been successfully operating in other European countries for years and are among the most effective tools thanks to which individual countries attract large international productions with multi-million dollar budgets. Poland is known for its evocating locations and offers competitive costs on par with or lower than any in the region, with professional and highly skilled film crews that stem from a long history of great art-house cinema and high quality film schools. This put together with the incentives it's no surprise that the Polish Film Institute has been wooing international productions to Poland. In 2021 well known Polish - Italian co production ”EO” directed by Jerzy Skolimowski received funding. The film later became Polands Oscar contribution and in 2023 received an Oscar Nomination for Best International Feature.
Bigger international productions have also started to place their productions in Poland and such a recent production is undoubtedly "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” directed by Francis Lawrence, with the budget in the territory of Poland amounting to PLN 37,640,614.00. Principal photography in Poland took place between July 7, 2022 - August 12, 2022. Amazing locations were used for the images include the Centennial Hall in Wrocław, in Boguszów Gorce and on the Grzędy Lagoon in the Czarny Bór commune. Another such an international production is "In the Lost Lands" - some of the images to the film were taken in Kraków where actress Milla Jovovich fell in love with the botanical gardens according to her own instagram account. Not to forget recent ”The Zone of Interest” directed by Jonathan Glazer which is a British-Polish co-production.The Zone of Interest premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival in 19 May 2023 to universal critical acclaim, winning the Grand Prix and the FIPRESCI Prize. The Polish producer of the film is Ewa Puszczyńska and the film also received co-financing by the Polish Film Institute within the Cash Rebate incentive.
The Polish incentive system is open to all new domestic and international co-productions, feature, animated and documentary films and series that meet the conditions set out in the Act and the Regulation.
The General Director of the Polish Film Institute announced in 2022 the Operational Programme VI – Polish-Ukrainian film initiatives, which was first of its kind in Europe, hereinafter referred to as the ‘OP Polish-Ukrainian film initiatives’ with an allocation of up to PLN 10,000,000 for the year 2022 and 2023.
The purpose of the OP Polish-Ukrainian film initiatives is to support actions carried out jointly by Polish and Ukrainian producers and creators or devoted to Polish-Ukrainian themes, in particular: to create conditions for Ukrainian citizens for continuation of their creative work in the field of cinematography, to inspire Polish and Ukrainian citizens to cooperate in creating film projects, to disseminate and promote film art, to promote Polish and Ukrainian films and achievements of Polish and Ukrainian filmmakers, to support projects aimed at increasing and developing the audience through the improvement of access to cinematographic works, organisation of film festivals of local, national and international scope, to support actions aimed at creating conditions for universal access to the achievements of Polish, European and world film art, to promote films with special artistic values, and to create conditions for the development of cinematographic co-production. Preference is given to projects involving Ukrainian citizens who arrived in Poland after 24 February 2022 directly from Ukraine in connection with war operations conducted in the territory of that country.
Projects which received funding within the program include ”In the Rearview" directed by Maciek Hamela which premiered in May at the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Festival in Poland before heading to Cannes and then to the 30th Sheffield DocFest where it earned the International Competition Top Prize.
The year 2022 was also rich in co-financing under operational programs. Thanks to the subsidies, a total of PLN 185 575 000 was allocated to new projects. In the field of feature film production (priority II), 29 projects received a grant for the amount of PLN 87,766,370.00, while in the production of minority co-productions (priority VII), a total of PLN 13,201,685.00 was awarded for 16 new projects.