On July 24th, the government adopted a draft law on supporting audiovisual production. PISF – Polish Film Institute will financially support the production of audiovisual works created in Poland.

According to the project, audiovisual producers, co-producers and entrepreneurs performing services for the production of audiovisual works will be able to obtain a refund of part of the costs incurred for production in our country.

Financial support system

The introduction of financial support related to production results in the development of audiovisual infrastructure in countries where a large number of foreign projects are implemented. The expansion of studios in Ireland, the Czech Republic and Croatia is an example connected with attracting large foreign productions. Poland remains one of the few European countries where such solutions are lacking (financial support systems exist or are planned in 29 European countries). This leads to a situation in which the Polish audiovisual market ceases to be competitive in relation to other European markets.

The system of financial support presented in the project solves the most acute problem of the Polish audiovisual industry, which, despite the artistic successes of recent years and the progressive professionalization of production, is exposed to stagnation. Thanks to the proposed solutions, the conditions for the functioning of the audiovisual industry in Poland will improve and a modern support system will be created that will strengthen the position of the Polish audiovisual sector on the international market, increase the competitiveness of domestic companies operating in the industry, and in the long term will attract to Poland serious foreign investments in this sector.

Transparent recruitment criteria

Financial support will be awarded by the Polish Film Institute. It will be awarded on the basis of the most simplified procedures for qualifying a given project to obtain funding. An audiovisual producer, co-producer or entrepreneur performing services for the production of audiovisual works will be able to apply to the PISF with a proposal which, after formal evaluation, and conducting the so-called qualification test containing criteria for film assessment in terms of culture and sector (the identification of cultural premises related to the work and assessment of the impact of production of a given work on the development of the Polish audiovisual sector) – will conclude a contract that will guarantee the producer a subsequent reimbursement of the part of eligible costs incurred.

Financial support will be paid only after the end of production or its part and the producer incurs all costs related to it, as well as after analyzing the documentation by an independent auditing company. The system based on the reimbursement of part of the costs guarantees that the audiovisual producer wishing to obtain financial support will incur certain eligible costs in Poland – because  he will be able to receive a refund only from the actual costs incurred . It is also important that before receiving support, the producer will, as a rule, pay tax liabilities related to audiovisual production in Poland.

The most important advantages of the financial support model of audiovisual production based on reimbursement of eligible costs include:

  • automatic procedures qualifying the project for granting financial support;
  • transparency and speed of procedures as well as ease of control and assessment of the impact of this system on the economic development of the state;
  • simplicity of administrative service by involving the minimum number of entities and persons in the operation of the mechanism and distribution of funds;

The annual subsidy budget related to the introduced support system was set at a maximum level of PLN 200 million, taking into account the inflation rate in subsequent years. Considering the neighboring audiovisual markets, this is an amount that allows you to exist in the minds of global industry partners.

In order for the system to be effective, mandatory periods of servicing the beneficiaries were introduced – 28 days for consideration of the application and 28 days for the analysis of the report constituting the basis for payment of funds. The efficiency of service is particularly important from the point of view of competitiveness in relation to systems in other countries of the region.

In order to ensure transparency, the PISF will conduct an open register of support for audiovisual production, containing a list of entities requesting financial incentives, beneficiaries of incentives, the amount of funds allocated and the level of use of the total subsidies for support during the calendar year.

The project assumes that at least 10 percent of the amount allocated for financial support PISF will award to the production of animated films and series. Under the currently applicable public aid systems, animated films do not receive support adequate to the needs of this part of the audiovisual sector.

The new solutions are to enter into force one month after the publication in the Journal of Laws, with the exception of one provision that will become effective on a different date.

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