Cyprus offers increased tax incentives for international film and TV producers

Cyprus offers increased tax incentives for international film and TV producers 1

Cyprus’s investment promotional agency INVEST CYPRUS announced a new package of incentives for international producers at the 29th Raindance Film Festival in London where Cyprus was guest country.

Lefteris Eleftheriou, Head of Filming at INVEST CYPRUS announced an increase in the  cash back rebate from 35% to 40% for international film and TV productions, noting it was one of the “most generous” in Europe.

Other European countries such as Estonia provide production companies a tax rebate of up to 30% and, similarly, Spain raised their tax rebate from 25% to 30% in May 2020, giving production companies a further 10% tax rebate advantage when choosing Cyprus as their filming location.

Mr Eleftheriou said: “The Cyprus Film Scheme offers cash back on above-the-line expenses which is unique in Europe, as a number of European film commissions cover below-the-line expenditures only.”

He added, “Cyprus offers unique and favourable filming locations with clement weather all year-round. The island provides a prime location which connects Europe, Africa and Asia with great local talent and a wide range of incentives.”

In addition to the Cyprus Filming Scheme incentives, the island boasts a wide variety of benefits, from stunning on-site locations to well-connected transport networks that provide easy access to the rest of Europe and reduce logistical issues for production crews.

The increased tax incentive is expected to be a huge boost for the country as it recovers from restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. Cyprus has taken significant measures to ensure the spread of Covid-19 is minimized on film sets, including mandating the use of facemasks on set, controlled number of people on set and social distancing measures.

Although a relative newcomer, a number of film and TV productions have been shot on the island, including S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice starring William Baldwin which was released last year. In a press conference, Mr Eleftheriou said production of this film was supported by 143 Cypriot professionals, highlighting the available talent pool on the Island.

Ghost of Monday directed by Francesco Cinquemani and featuring British actor Julia Sands was also shot entirely on the island and is currently in the post-production stages. Michale Boganim’s historical drama, Tel – Aviv Beirut completed also shooting in Cyprus this summer and is expected to be released in 2022.

TV series Farpoint has also been filmed on the Island and marks the first high-end international drama venture for Cyprus. The series is produced by the U.K.’s Three River Fiction and Cyprus-based Caretta Films and Splash Screen Entertainment.

George Campanellas, CEO of Invest Cyprus said: “Cyprus is an ideal location for prospective film and TV productions. We support all facets of the film industry and have a wealth of local talent that can support production teams.”

“Cyprus is committed to supporting filmmaking on the island and we are consistently improving policies to incentivize investment in this sector. Our success is being reflected in the productions that have been hosted on the island and we hope to further boost investment in the Cypriot film industry” Mr. Campanellas continued.

The Cypriot programme at Raindance 2021 includes four feature films by Cypriot filmmakers: The Man with The Answers (dir: Stelios Kammitsis), Smuggling Hendrix (dir: Marios Piperides), Pause (dir: Tonia Mishiali) and Patchwork (dir: Petros Charalambous), and a Cypriot shorts programme, showcasing the very best of contemporary Cypriot cinema.

The Cyprus Guest Country programme at Raindance, an initiative of the Cultural Section of the Cyprus High Commission, is supported by the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth of Cyprus, and Invest Cyprus (Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency), and is organized in collaboration with the Cyprus Film Days International Film Festival.