After losing out to Croatia on the production of the sequel to Mamma Mia, the Greek government has announced it is keen to attract big budget film productions to Greece and will be looking at simplifying the legal framework that will offer foreign film producers incentives.
According to the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) data, a film production budgeted at 25 million euros can contribute 39 million euros to the country’s GDP, while international releases such as “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin” and “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” boosted tourism to Kefallonia and the Cyclades by 14 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
A combination of lack of financial incentives and no unified licensing framework meant that often producers look elsewhere in the region, point in case the sequel to “Mamma Mia” where producers opted for Croatia instead of Greece.
The Hellenic Film Commission – responsible for mediating to bring cinema productions to Greece – will operate as a one-stop-shop, providing all the necessary information on the required permits for each municipality and/or areas of special interest, filming fees, supporting documents, and time frame.
According to sources, the government is interested in large foreign productions over the 5 million euro mark adding that a legal framework was being drawn up which would require municipal authorities across Greece to clearly lay out licensing criteria, the incentives for the implementation of the investment, and the procedures concerning the submission and assessment of applications (by film producers) by the competent bodies so that the tedious bureaucratic procedures will no longer drive away potential film projects.