New incentive model for Austria as a film location
A new incentive system for all film productions is to come into force on January 1st, 2023, which will strengthen Austria in the competition between European locations.
Incentive systems play an essential role in the increasingly globalised and competitive film sector. They provide financing components for the producing companies and are decisive factors in the question of where productions are handled. Numerous European states therefore use corresponding incentives as strategic instruments to increase value creation locally, attract film investments from abroad, create qualified jobs and sustainably build up production infrastructure and digital expertise in an essential growth field of the cultural and creative industries.
The lack of an effective instrument in Austria has so far prevented companies and those working in the film and media sector from benefiting sufficiently from the enormous global growth boost of the audiovisual sector. The existing funding instruments are not sufficiently suitable to have an effect, especially for globally active streaming groups, to regularly bring major international productions to Austria and to raise the full potential in the domestic film industry. As a result, productions are increasingly moving to neighbouring countries, resulting in a loss of value creation, know-how and skilled workers in Austria.
As stated in the government programme, the Austrian federal government is therefore striving to further develop Austria as a film location. A new incentive system for all film productions is to come into force on January 1st, 2023, which will strengthen Austria in the competition between European locations. At the same time, the streaming gap will be closed; to date, it has hardly been attractive for international streaming productions and Austrian companies involved in them to handle productions in Austria.
In order to be as attractive as possible for international productions and to ensure maximum planning security for domestic productions, the subsidies will be implemented in all sectors without a budgetary cap. Funding pots that are ’emptied’ early in the year are thus a thing of the past.
The incentive model pursues the following objectives in particular::
- Increasing the competitiveness and attractiveness of Austria as a film location as well as the resilience of the local film companies.
- Increasing the added value of the film industry and related industries (service providers, retail, hotel industry, etc.)
- Creation and preservation of qualified jobs and the associated improvement of the social situation of filmmakers
- Utilisation and expansion of the audiovisual infrastructure and production capacities
- Promotion and expansion of technical-digital services (animation, VFX, music)
- Internationalisation and professionalisation of the film industry
- Incentives for ecologically sustainable film production
The model provides for an automatic, non-repayable subsidy based on a catalogue of criteria of up to 35 % of the expenses incurred in Austria in the context of film productions, 5 % of it for the consideration of climate-friendly criteria. The maximum amount of the subsidy is 5 million euros per film and 7.5 million euros for series. For the first time, streaming productions are also supported.
The film incentive model is built on three pillars::
International Service Productions (FISA+)
Grants for international, non-Austrian productions (streaming, cinema, TV) and production parts (such as post-production, music recordings, VFX) are handled by aws. Eligible to apply are independent production service companies based in Austria that have been commissioned to produce a film or a production part (service processing).
Austrian television and streaming productions (FISA+, television productions in coordination with RTR)
Grants for Austrian productions not commissioned by broadcasters or video-on-demand services for television, streaming and virtual reality above a total budget of 1.8 million are also handled by aws. Eligible to apply are their independent producers (production companies) based in Austria. Productions below the budget limits remain in the Television Fund as before.
Austrian cinema films (ÖFI+)
Grants for Austrian, independently produced films for their first theatrical release as well as international co-productions of equal value are handled by the Austrian Film Institute. Eligible to apply are their independent producers (production companies) based in Austria. The grant replaces the cinema film subsidies previously awarded by FISA. The Austrian cinema film thus receives a one-stop shop instead of having to rely on various federal funding agencies (ÖFI, FISA).