New incentives for foreign film productions shooting in Greece are bearing fruit, with representatives from leading international studios like Netflix, Disney, Universal and Amazon recently scouting the country for potential locations and starting new film projects.
With its sunny climate, diverse landscape and wealth of cultural monuments, Greece has long offered at- tractive locations and has welcomed several major film projects -- from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin to Mamma Mia! -- over the last few decades. But Greece’s bureaucracy and lack of financial support has also driven many potential film projects away.
No more. The country’s new incentive scheme, combined with government efforts to establish new film offices, has changed that. Under a 2017 law – and amended late last year – the government is offering a 35% cash rebate on audiovisual projects filmed and produced in the country. Τhe cash incentives apply to films, documentaries, TV series and digital games. To date, roughly three dozen productions from around the world have taken advantage of the new program.
Greece has also established the EKOME National Center of Audiovisual Media and Communications to promote the film industry and administer the incentive scheme. Part of EKOME’s efforts is to create a network of regional film offices across Greece that would help ease the red tape facing filmmakers. In Crete and Attica, regional authorities have already announced they are opening local film offices, with the remaining regions of the country expected to follow shortly.
A widely noted revival in Greek filmmaking has also raised Greece’s visibility internationally and produced a fresh generation of directors, actors, producers and technical staff. Several have won prizes at major inter- national festivals and established themselves abroad, most notably Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos.
Through his international presence, Lanthimos has broken ground for other Greek filmmakers overseas, say industry experts. While at home, the relatively recently established Faliro House Productions company – launched some ten years ago – has helped breathe new life into the industry.
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