The Film Commissioner of the Portugal Film Commission describes the financial incentive offered by the country to audiovisual productions and details the benefits of filming in Portugal.
The Portugal Film Commission (PFC) was created in June 2019 and it is an entity that depends on the Portuguese Government. Its mission is to support and promote cinema and audiovisual and the internationalization of Portugal as a filming destination, as well as ensuring the operationalization of procedures required for the cinematographic and audiovisual production in national territory.
Previously, Portugal created the cash rebate financed by the Tourism Board. Applies to film and television with the minimum qualified Portuguese production expenses (QPPE) of €500,000.00 (around $ 600,000.00) for fiction and animation and €250,000.00 (around $300,000.00) for documentaries and postproduction. "We created some of the most competitive cash rebate in Europe and needed an entity to promote it nationally and internationally, that’s how the Portugal Film Commission was born," said Manuel Claro, Film Commissioner to Señal News.
"Our mission is to promote Portugal as a shooting destination with the tools that we have, such as 30% rebate but also upfront payments, that is, the advance of installment payments," Claro explained.
The Portugal Film Commission delivers 20% of the cash rebate with the signing of the contract, 35% at the beginning of filming, 30% at the end of filming and the last 15% is the portion that is not delivered in advance but becomes effective with the finals reports and audits.
Another advantage offered by the Portugal Film Commission is that it informs about the approval of the cash rebate in 20 business days and also has a discount program for Portuguese companies that bring filming to Portugal. "We offer them financing so they invite international co-producers," said the executive.
Claro affirmed that the mission of the Portugal Film Commission internationally is also to promote the various locations that the country can provide. "Portugal is a very small country and can be traveled by car from north to south in five hours," he said. "We have locations with diverse landscapes and geography and we are also the third safest country in the world, after Iceland and New Zealand," he added.
Another highlight is the quality, competence and experience of the technical and artistic teams. "That fills us with pride, they have a lot of experience in international film co-production, they are very trained and it is a very strong advantage when filming in Portugal," he added.
The cash rebate was established in Portugal in 2018 and at the moment the Portugal Film Commission has approved 40 projects, but also the Instituto Do Cinema e Do Audiovisual (ICA) supports more than 100 projects per year.
On the other hand, in 2012 the ICA had only 6 million euros in budget, then with the new Cinema law, the incentive to productions and the budget increased. "Currently the ICA budget is 20 million, plus 12 million of the cash rebate totaling 32 million euros a year, it is a very strong bet and we are finally creating an audiovisual industry in Portugal," he concluded.
By Romina Rodríguez