Production incentive for the Audiovisual Sector

Where
Finland
When
2020
Who
Business Finland
Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 

The production incentive is a maximum of 25% cash rebate for production costs incurred in Finland. The incentive targets feature films, fiction series, animation and documentary films. The incentive was launched at the beginning of 2017 to increase international interest in Finland as a production location and to promote the development, growth and internationalisation of Finnish companies.

The call for applications is continuous. To qualify for funding, productions need to fill certain requirements. These are both financial and artistic, including minimum levels for the overall budget and costs incurred in Finland as well as the need to have a distribution agreement for at least one platform or territory. A Finnish co-producer or a Finnish production service provider needs to be involved with the production to make it qualify. The requirements also call for the use of Finnish artistic expertise - be it narration, direction, acting, production design, or some other creative role in the production. Presenting Finnish locations or depicting Finnish life and culture are also validating qualities.

What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 

A mid-term evaluation of the incentive was carried out in 2018 after the first year of funding. Based on the evaluation, the greatest impact has been seen in the employment in the audiovisual sector, i.e. an increase in job creation that would not have been realised was it not for the incentive. The incentive has been important regionally too, as productions have been located all over Finland.

The incentive has also significantly promoted Finnish companies' participation in international co-productions, which in turn has had a positive impact in the development of the domestic audiovisual industry. Furthermore, the incentive has had a positive impact in the development of expertise, knowhow and networks at the domestic and international level. The increase in the overall capacities of the sector has helped Finnish companies to produce more high-quality content, able to attract interest from foreign players such as Netflix.

Financial resources allocated to the policy/measure in USD: 

11,2 million USD / year

Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partnerType of entity
Finnish Film Commissions
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Audiovisual Producers Finland
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
Has the implementation of the policy/measure been evaluated?: 
YES
If yes, what are the main conclusions/recommendations?: 

The mid-term evaluation (2018) identified three main challenges in the implementation of the incentive: limited annual budget, weaknesses in international marketing and possible lack of expertise within the audiovisual industry. In light of these challenges, the evaluation recommended that, inter alia:

* The financial services of Business Finland be developed; including continued funding for the incentive, removal of annual funding ceilings, greater flexibility to annual budgets, more transparency and increased clarity of rules for incentive funding, reformed efforts to international marketing, linkages between the incentive and other funding services of Business Finland.
* The ecosystem of the audiovisual sector be developed; including a common roadmap and strategy for the industry as a joint effort by the key players, investments into training and general development of the ecosystem, increased external funding through enhanced and coordinated marketing efforts within the sector.
* A final assessment and follow up of the incentive be carried out.

Goal(s) of UNESCO's 2005 Convention
Cultural Domain(s)
Cinema/ Audiovisual Arts