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Greece to Create National Film Offices Network to Attract Foreign Productions

© SID Gentle Films (TD4) Limited

The island of Corfu in Greece won the 2018 European Film Location Award, in recognition of the key role it played in the TV series The Durrells. © SID GENTLE FILMS (TD4) LIMITED. Photo: John Rogers

In efforts to make Greece an attractive film location, the National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME) is working towards establishing a National Film Offices Network, which will be composed of 13 film offices – one in each region of the country.

The first step was taken in 2017 with the announcement of the opening of a film office on the island of Crete. A second film office is expected to open soon in Central Macedonia, while the Region of Attica has also announced plans to join the network with a regional film office in Athens.

Eleni Dimopoulou, executive councilor for tourism, Region of Attica; EKOME President and CEO Panos Kouanis; Hellenic Film Commission Director Venia Vergou.

The film offices are aimed to operate as one-stop shops for foreign production crews seeking film locations in Greece. Their mission will be to facilitate foreign producers in their communication with state and local authorities for the issuing of filming permits and access licenses; provide information on locations, infrastructure and manpower; and help connect foreign with local filming crews.

Speaking to reporters during a press conference on Tuesday, EKOME President and CEO Panos Kouanis said that all 13 regions of the country have shown great interest in establishing film offices. Next on the agenda is to open a film office in Western Greece, while EKOME is planning to meet and discuss the issue with the regional authorities of the Peloponnese and Central Greece.

The National Film Offices Network is a 5-million-euro project funded by the 2018-2022 Public Investment Program. It is carried out by EKOME in collaboration with the Hellenic Film Commission and the country’s state and regional authorities.

Incentives for filming in Greece

A state-run organization, EKOME aims to support the production of foreign audiovisual works in Greece through the cash rebate system.

The cash rebate amounts to 35 percent of the eligible expenses incurred in Greece for all beneficiaries. It supports feature films, documentaries, TV drama series, animated films and digital games for which Greece has been chosen as a location in either principal photography and production development and/or post-production stage.

“This is a very effective incentive, as we currently have a total of 40 productions running, some of which were initiated in 2018 and continue through to 2019,” Panos Kouanis said during the press conference, adding that major US and Chinese producers have expressed their interest to film in Greece.

EKOME’s incentives also foresee tax exemptions of up to 30 percent of the total income of legal entities or individuals that invest in audiovisual productions in Greece.

About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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