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29 April 2024

The revamped cash rebate system: a new promise for the Romanian film industry

"After all… tomorrow is another day." Scarlett O'Hara

The future of film productions appears brighter these days, as Romanian authorities have recently reaffirmed their commitment to boost the local film industry by revamping the cash rebate system available to it. As many of our readers may know, famous films such as Amen, Cold Mountain, Modigliani, Transporter 3, Le Concert and, more recently, Wednesday or Voyagers, were shot in Romania.


The local cash rebate is a state aid scheme granted for the production of short, medium and long feature films, miniseries or television series, films intended for direct-to-video distribution or the internet, or any other type of support, artistic documentaries or animation films. Service productions, co-productions and purely local films are generally covered.

Despite being around since 2018, the cash rebate has faced trouble recently due to significant administrative hurdles and back-and-forth's between several competent authorities. These in turn have led to multiple litigations currently pending before the courts of competent jurisdiction. But there is hope, as the cash rebate has been given a facelift, including new management, and there are governmental commitments to resolve past claims.

The revamped cash rebate: what's new?

The cash rebate has new management, having been formally transferred to the Ministry of Culture. A dedicated Film Office has been put in place to oversee decisions about the backlog of projects and to handle new applications. While still understaffed, the Film Office has started work on assessing projects submitted between 2018 and 2020. There are currently 52 past projects under assessment at various stages.

The Film Office has also developed procedural rules that would allow calls for new projects to be initiated in the years to come. The call for 2024 projects will most likely kick off in May, although the Film Office will soon announce a firm date.

Call for new projects

Under the new legislation, applicants will be able to benefit from a 30 % cash rebate, with a project cap of EUR 10m and a minimum local expenditure of EUR 100,000.

There are strict procedural deadlines for registration and follow-up actions that applicants should be mindful of. If any of these deadlines is not met, the project will be deregistered and will fail to qualify for the cash rebate. It may, however, be resubmitted, subject to compliance with all required terms and conditions.

Financing will be received upon the completion of filming in Romania. Applicants are required to submit the payment request, along with the audit report and all supporting documentation for eligible expenses, within six months of the execution of the financing agreement. Payments should then be processed by the authorities within 120 days of approval.

Coming up next…

The budget allocated to 2024 projects amounts to EUR 37m, while the maximum expected budget for the following two years is EUR 55m.

Attention now shifts to implementation and to how the revamped cash rebate system will further boost filmmaking in Romania, a country already renowned as an enticing film destination.


Authors: Georgiana Bădescu, Rebeca Dan