How to Successfully Apply for the new Incentive Granted by the Romanian Film Center

1.  Check if you have a company that is a film producer or film service company and if you have listed in your CV at least one production. If you have relevant experience and achievements in the field but you wish to set up a film production company or film service company dedicated to a specific project, it is ok. You should submit your personal CV together with that of the newly set up company and your experience will also be taken into consideration. If neither you nor your company have at least one project completed in your background, then you should not submit your application. The verification is not only intended to establish that you have a producer NACE code and you are registered in the Film Registry! We also check if you actually make films.

2. You should not wait for projects from abroad; you may apply with a project that is 100% Romanian. This incentive is not intended only for foreign financing projects; this is also granted for projects carried out by Romanian producers and financed exclusively with Romanian money.

3. Make sure your project is a « cultural product » in the sense of the legal provisions applicable to the rebate. The money you will receive is public money and the freedom of artistic expression is not similar with the one you can benefit from in cases where financing is ensured from private sources. For example, if the script contains bad language concerning the government (irrespective of the type of government), you will not get the rebate approved.

4. Do not compare this incentive to other incentives /rebates provided in other European countries. This will not be of any help; each country has its own granting mechanism. A comparison with the credits / aids / incentives granted by the Romanian Film Center will not help either. In this case, the mechanism is again completely different.

5. If you need assistance to understand some of the legislative provisions, find a good lawyer who is specialized both in entertainment issues and in financial state aid/ rebates. The field of rebates is quite complicated and not everybody has a good understanding of it. For example, the cumulating of (national and/or international) rebates. How do you know you found the lawyer you were looking for? Well, ask him/her questions and if/she is capable of answering your question on the spot, then, hire them. The National Strategy and Prognosis Commission is not allowed to provide legal assistance. Therefore, writing e-mails to them where you ask for their advice will not help much. It also does not help much to ask other producers about the steps they have taken; they most probably benefited from expert assistance when they were in this situation.

6. Make sure the documents presented to the Commission are reliable, may be deemed as solid evidence and are not especially “manufactured” to obtain the Applicant Certificate, especially if they are inappropriately drafted. This may easily draw their attention and entail the rejection of your application.

7. Make sure the project production plan you present to the Commission does not include a commencement date that is prior to the date on which you filed the rebate application with the Commission. The rebate is an incentive element and this is the reason why projects in which the financing application was filed before starting work have higher chances of success.

8. If you want to obtain the maximum 45% intensity, please read carefully the promotion related requirements set forth in the legislation. The mere appearance of a historical building located in Bucharest or of a plate with the name of a Romanian locality does not constitute a promotion element, as such is set forth by the law. The same applies if the main character is called Maria and she says, in one of her lines, that she was born in Bucharest. If you simply want to try it and check if you can obtain the 45% intensity, then fine, you can submit an application anyway. Your application will not be rejected but the Commission will atomically adjust the intensity at 35%.

9. Before you obtain the rebate, you first have to spend your own money (namely, the money obtained from the financing sources). Make sure that the budget you indicate is realistic. If you indicate a budget that significantly exceeds the amount you anticipate you will spend, this will bring you no benefits. You will still be granted 35% (maximum 45%) of what you actually spend and what you actually prove to have spent. Please bear in mind that you must include evidence confirming that you actually paid, not only that you are in possession of an invoice. If you indicate a smaller or significantly smaller budget, which during the actual production will increase, you will not be granted a rebate calculated for the increased budget. The middle ground is, once again, the best solution.

10. From the projects that meet the eligibility requirements, the selection will be made based on the principle „first come, first served”. „First come” means the applicant who submitted a reimbursement request containing all necessary documents in an adequate form. If clarifications are needed with respect to your documentation, the position initially occupied by you will be taken by the next application, and you will be “demoted” to the end of the waiting line. Make sure the documents you submit are clearly drafted, comply with all the requirements and prove the statements included in your application.

11. If your application was rejected, do not give up; submit a new application immediately, with the same project, but after remedying all the flaws present in your initial application that determined the rejection of the Commission. Ask for help from an expert, it will be much easier!