Country Focus: Latvia
Riga Film Fund launched to attract foreign productions
by Liga Miezite Jensen
12/03/2010 - On March 5, the City Council of Riga, Latvia announced that the Riga Film Fund had been launched. The co-financing initiative is open to Latvian and foreign productions planning to shoot in Riga, and aims to encourage foreign investments in the capital, create new jobs, develop the Latvian film industry and promote Riga the world. Up to 15% of film-related expenditure in Riga can be recouped as a cash rebate once filming is completed.
The Fund enables Latvia to be competitive among the Baltic States and places it alongside several other European countries using foreign investments to contribute to their economic and creative industries by implementing favourable financing policies. The Fund was established by the National Film Centre of Latvia in cooperation with internationally experienced Latvian film producers.
The eligible costs of the programme must be related to Riga infrastructure, transport, locations and equipment rental, accommodation, public facilities, construction facilities and artistic and administrative work, thereby encouraging foreign film crews to live and work in Riga.
The Riga Film Fund will organize calls for tenders up to four times a year, and projects will be evaluated by a commission of five experts. The cash rebate of up to 15% will be allocated after the co-production project has been completed and the eligible expenditure has been evaluated and verified.
Applications for the first competition should be submitted by April 6.
“Establishing the Riga Film Fund is a strong stimulus for developing the Latvian film industry, and is especially important at a time when production [budgets] at local studios are decreasing due to cuts within the film industry,” says Ilze Gailite Holmberg, managing director of the National Film Centre of Latvia.