[AT] Film aid: new incentive scheme for Austrian film producers

IRIS 2022-8:1/26

Harald Karl

PEPELNIK & KARL Attorneys at law

The Austrian federal government has announced that a new incentive scheme for film producers will be introduced on 1 January 2023, with the aim of strengthening Austria’s position as a film location. As a result, the existing film funding model will be restructured and streaming productions will be included for the first time. The proposed model offers automatic, non-repayable subsidies worth up to 35% of film production expenditure in Austria, granted in accordance with a list of criteria and of which 5% is subject to environmental criteria. A maximum of EUR 5 million will be payable for a film and EUR 7.5 million for a TV series. Support will also be available for streaming productions for the first time. Another major change is that the subsidies will no longer be capped (unlike current so-called FISA funding, which often runs out by the spring). The subsidies will be available under three headings. Firstly, international service productions (FISA+): funding for international, non-Austrian productions (streaming, cinema and TV) and production elements (e.g. post-production, music recordings, VFX), will be distributed by the AWS (Austrian federal bank). Applications may be submitted by independent production companies based in Austria that are commissioned to produce or participate in the production of a film (service processing). Secondly, Austrian television and streaming productions (FISA+, TV productions in coordination with RTR): subsidies for Austrian productions not commissioned by broadcasters or video-on-demand services in the fields of television, streaming and virtual reality with a total budget greater than EUR 1.8 million, will also be available through the AWS. Independent production companies based in Austria will be eligible to apply. Productions below the budget threshold will still be able to apply for funding from the RTR Austrian Television Fund. Thirdly, Austrian cinema films (ÖFI+): subsidies for Austrian, independently produced films for initial release in cinemas, as well as equivalent international co-productions, will be processed by the Österreichische Filminstitut (Austrian Film Institute). They will be available to independent production companies based in Austria. The subsidies will replace the cinema film funding currently distributed by FISA (Film Industry Support Austria). The Austrian cinema film industry will therefore have a one-stop shop for funding instead of having to rely on multiple federal funding bodies (ÖFI, FISA). Industry representatives have broadly welcomed the proposals and the legislation required to introduce the new funding structure is currently being drafted.


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.