Croatia has been growing in popularity as a filming location over the last few years. Great locations, hard-working crews and lower production costs are all reinforced by a government-backed incentive programme that came into effect in 2012.
The process of shooting in Croatia is made easier by the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC), which was set up in 2008 to “stimulate a successful, vibrant audiovisual industry.”
HAVC recommends teaming up with a local production company “as local know-how of policies and procedures will greatly reduce the time spent on preparing and executing your project”. A Croatian partner, like FILMCroatia.com, can also help with obtaining funding, sourcing production services and providing local knowledge/contacts.
No official permission is required for any type of production other than Working Permits for non-EU crew and Location Release from the owner or the authority responsible for the chosen filming location.
Despite the largely straightforward process for permitting in Croatia, all productions filming in Croatia are obliged to register with HAVC (Croatian Audiovisual Center). Upon the receipt of the Filming Registration form, HAVC issues a Filming Registration Certificate. This document is intended solely for the local administrative needs and does not represent a shooting permit.
Working Permits are issued for foreign crew that are residents of countries that are not a part of European Union. Working Permits are usually applied for by a local production company and processed by The Ministry of Imigration and the process usually takes up to 2 weeks.
CROATIAN FILM INCENTIVE
In 2012 Croatia’s Parliament approved a 20% cash rebate aimed at film and television productions made in the country. TV genres covered by the incentive include documentaries, feature films, short films, animation and TV drama. At present, the incentive does not apply to foreign commercials, reality TV, game shows and soaps shooting in Croatia.
The minimum local spend per project is €40,000 (for documentaries) and the maximum qualifying spend per project is €3m. The HAVC adds the following detail: “The benefit is based on the cost of Croatian cast and crew working in Croatia, as well as goods and services purchased in Croatia up to a maximum value of 80% of the overall budget spent in Croatia.”
The applicant must be a Croatian producer, co-producer or production service provider that has produced or provided production services for at least one publicly shown audiovisual work within the last three years. FILMCroatia.com qualifies to be an applicant as a Croatian producer.
The complete application must be submitted to the Centre at least 30 days prior to the start of principal photography. Detailed info regarding the Film Incentive application criteria here.