Greece draws growing numbers of international filmmakers
Greece is drawing growing numbers of foreign film makers, thanks to the country’s attractive locations, successful handling of the coronavirus crisis, and an increasingly popular incentive scheme.
Between 15 and 18 international productions – as well as dozens of Greek productions – are expected to shoot in Greece in 2021, generating revenues of up €90 million this year. Recently representatives of major U.S. entertainment studios, including Netflix, Amazon, Disney and Universal, visited Greece to explore filming opportunities.
Since 2017, when Greece first introduced its incentive scheme for audio-visual productions, the country has seen a small but steady increase in foreign projects. Last summer, the program was strengthened by raising the cash rebate on productions to 40% from 35% – making it one of the most competitive film incentive schemes in the world – and by streamlining procedures.
The Greek government’s careful management of the pandemic has also helped, with at least one major American production − Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter − relocating to the Greek island of Spetses last year after COVID concerns made filming in the U.S. impossible.
To date, Greece’s National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication (EKOME) has approved 125 projects under the cash rebate program, bringing in €127 million and helping to support more than 30,000 workers. The number of Greek productions has also increased with 15 feature films, 26 television series, 17 documentaries, 2 video games and 2 short films expected to receive support this year.