Production Incentive

Incentive -

The Netherlands Film Production Incentive supports the (co)production of cinematic feature films, feature- length documentaries and feature-length animated films and high-end TV-drama, documentary and animation series, or single episodes. An application can be made for international (co)productions to obtain a cash rebate up to 35% for film productions and 30% for high-end TV-series on eligible production costs.

Status: Actueel

Who can apply?

An application can be filed by a production company based, for at least two years prior to the application, in the Netherlands or an EU-country or a state that is a party to the agreement in respect of the European Economic Area, or in Switzerland, and which is legally represented by a producer. The producer has, as majority producer, been responsible for the production of at least two film productions over the past seven years, which have been theatrically released in the Netherlands.

This also applies in the case of an application for a series or single episode, with the condition that the representing producer has produced two films as mentioned above, or two high-end TV-series that have been distributed by Dutch broadcasters or on VoD platforms publicly accessible in the Netherlands. 

Which projects qualify?

The scheme is open to applications for feature films and feature-length animated films with a minimum production budget of at least € 1 million (€ 600,000 is possible, subject to conditions) and to feature length documentaries with a production budget of at least € 250,000.

For high-end TV-series, the following minimum production budgets apply: drama series: € 12,000 per min., animated series: € 8,000 per min., documentary series: € 3,500 per min., drama for children: € 8,000 per min., single episodes: € 1 million.

Budget and contribution

The amount of the grant is determined by the production costs that are both eligible and demonstrably and directly spent on parties that are subject to Dutch taxation, multiplied by 30%. For international film (co)productions a cash rebate of 35% can be obtained if at least 75% of the digital production costs are spent on parties subject to Dutch taxation and 25% in the case of a feature-length documentary or feature- length animated film (10% is sufficient for a Dutch minority co-produced feature-length animated film). A 35% cash rebate can also be obtained if no other Dutch state aid is part of the financing of the film production.

The maximum award is € 1,5 million per application. The budget for films in 2017 is capped at € 19,25 million, of which at least 70% for international co-productions. The budget for TV-series is capped at € 10 million. 

When can you expect payments?  

30% advance payment of the contribution is possible after the signing of the production agreement. Further payment takes place after the completion of the project, within eight weeks after submitting required documents. 

When to apply

Application deadlines 2018: 

5 February, 11 April, 6 June, 3 September, 5 November for Film Productions. 
12 February, 23 May, 3 September, 5 November for high-end TV-series. 

Conditions

A distribution guarantee for theatrical release in the Netherlands, or in case of a minority co-production, a distribution guarantee for a non-theatrical release in the Netherlands, if a theatrical release in the country of origin is guaranteed. For high-end TV-series, a distribution guarantee by a Dutch broadcaster or VoD platform, publicly accessible in the Netherlands. 

At least 50% of the production budget should be in place upon application and only applications with a minimum of 75 out of 200 points based on the Points System are taken into consideration. 

More information about the conditions can be found below in the General Outline and in the Regulations for Netherlands Film Production Incentive Scheme.

General outline

FAQ

Can production shooting begin before financing is fully guaranteed?

You cannot start production until the financing, including the Production Incentive, is 100% guaranteed and set down in writing and the obligations referred to in the Fund’s decision are fulfilled.

For films for which, apart from the Incentive contribution, all the other financing has been unconditionally promised and set down in writing at the time of application, the shooting may only start, at your own expense and risk, if the Incentive’s financing share has also been guaranteed by a third party (not being the producer). If no Incentive contribution or a lower contribution ensues, this third party must plug the financing gap unconditionally.  

What costs come under digital production costs?

Digital production costs cover the costs of the digital workflow, such as animation work, visual effects and video and audio post-production of a film. All costs that qualify are flagged in the budget. The budget calculates the percentage itself, see also Article 2.23 of the Financial and Production Protocol.

Can the contribution or the maximum percentage still be revised upwards following grant award?

Once awarded, a grant can only be set lower and never higher. This is a given in the grant provision. It is therefore important for you as the applicant to make a carefully considered choice before applying and also to raise it at the preliminary interview. Since October 2017 a margin has been provided for unforeseen qualifying costs when granting the contribution. When determining the Incentive contribution this margin must be filled with concrete qualifying spending. Also since October 2017 qualifying production costs have been included in the calculation of the contribution from the time of submission of a complete application file.

Can the Incentive contribution granted be reduced on determination?

As with any determination, the contribution can be adjusted downwards on completion of the film and final settlement. The contribution may even be withdrawn if the conditions and obligations are no longer fulfilled. It is therefore important for the planned spending to be converted into concrete and demonstrably qualifying production costs at final settlement and for the number of points on which the decision is made to be maintained.

If the exceptions for film productions (not TV series) for which a higher rate of 35% applies are claimed and it turns out on determination that they can no longer be claimed, the percentage is adjusted downwards.

What have been the results of the Film Production Incentive?

From inception in June 2014 to December 2016 a total cash rebate of 41.6 million euros has been given to 181 film projects, 111 of them international (co-)productions (65 primary Dutch co-productions and 46 co-productions with a minority share of the financing from the Netherlands). This has led to around 199 million euros of spending for film productions in the Netherlands, which means that in the first two-and-a-half years of the scheme on average 4.8 euros have been spent in the Netherlands for every euro granted in Production Incentive. (In the above period the figures are offset by a sum of 5.4 million euros for 19 projects for which the decision was withdrawn, mainly in connection with the postponement of the time of production.)

In the first three application rounds of 2017 a total of 55 applications were granted with a total contribution of 12 million euros, generating a total of 53.2 million euros in spending for film productions in the Netherlands. There will be two further application rounds in 2017. A new Review covering the results for 2017 is published here

Can you also apply for part of a high-end TV series?

You can. You can submit an application for a single episode if the production costs are at least one million euros or for part of the high-end TV series if the minimum number of minutes is satisfied (on the basis of the scripts already finalised). 

What is the maximum amount per applicant for high-end TV series?

An applicant can apply for a maximum of 3 million euros in Incentive contribution per year for high-end TV series. (An applicant can also apply for 3 million euros for film productions per year.)

Do you offer assistance in finding a Dutch co-producer?

Please contact the Netherlands Film Commissioner Bas van der Ree here, or check: www.filmcommission.nl. The Film Commissioner can give you different suggestions to help your project.