Riga Film Fund
Riga Film Fund is a municipal fund of the Riga City Council for co-financing film projects shot in Riga. The co-financing programme of Riga Film Fund is open to Latvian and foreign productions planning to shoot in Riga, and its objective is to encourage foreign investments in Riga, create new jobs, develop the Latvian film industry and promote Riga internationally. Riga Film Fund was established in 2010.
Up to 15% of film related expenditure in Riga can be obtained as cash rebate when filming is completed. The eligible costs of the programme include transport, rental of premises and technical equipment, accommodation, public facilities, construction facilities, artistic and administrative work, thereby encouraging foreign film crews to live and work in Riga. Riga Film Fund organizes calls up to four times a year. Projects that want to be supported must fit the following criteria: full length fiction, TV films and documentary films with the minimum budget of 500 000 Lats (approx. 700 000 EUR) that have confirmed financing of at least 50% of the total budget.
Challenges identified in the implementation of this measure:
Riga Film Fund has fuelled a boom in foreign productions in Latvia since its establishment in 2010 with nine foreign productions shooting in 2011. Before the establishment of Riga Film Fund, Latvia had one or two productions a year. Riga Film Fund supported 12 foreign projects in 2010 and 2011. The total was about 2.4m EUR in support as a tax rebate. On average the productions got 10 - 13 % of their budget from the tax rebate. There is no set budget for Riga Film Fund; the funding is approved after the results of the tender when the required amount of the funding is determined by evaluating the applications of the tender winners.
The establishement of Riga Film Fund has a very good impact on the Latvian economy because the foreign film shootings in Latvia have increased spill-over effects on other sectors.