Visit Portugal and Pic Portugal, the brands responsible for the international promotion of Portugal as a filming location launched by the country’s national film agency ICA – Instituto do Cinema e Audiovisual (Film and Audiovisual Institute), has unveiled its cash rebate systems to attract global filmmakers and productions at FOCUS 2018, at the Business Design Centre, London between the 4th and 5th December.

Funded by the Portugal Tourism Board, the new filming incentive is in line with Portugal’s wider tourism strategy to drive investment and tourism towards the country.

Since introducing the cash rebate in September of this year, Portugal has already received applications from 20+ projects applying for the scheme from countries as diverse as USA, Brazil, France and India. Currently 15 of these productions have already been approved with the others currently under evaluation from the respective governing body, resulting in a €25M investment in Portugal.

The initiative has already seen several films shift production to the country, including Fatima (2015) by Italian director Marco Pontecorvo, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018) which was directed by US-born film director, Terry Gilliam and was the finale film at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. Next year will also see Frankie (formerly entitled A Family Vacation) which sees well established actors and producers film in the country in time for a 2019 release. Previous films shot in Portugal include Bollywood film “Jab Harry Met Sejal”, and the American historical drama starring Academy Award winner Christian Bale “The Promise”.

Ana Mendes Godinho, Secretary of State for Tourism for Portugal along with Antonio Padeira, Director of the Portuguese National Tourist Office and Maria Mineiro, Vice President of the Portuguese Film Institute, spoke at a special presentation introducing the #CantSkipFilmingInPortugal campaign and the competitive cash rebate incentive for filmmakers and productions.

The rebate applies to film, television and VOD productions with the minimum Qualified Portuguese Production Expenses (QPPE) of €500,000.00 (around £436,373.00) for fiction and animation and €250,000.00 (around $218,171.00) for documentaries and post-production. The rebate rate is also determined by a cultural test that focuses on the project’s characteristics. In addition, film productions will have no shortage of access to skilled multi-lingual professionals with experience from both film and television, studio facilities and equipment in Lisbon and Porto, courtesy location scouting and coproduction treaties with more than 50 countries including all Portuguese speaking countries.

Long hours of sunlight and 300 days of sunshine, a variety of locales ranging from the dramatic grandeur of the historic castles, cathedrals and churches to the shimmering glass of modern buildings, and the natural wonder of the country’s mountains, forests, lagoons are some of the reasons film productions come to Portugal. Speaking about Portugal’s appeal as a filming location, Maria Mineiro, ICA’s Vice-President said, “Filmmakers can enjoy sunnier days which give them more time to film, as well as a variety of wide, and diverse scenery to enjoy. We have affordable prices compared to Europe, and are a stable and safe country with English speaking staff.”

Antonio Padeira, Director of the Portuguese National Tourist Office drew attention to Portugal’s benefits beyond film, highlighting the country’s culture, history and diversity, saying “Portugal has 1000 years of history, with palaces, roman culture, exquisite buildings, the home of music in Porto, breath-taking landscapes, from valleys and lagoons to hills and the ocean.”

The PicPortugal cash rebate incentive system is on a first-come-first-serve basis, with eligibility determined by a cultural test. Visit the PicPortugal website for more information: https://picportugal.com/en/