24. June 2015

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The Czech Republic is experiencing a boom in film production this year, with international features and television series flocking to Prague to benefit from the country’s production rebate. Local industry insiders anticipate the trend to continue, as changes to the incentives program make it easier for studio films and other big-budget productions to access the cash rebate. The Czech Republic offers filmmakers who shoot there a 20% rebate on Czech production costs and 10% on above-the-line expenses. The Czech Cinematography Fund administers the scheme and has allocated approximately $50 million to 71 film and television projects that are shooting this year and next. “Many territories offer filmmakers incentives in the form of tax credits, but the Czech plan is different in that it actually gives producers cash grants once they finish their production,” said Ludmila Claussová, Czech Film Commissioner. The Czech film industry will open 2016 with an improved incentive scheme as the Czech government implements some important changes to the rebate. “The planned changes in the scheme will make the system even friendlier and more flexible for film productions. It will be a great opportunity to show that the Czech film industry is capable to meet any challenge to the benefit of all sides,” Claussová said. The rebate will no longer be subject to a yearly cap. Producers will be able to register at any time and immediately receive a registration certificate that guarantees payment of the rebate upon fulfillment of all conditions. Likewise rebates will be allocated throughout the year, and producers will be able to choose to receive their grants in two parts: once upon completion of filming in the Czech Republic and again after the completion of all Czech production. “The first half of 2015 has confirmed what last year already showed: The successful rebate scheme is drawing more and more foreign productions to the Czech Republic,” Claussová said “The next six months look even more promising, and we are thrilled to welcome several big-budget productions, including some from the U.S.” Lakeshore Entertainment is currently in pre-production in Prague on Underworld: Next Generation, the fifth film in the successful action-horror franchise. Kate Beckinsale will reprise her starring role in the film, with Roland Emmerich-collaborator Anna J. Foerster directing. Shooting starts in October. “We are really looking forward to bringing UW5 to Prague this fall,” said Richard Wright, Lakeshore Entertainment’s Executive Vice President and Head of Production/Producer on the film. “The Czech Republic has world-class locations, great production facilities and international-caliber crew, as well as a straight-forward, efficient production rebate. It’s a great place for us to be,” Wright said. Another upcoming production is Anthropoid, based on the true story of the assassination of a leading Nazi figure by Czech paratroopers. 50 Shades Of Grey actor Jamie Dornan stars alongside Cilian Murphy (Batman, Inception) and French actress Charlotte Le Bon (Yves Saint Laurent, The Hundred-Foot Journey). The film is produced by LD Entertainment (US) and 22h22 (FR) with Prague-based Lucky Man Films. Historical events are also the basis for The Zookeeper’s Wife, about a Polish couple who saved hundreds of people and zoo animals from the horrors of World War II. Two-time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, The Help) will star in the film, which is produced by Scion Films (UK) and Rowe/Miller Productions (US) along with Czech Anglo Production. Pre-production is underway, with filming scheduled to begin September 21. Fox 21 has begun filming the second season of Legends in Prague on June 9; the first season shot in California. The crime thriller stars Sean Bean (Game Of Thrones, Lord Of The Rings) as a deep-cover operative. Stillking Films is the Czech producer on the TV show.