The National Centre of Audiovisual Media and Communication - EKOME S.A. is a legal entity governed by private law, under the supervision of the Ministry of Digital Policy Telecommunications and Media, with a view to enhance the audiovisual sector as a whole, through an all-encompassing perspective.
The actions of EKOME extend to the following three main pillars:
- Support of entrepreneurial actions and attract investment in the audiovisual sector, by making the most of the relevant investment incentives, tax relief or other incentives currently in force.
Preserve and promote the audiovisual heritage through research, study and digitisation of audiovisual archives
Promote audiovisual and digital literacy and familiarise all citizens with media and digital culture to make the most of the benefits of the digital age.
The investment incentive (cash rebate) is a state subsidy for the production of audiovisual works amounting to 35% of eligible expenses incurred in Greece for all beneficiaries. Producers will have access to state aid once they pass the cultural test and spend at least €100,000 in eligible expenses in Greece. The updated legislation provides a more flexible floor for TV series, starting at €30,000 per episode with a total of €100,000, and a new minimum for digital games (€60,000) while projects are financed without a cap.
Eligible to apply for cash rebate in Greece are:
i) undertakings which are established or have a branch in the Greek territory and operate in order to produce audiovisual works,
ii) foreign producers of audiovisual works who are contracted with an undertaking established or having a branch in Greek territory and operating for the purpose of producing audiovisual works or part of them (production service company, digital games development company) and
iii) undertakings for the production of audiovisual works in the context of cross-border production.
Applications should be submitted only by a Greek production or production service company. When there are more than one producers, established either in Greek or foreign territory, the presentation of a contract between collaborating parties and an authorisation document on behalf of the foreign partner are required.
Eligible expenses are the ones incurred in the Greek territory which shall not exceed 80% of the total budget of the audiovisual work.
The form of eligible expenses is defined explicitly in Annex 2 of the Joint Ministerial Decision 923/23-3-2018. Eligible expenses are only those directly connected with the audiovisual work and have the work’s title on the legal documents that are submitted.
Through our website interested parties may apply online to the Information System for State Aid on www.ependyseis.gr. After signing up on “Investment Incentive of Audiovisual Works” platform, the user may consult the manual for application submission (User manual).
For the application submission the users need to register to the platform.
You may apply to EKOME S.A. all year long. Applications for state aid for audiovisual work production should be submitted at least 60 days before the beginning of the works (principal photography or post production) in the Greek territory. The Greek undertaking company should submit a full finalised financing plan listing all funding sources accompanied by the relevant contracts.
The cash rebate will be available to producers no later than 6 months after the completion of the investment incentive plan, provided that all prerequisites of Law No.4487/2017 have been met. Within 30 days, EKOME S.A. pertinent Committee issues the conclusive report addressed to the Minister of Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media who ratifies the subsidy act and the sum is deposited to the beneficiary’s bank account no later than 60 days from the final decision.
When you apply for the cash rebate, make sure you accompany the application with the following documents:
- A declaration that you accept the terms of the procedure
- Documents pertaining to your company’s operation such as the company`s Charter, income tax return statement, a certificate of good standing etc.
- A production plan and detailed budget for the expenses that will be incurred in Greece
- A finalised financing plan listing all funding sources accompanied by the relevant contracts
- The cultural test, namely a point system-based assessment that decides upon the audiovisual work’s uniqueness in relation to the country
- The full script or synopsis of the audiovisual work
- In case of a co-production, a contract between the partners
A full list of the necessary documents you need to submit may be found in Annex 1 of the Joint Ministerial Decision 923/23-03-2018.
According to EU regulations, the sum of state aid for an audiovisual work in any EU member-state shall not exceed 50% of the budget. If, for example, a production has been subsidised by the Greek Film Centre and has also received state aid from another EU member state, with the total amount reaching 50%, this production is not eligible for applying to EKOME S.A. for cash rebate. However, if the state aid does not exceed 25%, interested parties may apply for the remaining amount (e.g. 25%) to EKOME. The maximum subsidy may reach 60% in the case of cross-border production and 70% in the case of a difficult audiovisual work. Any further funding from EU sources (MEDIA-EURIMAGES) is not included in the above maximum rules.
Audiovisual works that are either in principal photography or post-production phase are eligible for cash rebate.
For an audiovisual work to be eligible for cash rebate, eligible expenses incurred in the Greek territory during principal photography or post-production phase, should reach at least €100,000. The rebate amounts to 35% on the eligible expenses incurred in Greece for all beneficiaries.
The cash rebate for audiovisual works production supports feature films, documentaries, television series, animated films and digital games that choose Greece as the location in principal photography and production development and/or post-production stage. The rebate does not apply to music concerts, recorded performances, sports events and shows, reality shows, TV games, commercials, current affairs shows etc.
Applications may be submitted for international and domestic productions and/or co-productions to obtain a 35% cash rebate on the sum of eligible expenses incurred in Greek territory.
During the first period of Law No. 4487/2017 implementation, digital games production was not included in the investment incentive plan (cash rebate). In September 2018 the Law was amended and the updated legislation provides a more flexible floor for TV series starting at €30,000 per episode, with a total of €100,000, and a new minimum for digital games (€60,000).
A “difficult” audiovisual work is a single audiovisual work (one episode or parts of one episode of a TV series or mini TV series, a film made for the cinema or for television, or parts of them, irrespective of their duration) whose sole prototype is in Greek language, the first and/or the second work of a director, works having a budget of up to € 500,000, and works that have limited potential for commercial exploitation in international markets.
For this reason, in the tables included in the Joint Ministerial Decision on the investment incentive, there is a specific category of cultural criteria (Table E) that specifies when an audiovisual work may be termed as "difficult", with specific categories on which the project is rated (with a minimum score 10 out of 20 to qualify for the investment incentive), in addition to other tables.
For application submission a fee is required amounting to 0.0005 of the sum of the estimated eligible costs. This amount may be no less than five hundred euros (€ 500) and no more than one thousand euros (€ 2,500).
Note that for the submission of a request for a modification of the qualification decision, the payment of a fee is also required, the amount of which is set at 0,0002 of the eligible costs of the investment plan as defined in the qualification decision. This amount may be no less than two hundred euros (€ 200) and no more than one thousand euros (€ 1,000).
Aid intensity is measured as the amount of state aid in relation to the costs of production or the costs of investment of the company or project that receives the aid. State aid is irrespective of whether it comes from a different system of subsidies or from a different EU member-state.
All pre-production costs that may be considered as eligible expenses are explicitly specified in Article 2 of the Joint Ministerial Decision (JMD 128/11-12-2018). They should be incurred close to the start of the production phase and have the work’s title on the legal documents that are submitted to EKOME S.A.
A single audiovisual work is one episode of a television series, a film for cinema or television or any segment of them, belonging to the genres of fiction, documentary, animation, cultural and educational video gaming and produced on Greek territory in the phases of principal photography or/and post-production.
According to EU regulations, audiovisual works produced in EU member states, should match specific cultural and production criteria to be eligible for the investment incentive plan (cash rebate).
Cultural criteria are determined according to Law No. 4487/2017 of the Greek state while taking into consideration the EU practices leading to a point system-based assessment that decides upon the audiovisual work’s uniqueness in relation to the country where it is being produced (domestic concept).
The Greek list of culture criteria was set in the same vein. Based on the available knowledge and experience of the EU countries that have already adopted the point system, the Greek point system was adapted to the particular features of the country. It focuses mostly on the content with the aim to promote the cultural, historical, geographical and touristic uniqueness of Greece, as a location for international productions, supporting at the same time the domestic audiovisual industry (artists, crews, studios, film labs etc.)