In a significant move to bolster its presence on the global film production stage, Cyprus has extended its cash rebate programme titled ‘Olivewood’ for an additional three years and increased the cash rebate offered to production to 45%.
Previously, Cyprus, like Malta, offered a 40% cash rebate to filmmakers, an incentive that had already attracted numerous productions to its shores. Now, with the reimbursement level raised to 45%, Cyprus is poised to become an even more attractive destination for filmmakers seeking financial incentives for their projects.
The Olivewood programme was initially introduced by the National Investment Agency – Invest Cyprus in 2019 as a strategic initiative to draw foreign film investments to Cyprus while concurrently boosting domestic film production.
Cyprus Finance Minister Makis Keravnos emphasised the program’s continued importance, highlighting the substantial benefits it has brought to Cyprus. He noted that a comprehensive evaluation of the programme’s data revealed remarkable advantages, including a significant increase in the number of Cypriot professionals employed in the film and audiovisual sector. Keravnos also underscored the cost-effectiveness of the programme, highlighting that the government had invested €1 million in it, which has resulted in a remarkable return of €5.5 million. This return on investment not only showcases the economic viability of the programme but also demonstrates how it can stimulate job growth and contribute to the nation’s economy.
It’s worth noting that this significant expansion of Cyprus’ cash rebate programme comes at a time when many countries are actively competing to attract film productions.
The film industry is a valuable contributor to a nation’s economy, providing jobs and fostering tourism. Comparatively, Cyprus now offers a 45% cash rebate, surpassing the 40% cash rebate offered by Malta, that has also been successful in attracting film productions. Other countries in Europe that have similar or higher incentives than Malta are Italy, France, Greece, Belgium and Canary Islands – the latter two boasting a 42% tax shelter and a 50% cash rebate respectively.
This higher cash rebate further solidifies Cyprus’ status as a top contender in the international film production industry, making it a more appealing option for filmmakers and producers seeking financial incentives to bring their projects to life.