The refunding of part of a film’s production costs is bringing cash into the country. In 2019 the country saw almost nine billion crowns spent due to several production houses, including Netflix and Amazon, choosing to film in the Czech Republic. There were over 80 films and television series filmed in the country in 2019 and the investment was the highest since 2010. The information was released by the spokesperson for the State Cinematography Fund Jiri Vanek. The Director of the State Cinematography Fund Helena Bezdek Frankova said that “for foreign films it was twice as much as in 2018, and the most since records have been kept.”
The government started the system in 2010 and it includes a 20% refund of expenses linked to film production in the country. Some countries in Europe return 25% to 30% of expenses and over the past few years there have been concerns that many American production houses have been moving from the Czech Republic to more advantageous filming grounds. The government has been discussing increasing the refund rate, to be more competitive, for years. The big gain in 2019 is credited largely to a massive increase in spend by various television series and production houses for on-demand and streaming service content.
The Czech Republic has not yet reached its full capacity. The fund which administers the program ran out of funds, and stopped taking new applications already in July. It stayed frozen until the government released more funds in November. This shows the enormous interest in filming in the country and the possibility for the government to support the program with additional funds and rebates which would bring even more business to the countries movie industry, as well as all the service businesses for the crew and people involved.