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Malta’s cash rebates were first introduced in 2005 offering international producers rebates of up to 20% of costs for most local expenditures, as well as crew and equipment brought in from the EU.

The costs of creative staff (including actors, directors, producers and heads of department) were allowed a total of €200,000 to be eligible for the rebate.

This was increased to 40% in 2019.

In 2021, this €200,000 limit was raised to €12 million for certain costs. Meanwhile, the eligibility for below-the-line costs such as crew members was extended to include non-EU nationals.

The cash rebate is open to feature films, documentaries or TV productions that are spending a minimum of €100,000 in Malta and are “partially or wholly” carried out in Malta. These productions are eligible for a 30% rebate but may be awarded an additional 5% if Malta features as Malta or if local facilities are used in the production.

A further 5% - to reach the full 40% rebate – is awarded if the production is deemed to meet a “maximisation of local resources” clause.

Some small-budget productions considered “difficult” may receive even more, with the Film Commission offering up to 50% for productions in Maltese and those that are experimental or unlikely to achieve commercial success.


Bulgaria's cash rebate was introduced in 2021. Foreign productions can benefit from a 25% cash rebate on qualifying expenditures made in the country for the production of film, limited TV series, documentaries, and animation.

The cap of the rebate is 1 Million EUR per project. Applications are reviewed on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Eligible Projects:

  • Feature film over 70 minutes
  • Documentary film over 60 minutes or documentary series with each episode over 40 minutes
  • Animation film or animation series with a total length of 24 minutes
  • Film for television or OTT platforms over 70 minutes, or series with each episode over 40 minutes 


Fiction film financing in Europe: Production incentives are rising amid shrinking direct public funding and broadcaster investments

ow are film budgets and financing structures of European fiction films evolving over time?  

How did the key financing sources develop between 2016 and 2020?

The answers to these questions and more analytical insights are available in the latest Observatory report Fiction film financing in Europe: Overview and trends 2016-2020, which offers a first-time pan-European analysis of the year-by-year development of financing structures for the years 2016-2020.

Key findings include:

  • Close to two-thirds of European films released between 2016 and 2020 had a budget of less than EUR 3 million.
  • Median budgets of films produced in small markets increased noticeably over time, significantly reducing their gap with median budgets of films produced in medium markets.
  • Despite being the largest source of film financing for European fiction feature films, the share of direct public funding consistently decreased over the time period covered, accounting for 24.0% in 2020, compared to 29.4% in 2016.
  • In contrast, the share of production incentives increased significantly, from 9.6% of total financing in 2016 to 17.8% in 2020. This increase stemmed primarily from the growing role of production incentives in medium and large markets.
  • The growth in the importance of production incentives as a financing source of European films outweighed the decrease in the share of direct public funding. As a result, the financing share of total public support slightly increased from 39.0% in 2106 to 41.8% in 2020. Films with budgets over EUR 5 million (super-high-budget films) registered the highest increase in public support.
  • The importance of broadcaster investments as a financing source declined in large markets. The drop affected first and foremost films with budgets over EUR 3 million.
  • The importance of pre-sales and producer investments remained comparatively steady over time.

The sharp increase of production incentives offset the decrease of direct public funding, causing total public support to slightly increase between 2016 and 2020.

Download "Fiction film financing in Europe: Overview and trends 2016-2020" here:


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