Ukraine offers ideal movie settings, especially in historical cities like Odessa, Lviv and Kyiv, and affordable production costs. Big Western companies like Apple, Google, Diesel, Mazda, BMW and Lacoste already shot their ads in the Ukrainian cities. The successful HBO Chernobyl mini-series was shot in Ukraine.
State support for foreign filmmakers in Ukraine
Ukrainian Government offers an interesting programme of subsidies for foreign filmmakers to increase the attractiveness of the Country. In October 2019, the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed Law to support foreign filmmakers. The document, in particular, provides:
- a State subsidy to reimburse 25% of the cost to foreign filmmakers to shoot films in Ukraine
- an additional refund of 5% of the costs if foreign filmmakers use the works of Ukrainian authors or a story about Ukraine to make films
- separately, the foreign film production entity may claim for reimbursement of 10% (if personal income tax was paid in the city of Kyiv) or 4.5% (in case if personal income tax was paid in the territory of Ukraine other than city of Kyiv) of the remuneration of actors and film crew, who are non-residents of Ukraine, carry on their business and/or reside outside Ukraine (if such payments are taxable in Ukraine).
A filmmaker can receive a rebate of 25% of eligible expenses if all the following criteria are met:
- Expenses are fully or partially incurred in favour of a company registered in Ukraine.
- The foreign producer has entered into a production agreement for all or part of the film with a Ukrainian company that operates in the cinematographic industry and is a registered VAT payer.
- The film meets a cultural test qualification.
- The film complies with all requirements of duration and total amount of incurred eligible expenses. Eligibility depends on the type of film:
- a motion picture or animation intended for cinema viewing – minimum production costs spent in Ukraine is approx. USD 347,400 and minimum duration 74 minutes;
- a motion television film or animation film consisting of one or more series – minimum production costs approx. USD 97,000 and minimum duration 74 minutes;
- a documentary intended for viewing in cinemas and/or to be shown on television – minimum production costs approx. USD 61,000 and minimum duration 52 minutes;
- a television series or animated television series, or a separate part (series) – minimum production costs approx. USD 292,000 and minimum duration 40 minutes;
- a commercial or music video for television, viewing in cinemas and/or for broadcasting on the Internet – minimum production costs approx. USD 154,000 and minimum duration 20 seconds. At that, 10% of received cash rebate for such video must be reinvested in production of debut films by Ukrainian directors.
Direct expenses in Ukraine shall be qualified for cash rebate, as follows:
- Salaries of actors and film crew (wages or any other types of remuneration paid to individuals non-residents of Ukraine are excluded, except for the expenses which are taxable in Ukraine).
- Purchase of goods, services.
- Rental of property;
- Other costs directly related to the production of a film produced in Ukraine.
Source: Ukraine Invest