– The measure, announced last week by the finance ministry, will require an initial budget of 45 million shekels (around 12 million euros)
Israeli Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (© US Air Force Staff Sgt. Jette Carr)
Last week, the Israeli government approved a 25% discount for international television and film productions, with an initial budget of NIS 45 million (in total, about $ 12 million, NIS 24 million in 2022, 21 million in 2023) for two years. The plan was announced by the country’s finance minister, Avigdor liberman.
The initiative was defined as the result of a joint effort of the sectors of culture, abroad, economy, tourism and finance and has been the subject of discussions for a very long time.
According to The time of Israel, one of the media reporting the news, similar plans have been announced “with great fanfare every few years since the passing of a 2008 law providing tax breaks and other incentives to encourage filming in Israel.” . However, the main obstacle imposed by the said law was the obligation for foreign producers to receive their income through a local film production company, a process deemed unnecessarily bureaucratic and inconvenient.
“This milestone brings an important message that emphasizes Israel’s positive brand image to the world as a center for filming international films and series, using Israel’s natural resources and unique locations. and historical ones that exist in Israel, ”commented Liberman.
The announcement was welcomed by the local industry. Talk to Variety, Adar shafran, president of the Association of Israeli Film and Television Producers, described the implementation of the rebate program as “a very big problem for Israel and the local television and film industry” and said that it would “provide thousands of jobs for the Israelis and tens of millions of shekels which will be invested in the Israeli economy through the use of services such as flights, hotels, catering, transportation, etc.”
Despite the efforts of some municipalities to create dedicated film funds to attract international productions, Israel has struggled to attract new shoots and has faced competition from other countries, including Jordan, Cyprus, Malta and Tunisia, which offered more favorable shooting conditions. The government and the local film industry are hopeful the move will turn the tide.