Economics minister promises to keep support system for foreign film production unchanged

  • 2024-04-16
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The film industry can be sure that Latvia's support system for the production of foreign films will remain in place unchanged, Economics Minister Viktors Valainis (Greens/Farmers) said Monday following the weekly coalition meeting.

The economics minister oversees the Latvian Investment and Development Agency, which is in charge of the special support program for foreign film producers. 

Nothing Personal, an analytical news program of TV3 channel reported that the shooting of foreign films in Latvia might be at risk as the Foreign Ministry wants to change conditions for the support system.

Valainis said that all disagreements with the Finance Ministry have been sorted out and that the support system for foreign filmmakers will not change. 

"We will remain the most attractive destination for the film industry in the region, something we have fought for for many years and will continue to do so," the minister said. 

Prime Minister Evika Silina (New Unity) added that the government this week will consider solutions to make sure the work on film productions can continue. 

Last December, the Latvian Investment and Development Agency reviewed and approved seven new foreign film projects to be shot in Latvia. They are submitted by local film producers who have found and convinced foreign colleagues to come to shoot their films in Latvia.

The forecast for this year was that Latvia will pay around EUR 3 million in tax refunds to the foreign film projects, while filmmakers will pay over EUR 4 million in the state budget. The total amount foreign filmmakers are expected to bring and spend in Latvia might be an estimated EUR 16 million, Nothing Personal said.

However, the Finance Ministry reportedly wanted to change the tax refund system for the foreign film projects. Under the current regulation, the Latvian state reimbursed value added tax (VAT), personal income tax and social security contributions, but under the new rules proposed by the Finance Ministry, only the VAT refund would remain.