Amendments to the Film Law approved

From 2013 film crews will pay a flat fee for any shooting location rent. The amendments to the Film Law were approved by the Hungarian parliament on December 3, 2012.

From January 1st, 2013 public places in Budapest and in cities of the country can be rented for shooting purposes in compliance with a unified process and at flat fees. By virtue of this Law budgeting of the costs of the shooting on location will be more predictable in the future.
The appendix of the Law stipulates maximum rental fees that may be charged by the municipalities depending on the types of locations. Both in the capital and in the cities the rent of locations that belong to world heritage, furthermore the rent of locations considered to be of high priority from tourism aspects will be the most expensive ones. In these cases the daily rental fee of the shooting location will be 2000 HUF (7 EUR) per square meter. The ground occupied and used by the crew and the background staff as unit base will always be cheaper than the surface where the actual shooting takes place. The lowest price of shooting locations - a daily 200 HUF per square meter - will be charged in regional central cities and in other cities for non-ornamental surfaces or locations that do not represent high priority from tourism aspects. In smaller municipalities the local authorities will fix the rental fee themselves for public places belonging to their property.

The administrative process of the shooting location rent will be standardized. The production companies may initiate the process in the government bureaux of Budapest and of the regional central cities depending on the location of the shooting. The contract for the location rent will be concluded with the production company by the bureau to which the application has been submitted. The administration process will take five days, nevertheless the period can be extended if necessity of coordination with the local municipality arises. After the law comes into force, the government will regulate the additional processes in an edict (nature protection, historic monument protection and other public proceeding issues). These processes can be administered concurrently with the location rent within the same proceeding.

A new element of the Law is that as soon as it comes into force - expected in mid-December - the Hungarian National Film Fund will be entitled to collect film production supports from companies which on the basis of their support will qualify for tax allowances. The new system may be attractive for the companies since - contrary to the prevailing regulation - they will not have to wait until the production process or part of the production process will have been completed, but by paying the amount of their support to the deposit account of the Film Fund, they will immediately become entitled to get their tax allowance. Due to this amendment the indirect support of the films shot in Hungary will become easier because from the payments collected on the deposit account of the Film Fund, the support can be paid according to the production schedule of the films. This year the maximum amount that can be collected on the account of the Film Fund is 3 billion HUF (over 10 million EUR), while the amount in 2013 may be 7 billion HUF (24,7 million EUR).

The amendment to the Law extends the definition of "the film originally shot in Hungarian language" to the productions where during the shooting the language used by the director and the crew is majority Hungarian. Contrary to the former system the directors who shot their films or the majority of the scenes in some foreign language because of several foreign actors acting in the film, will not find themselves in a disadvantageous position. Before the amendments of the Act these films - though they were qualified Hungarian films - were excluded from getting the maximum support and could be funded up to 50% of their production budget (for Hungarian films it was 80%).

The new provision of law regulates in detail the role of the Hungarian National Digital Archive and Film Institute (MaNDA). The films of the national film heritage as well as of other motion pictures (newsreels, educational films etc.) preserved by MaNDA, will be distributed on the local and international market by the Film Fund as per a distribution agreement concluded with MaNDA. 75% of the sales and distribution income will be due to the MaNDA.
MaNDA will keep on implementing the local non-commercial distribution of educational and cultural purposes.