Hollywood Movies

Ukraine offers Hollywood bosses tax breaks to film movies in country

May 15, 20243 Mins Read

Ukraine is offering Hollywood bosses tax breaks to shoot films in the war-torn nation.

A Ukrainian team is using the Cannes Film Festival to promote their country to the some of the most powerful executives in world cinema who have gathered on the Riviera.

The government is offering a 25 per cent tax rebate to production companies willing to film in the country, despite the ongoing war with Russia.

Cannes Film Festival is being used to advertise these financial incentives, and show off a range of possible filming locations such as Lviv and Kyiv, which still come under missile bombardment.

The cinematic elite in Cannes are being told that there are “many opportunities in Ukraine”, and US representatives in the south of France are helping to promote Ukraine as a viable place to shoot films.

US funding given through the Competitive Economy Program in Ukraine has also been used to support a website which contains information on key filing locations.

The programme is part of the United States Agency for International Development, which is funded by the US state to deliver foreign aid.

So far it has put $57.9 billion into its Ukraine programme to support the civilian population, seeking to develop a “strong, diverse, and open Ukrainian economy”.

Kateryna Tretiakova, working for the Ukrainian State Film Agency in Cannes, said that “we don’t want people to forget us”.

She added: “Of course we would like Hollywood to come. Our message is that Ukraine is open for filming, for co-productions, post-production. We have many skilled people working in the industry.”

Her colleague Kateryna Nahorna said: “We are open for business. Ukraine is a great place to make movies. We have amazing locations and we have the skills.”

The Ukraine team in Cannes works from a pavilion by the beach at the Palais Des Festival where stars including Eva Green, Meryl Streep, and Jane Fonda have flocked for the annual festival.

While new films air their premieres at the event, there is a vast market for buying and promoting films, and for pushing the industries of the many nations represented.

Ukraine is making clear that it will offer a 20 per cent rebate for companies choosing to film there, with an additional five per cent available if they make films relevant to Ukrainian culture.

A database of locations has been created with the help of USAID, setting out a range of castles, docks, cemeteries, beaches, factories and mountain retreats that could be used for filming.

Many of these locations are in or around Lviv in the west of the country, far from the front lines, but still at risk of missile fire from Russia.

Some locations are in the capital Kyiv, while others are found on the southern coast in the Odessa Oblast, which has also come under missile fire in recent weeks.

Russian has recently opened up a new front in the war which has raged since 2022, launching a major ground offensive Ukraine’s northern Kharkiv region.

A number of famous productions were shot in Ukraine, including the award-winning series Chernobyl and the Armando Iannucci satire The Death of Stalin. Producers of the 1970 military epic Waterloo also used Ukraine for the film’s lavish battle scenes.

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