Mirage Film Studio was founded in 2010 by producers ANDREA TASCHLER, NÁNDOR LOVAS, line producer PÉTER RÉTI, and director SZABOLCS HAJDU. Our team has a long-term production history, as we all worked together on Hajdu’s WHITE PALMS and BIBLIOTHEQUE PASCAL and several other remarkable Hungarian films of the past decade, before we formalised our creative collaboration and established the company.
Our aim is to produce feature, short and documentary projects to the highest possible standard, whilst creating a supportive and inspiring environment for filmmakers. By selecting projects with extreme care and working in close co-operation with directors and the scriptwriters, we intend to operate more as a creative workshop than a run-of-the-mill production company. As well as a strong focus on Hungarian filmmakers, were are also keen to work with emerging talents beyond our borders, and find suitable projects for both domestic and international audiences.
What are we looking for?
We want to work with filmmakers who possess original and distinctive, or even a radical, cinematic vision. We want to produce cutting edge, courageous, and innovative projects, which have the power to strengthen the diversity of European cinema.
All the members of our extensive team have experience with international projects, so we are open to manage foreign films that choose to come to Hungary and benefit from our generous tax incentive system as well as the excellent production facilities that Hungary has to offer.
A brief introduction of the Hungarian tax incentive
Films (for cinema and television) produced in Hungary are eligible for a 25% rebate based on their expenditure generated in the country. The scheme is part of the film support program approved by the European Commission in July 2008, and has been extended in 2013 till December 31st 2019 with an annual budget of 18.5 billion HUF (approx. 63 million EUR). The incentive is available through corporate tax-paying companies who receive significant tax cuts after their support for films. The actual amount is available through a deposit account operated by the Hungarian Film Fund.
Which productions can benefit?
Films of all genres made for cinema release – feature films, series, documentaries and animations made for televisions or other distribution platforms. Adult content and extremely violent films, commercials, reality shows and soap operas are excluded.
Films applying for the incentive have to be submitted to a cultural test. Films must contain European content or cultural values. Additional points are granted if EU nationals are either making or financing the movie (point system). Each production has to earn at least 16 points to qualify for the incentive.
Registration of company and production
Hungarian companies, registered with the National Film Office (NFO) are eligible to apply. Foreign companies should make coproduction or service agreements wit a company registered in Hungary. Production has to be registered at NFO.
Who provides the financial support?
Corporate-tax-paying domestic companies that may reduce their tax payable and tax base by the financial support they provide (double write-off) – 16% profit realized. The financial support is provided in the form of cash refund (post-financing).
All direct film production costs are eligible except those excluded by the film law; other costs are limited by the law. The producer is free to spend 25% of the local budget outside Hungary without suffering a reduction in the amount of the incentive. This means that not only the spend made to Hungarian taxpayers will qualify, but also some of the services provided by foreign taxpayers – up to 25% of the total local production budget.
Excluded or limited costs
– Part of copyright costs over 4% of the budget
– Producersʼ fee maximum up to 4%
– Travel costs are limited to trips from and to Hungary, stopover possible
– Partly catering expenses and per diem
– P&A is limited to up to 2% of the budget (but max. 5million HUF)
– Cost of services delivered by non-Hungarian sub-contractors limited to up to 25% of eligible Hungarian spend
How much is the incentive?
There is no maximum or minimum amount for the local spend eligible for rebate. All expenses up to 25% of the eligible production expense (Hungarian or not-Hungarian) qualify. The non-Hungarian eligible spend is capped at 25% of the Hungarian eligible spend. Consequently, approx. 31% of the Hungarian spend will be refunded minus 2.5% administration cost.
A calculation example:
Eligible local (Hungarian) spend: 1.000.000 EUR
Eligible foreign (non-Hungarian) spend max: 250.000 EUR
Total spend as base of tax rebate: 1.250.000 EUR
Amount of rebate: 312.500 EUR
Aid intensity provisions to take into account
Total state subsidies shall not exceed 50% of the production budget, or
– in case of co-productions 50% of the Hungarian contribution,
– in case of low-budget films and films produced in Hungarian language the extent of subsidies is 100%,
– in case of documentaries, animation, shorts, experimental films etc. the extent of subsidies is 100%
– Experienced crews
– Languages spoken
– Well-equipped, new studios
– Sound stages
– Variety of filming locations
– Post-production facilities and expertise
Is pre-financing possible?
Certain banks are willing to pre-finance state subsidies and VAT. Depending on the bank and the individual contract they keep a percentage from the 20% (meaning the actual rebate will be about 16%). Deal with NFO for monthly or quarterly accounting.