International producers have already been scouting locations in Lithuania in anticipation of the government passing the amendment. Producer Rick McCallum, who was scouting in the city of Vilnius last week, said the area could attract international projects worth millions.
“When a similar law incentive took effect in Hungary, foreign films produced in the country increased sevenfold,” said Jūratė Pazikaitė, the director of Vilnius Film Office. “Latvia is the only country among our neighbours that has a similar tax exemption and with which we currently compete. It still has a competitive advantage because such an incentive is already in effect…. We are grateful to the Ministry of Finance for having the courage to take these vital measures necessary for our film industry.”
The Mayor of Vilnius, Artūras Zuokas, welcomed the decision and was looking forward to the return of A-list Hollywood talent such as Edward Zwick, whose film Defiance, starring Daniel Craig, was shot in the region.
The advantages of the exemptions also raised interest with Lithuanian film producers. “It is very important because this system will attract private Lithuanian investors to film production too. Such an amendment would help Lithuanian filmmakers find partners abroad to co-produce films”, said Kęstutis Drazdauskas, chairman of the Independent Producers Association of Lithuania.