TALLINN   C
Film Estonia

FAQ

Here you can find answers to most commonly asked questions, in case you can not find what you are looking for, feel free to contact us.

An applicant is a person whose principal area of activity is the production of audiovisual works and that is a company registered in Estonia; or a branch of a company of a Member State of the European Union or a state which is a contracting party to the EEA Agreement and that has been registered in the commercial register in Estonia; or an Estonian subsidiary or branch of a company registered outside a Member State of the European Union or a state which is a contracting party to the EEA Agreement and the parent company of which has operated in the sector of production of audiovisual works for at least two years before the date of submission of the application. A recipient of support is a foreign company whose principal area of activity is the production of audiovisual works.

The Film Estonia production incentive is open for:

  • feature film (the length of the film at least 60 minutes) with a budget of at least € 1 million;
  • documentary film (the length of the film at least 45 minutes) with a budget at least € 200 000;
  • animation film (the length of the film at least 3 minutes) with a budget of at least € 250 000;
  • animation series with overall budget of at least € 500 000;
  • high-quality television series with a budget of at least € 200 000 per single episode;
  • post-production of all the above-mentioned works.

There is no application deadlines, producers can apply at any time during the year. The term for the processing applications is up to 30 days.

However, an application for the support, incl. application for post-production service, shall be submitted before the beginning of the production period (preparation, shooting and post-production) specified in the application.

At the moment of applying for the support, the approved financing of the audiovisual work and the support being applied for under Film Estonia shall cover the overall production budget within at least 50%.

The level of support is determined by amount of the Estonian production costs that are both eligible and directly spent on parties that are subject to Estonian taxation, multiplied by 20%, 25% or 30%.

 

Minimum overall budget/support intensity of the eligible costs of the Estonian production stage:

Regardless of the support intensity proceeding from the eligible costs, the intensity of the support proceeding from the Estonian creative staff is:

1) 30% if the Estonian production stage team has hired at least 2 creative employees who are tax residents of Estonia;
2) 25% if the Estonian production stage team has hired at least 1 creative employee who is a tax resident of Estonia.

 

An Estonian creative worker is an Estonian resident including:

  • for a feature film or quality television series – a scriptwriter, director, cinematographer, artist, composer, editor, location sound engineer, costume designer, make-up artist, colourist, 2D animator, 3D animator, compositor, leading actor/actress and supporting actor/actress;
  • for an animated film or series, a screenwriter, director, main artist, character designer, cinematographer, composer, sound editor, editor, animatic artist, animator, background artist, compositor and colourist;
  • for a documentary film, a screenwriter, director, background researcher (other than the screenwriter or director), cinematographer, composer, editor, sound editor, location sound engineer, colourist, 2D animator, 3D animator and compositor;
  • for post-production, an editor, sound editor, colourist, 2D animator, 3D animator and compositor.

The share of the staff costs of Estonian employees/tax payers out of the eligible costs should be:

Type of film Eligible costs in Estonia (EUR) Minimum share of staff costs out of eligible costs
Feature film, documentary film, high-quality television series < 2,000,000 25%
Feature film, documentary film, high-quality television series ≥ 2,000,000 500 000 EUR
Animation film, animation series 40%

 

The costs of the following services provided by legal persons registered in Estonia shall be deemed eligible:

  • rent of shooting equipment;
  • building materials, scenery, props, construction, landscaping;
  • sewing, buying, renting of costumes;
  • make-up supplies;
  • rent of shooting locations, location costs, security services;
  • accommodation services;
  • catering; transport, heating, parking, couriers, travel costs, except international carriage of passengers the place of departure or destination of which is not in Estonia;
  • picture post-production costs;
  • sound post-production costs;
  • ordering and recording of musical compositions;
  • animation costs;
  • digital visual effects;
  • rent of office, communications and office costs, accounting;
  • insurance;
  • costs of legal services, except litigation;
  • overhead costs of the applicant and production fee (up to 15% of the Estonian production budget);
  • cost regarded as fringe benefits within the meaning of subsection 48 (4) of the Income Tax Act and taxes payable thereon that do not exceed the established limits.

Non-eligible costs are:

  • costs of acquiring real estate or fixed assets and costs of acquiring movables not directly associated with the use of the support;
  • cost of acquiring office equipment and furnishings;
  • value added tax, unless non-refundable under the Value Added Tax Act;
  • fines and pecuniary charges;
  • costs of judicial proceedings, including the procedural expenses of the opposing party and a third person;
  • expenses paid for in cash;
  • international passenger transport that neither starts nor ends in Estonia;
  • costs that the recipient of the support has been compensated for from other measures, state budget, or other public-sector or foreign-aid funds.

The report on costs is audited within 30 days of the submission by the applicant of the documents. The payment is made within 10 days of the date of approval of the report.

No.

No, the project does not have to have any storyline connected to Estonia.

Please find below our approximate rates and working hours. These may vary from company to company and prices below serve as a guideline for understanding the crew rates/hours level. The given price range is the daily rate and is indicative and can be negotiated case by case. All rates include all the taxes paid locally.

 

Production crew

Line producer: 250€ – 300€

Production manager: 200€ – 250€

PA: 150€ – 190€

Location manager: 210€ – 270€

Location assistant: 200€ – 220€

Unit assistant: 150€ – 180€

1AD: 250€ – 450€

2nd AD: 170€ – 200€

Driver: 125€ – 135€

 

Technical crew 

Gaffer: 250€-500€

Bestboy: 210-230€

Electrician: 195-215€

1st AC: 200€ – 250€

2nd AC: 200€ – 220€

DIT: 180€ – 230€

VTR: 160€ – 220€

Key Grip: 210€ – 250€

Dolly Grip: 180€ – 250€

Rigging Grip:  180€ – 215€

Sound recordist: 220€ – 300€

Boom Operator: 200€ – 230€

 

Art Department

Production Designer: 250€ – 500€

Art Director: 220€ – 270€

Props Master: 180€ – 250€

Assistants on set: 180€ – 200€

Builders: 180€ – 230€

Make-up: 200€ – 250€

Make-up assistant: 190€ – 220€

 

Production crew

(excl. Producer, Prod. Manager, 1st AD, DOP, Director) 12h incl. all meals / prep 8h

Art Department crew

Prep days – 8-10h excl. all meals

Shooting days – 10-12h excl. all meals excl, Head Creative / Production Designer

Technical crew

10-12h excl. all meals

Working hour counting stops when leaving the set or the rental for the technical crew. Overtime count continues only for drivers. Working hours between 22-06:00 are considered night working hours with a higher rate 1.5x of hourly rate. Every 6th day of working is also at a higher rate of 1.5x of daily rate.

We don’t have strict union rules in Estonia. Working hours are listed above.

The prices vary according to the region.

Some examples of the prices in Estonia’s capital Tallinn can be seen below.

  • Three course meal in a restaurant – 25-30 euros;
  • Lunch – 3 – 5 euros;
  • Public transport ticket for one trip (single ticket) – 1.50 (for 1h);
  • Public transport ticket for 5 days – 9 eur;
  • Taxi ride form the airport to the city centre – 5 – 8 euros depending on the company.
  • Taxi boarding price and fares range depending on the company.

Some examples: Boarding price for a cheap taxi is 1.99 whereas a more expensive one is 3.85€. A taxi fare (1 km) can range from 0.35 to 0.89 euros during daytime hours, again depending on the company.

  • Prices for fuel fluctuate, and also differ between petrol stations. The average price for one litre of 95 petrol was around EUR 1.60 in February 2021.

More info can be found here.

Estonia is a member of the European Union and Schengen agreement, meaning that EU common visa policy applies for the country.

Third-country nationals wishing to stay in the country up to three months within six months of entry may ask for evidence of the following:
– A valid travel document valid for at least three months after the end of the trip;

– A return ticket;

– A document certifying accommodation: hotel stays, hotel reservation; private sponsor for stays, free-form information the sponsor and the purpose of the trip (the sponsor’s name, address, telephone number, duration of travel, etc.);

– Sufficient means of subsistence for the planned duration of the stay and return to their countries of origin or transit to a third country;

– Travel insurance (valid for the entire Schengen area, the insurance liability for the minimum rate of EUR 30 000).

More info can be found here.

Required documents for Estonia Visa for Film Crew:

  • Invitation letter from the Estonian production company with details upon the nature of events or activities – purpose of visit , expense coverage
  • Names of the applicants (crew members)
  • Duration of stay
  • Travel itinerary

More info can be found here.

The partner Estonian production company chosen for the project will be happy to help with the visa applications as they are familiar with the system.

Digital Nomad visa

Estonia is one of the first countries to put in place a digital nomad visa. A digital nomad visa allows internationals who are engaged in jobs independent of location and time, mostly in the field of technology, finance or marketing, to work in Estonia.

More info can be found here.

 

Yes, all the different financing schemes (Film Estonia, regional funds, minority co-production support) are combinable.

An application for the support, incl. application for post-production service, shall be submitted before the beginning of the production period (preparation, shooting and post-production) specified in the application.

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Tallinn, EE
16°