Portugal has long been a popular filming destination thanks to its long hours of sunshine and clear skies and within easy reach of European hubs.
Filming in Portugal
With a warm and sunny Mediterranean climate and within easy reach of European hubs, Portugal has long been a popular filming destination thanks to its long hours of sunshine and clear skies.
In recent years Portugal’s competitive 25-30% incentive for physical and post-production has found appeal with a number of larger scale international productions.
Fatima, a historical drama, was one of the first recipients of the cash rebate. The studio-sized feature was filmed in various locations throughout Portugal including Coimbra, a medieval town. Portugal’s landscape variety is enormous and includes mountain scenery, forests, gardens, plains, rocky slopes, valleys, caves, rivers, lakes, lagoons, jungles and more. The majority of the cast and crew were sourced from Portugal which maximised the cash rebate but also served to help the incoming production navigate working in regional settings.
Ira Sach’s Frankie was also filmed in Portugal in Sintra, a UNESCO World Heritage town. Hellboy, Rambo V and Angel has Fallen are amongst the VFX heavy features that have taken advantage of the post production incentive. Portugal has co-production agreements with more than 60 countries around the world, including all countries with Portuguese as the official language, which represent +250 million Portuguese speakers (such as Brazil, Mozambique and Angola). Portugal also has agreements with countries in Latin America.
Good local crew pools and strong production support can be found throughout the country while capital city Lisbon remains a film-friendly destination with the most studio space. Portuguese teams are used to working in international productions and have extensive experience in film, TV and commercial production.
Portugal has an annual average temperature of 16ºC/61°F and almost 300 days of sunshine a year and low levels of precipitation.
The south of Portugal has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. The hottest month is August with an average high of 28ºC. The coldest is January with an 8ºC average.
Summer temperatures are high but are eased by cooling sea breezes. The north is much wetter and cooler as it has a stronger Atlantic influence.
Our Portugal production services Partner was founded in 2000. Initially focused on TV Commercials and still photos, they soon expanded to TV programs, feature films and content. Their latest move, in 2020, is an Artists representation department, with photographers and directors.
They operate in Spain and Portugal, complying with health and safety at work, insurance coverage, image rights and official permits, making sure our clients are safe. Their rules are:
– Transparency. No over-promising when budgeting, they do not lower the bid price or intentionally miss things that are needed. They prefer to lose a bid rather than putting their client in a difficult situation. From thefirst cost estimate, they can start adjusting together.
– Always “on the ball” when things change , giving fast info to the client, so they know how the changes will affect the budget and they can make an informed decision. That includes being honest when things go wrong, to find a solution together.
– Detailed and transparent breakdown of the budgets, so they can identify things that are not needed and cut them off. Producers need detailed breakdowns to understand what they can reduce to match their clients’ budgets, and get more chances to go ahead with the project.
– They are not black & white when following a brief, they try to think about alternatives to make the production smoother with a similar result, rather than just adding whatever is requested no matter the cost. They care about costs, the producers pay them for that.
– Flexibility. Not only big campaigns, even a content project is also important for them.
– Integrity. They adjust the final costs with all possible savings. Approving a budget does not mean that you will have to spend everything you confirmed at the beginning.
Tax Breaks & Incentives
Portugal has a refundable tax credit of up to 30% determined by a cultural test, with a minimum spend of $489,000 (€500,000) for fiction and animation, and $246,000 (€250,000) for documentaries and post-production.
The programme, which is managed by the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual, has a cap of $3.9m (€4m) per project, although this is a budgetary placemarker, not inscribed allocation.
From January 2022, digital screening platforms are also required to invest 4% of their income — at least $3.9m (€4m) — in Portuguese-language content and pay annual tax of 1% levied on relevant income, which goes to the Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual. The current funding runs until the end of 2023.
Production houses: Dream Box (LEBANON), Samsung Korea (Innocean Worldwide), (SOUTH KOREA), Globo TV (BRAZIL), FMP Group TV for TNT Channel (RUSSIA), 24 Production (UK), Irresistible Films (UK), SkyFilm Production (AUSTRALIA)
Directors: Giorgio Bruni, Mr. Wednesday, Cristiana Miranda
We had the pleasure to work with [them] for our Rexona commercial production in Portugal. I would highly recommend [them] to anyone considering local production services. we had very professional and transparent communication from the start and the shoot itself couldn’t have gone any better. We had a very happy client and incredible result for the final film, and most importantly a great team to work with, which made the whole process very easy and enjoyable.
Senior Producer, Irresistible Studios
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