Estonian Film Industry Concerned About Playing Second Fiddle to Latvia, Lithuania
The opening of a motion picture studio in Vilnius and EU funding for local film industries in both southern Baltic states has left Estonians nervous about their competitiveness.
Cinema expert Sten Saluveer told kultuur.err.ee: "We are in a situation where the de facto standard used in Latvia and Lithuania and elsewhere in the world is a 20 percent tax refund for foreign film productions. Add in the EU-funded technical studio infrastructure being completed, which Estonia does not have, and we're in a situation that leaves local film producers in a situation where many jobs are going or have gone to our southern neighbors."
Lithuania will offer the 20 percent tax refund starting in 2014, while Latvia already has such a policy.
"I hope that the state and local municipal governments will start very seriously considering launching relevant programs based on the example of Riga and Vilnius success stories, otherwise we will soon be out of contention," said Saluveer.