Greece is setting up a system to serve the film industry. Producers can claim their rebate online, while a network of film offices is being introduced across the country's nine prefectures and its seven largest municipalities. Initial interest has been solid, with producers from Germany, France, Canada, Australia and the UK applying to shoot movies, television series, documentaries, animation and video games in Greece. The recently-opened Attica Film Office helps producers with locations and permits, and acts as a go-between for film crews and the local authorities.
In 2018, Greece received 25 applications from film producers, most of which have been approved. This compares with 5-7 applications normally received every year. The Acropolis is the most sought-after film location, but the beaches and neighbourhoods of Athens are in demand, too.
Film makers also have their eye—and lens—on popular tourist destinations, including Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and Corfu, where the British television series The Durrells is filmed. A fourth and final series of the popular series began shooting on Corfu in September 2018. Its producers will be among the first to benefit from Greece's improved film incentive scheme.
Series producer Christopher Hall said that he had expected more obstacles when filming in Greece, but few bureaucratic problems had arisen.
"Now that Greece has the cash rebate, I’m certain that more and more foreign productions will come to Greece and that it will be inconceivable for someone to consider using another location for shooting as a substitute for the real set," Hall told Athens Macedonian News Agency.
Attracting filmmakers is a competitive business; countries enter a bidding war in order to lure producers. Different incentives are offered to help save time and money, though experts say the rebate is the clincher. Financial considerations were the main reason why Greece missed out to Croatia as the location for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again in 2017 and the ‘Athens’ scenes in the Jason Bourne (2016) film were shot in Tenerife, Spain.