Film Cuba Incentive Program


The Film Cuba incentive program (FCIP) offers foreign filmmakers cash rebates on qualifying Cuban expenditures for film or television projects shot in Cuba.


A foreign film producer who has invested funds in Cuba for filming a feature, documentary, television film, television series or TV Commercial, may acquire the right to receive a refund of the amount equal to 40% of the gross expenditures made in Cuba for the filming of the film/television project.

Who is Eligible

Foreign production companies and studios with:

A fully financed, eligible project where:

  • The FCIP cash rebate does not form a part of the financial plan; and
  • The budget includes, at least, the minimum foreign industry rates
  • Crew involved represent a balance of local Cuban talent

What Projects are Eligible

Eligible productions:

  • Feature films
  • Film Documentaries
  • TV drama or Reality series
  • Television Commercials

Ineligible productions:

  • Foreign government co-productions
  • Public Broadcast companies
  • Governmental programs involving grants or loans

Minimum Local Spend Per Project

In order to have a right to refund, the minimum amount of invested funds of eligible expenditures for the film or television projects must be:

o Feature film – (1 Million) U.S. dollars

o TV series/episode – (300,000) U.S. dollars

o Documentary – (200,000) U.S. dollars

o Reality TV Show – (200,000) U.S. dollars

Who Can Apply

The Authorized representative for submission of the request for refund must be a film producer in Cuba with film production as his or her registered dominant activity, who has made and publicly exhibited at least one feature film as a producer or co-producer and is authorized by contract to act as a producer, co-producer in relation to the refund procedure (i.e., “Fixers” do not qualify).

Body In Charge Of The Procedure

Charge of the procedure for acquiring the right to receive a refund: Film Commission Cuba.

Deadline For Submitting The Request

Applications must be submitted and approved prior to commencing formal pre-production.

Required Documents

  • Fill-in an application form
  • Signed production contract, co-production contract or contract for production services for the making of the film/television project, wherein the authorized representative is responsible for the procedure related to the refund.
  • Script and shooting schedule of the film/television project for which the refund is requested;
  • Budget for the film/television project for which the refund is requested with an overview of planned eligible expenditures in Cuba;
  • Operational plan for the filming of the film/television project with final dates for the start and ending of the filming of the film/television project;

Procedure For Approval

Upon receipt of an application for establishing the right to refund, within the period of 30-days since the request has been submitted, the Commission issues a certificate to the applicant confirming that he meets the requirements for refund.

With A Submission Confirmation

The applicant– Film producer meets the requirements for obtaining a right to refund. By issuing the certificate, the authorized representative is obligated in the shortest amount of time to open a separate account for operational purposes i.e. for the proper use of the funds and in an approved commercial bank, under the title of the project and to make a transfer in the minimum amount issued in the certificate. Prior to the start of the filming of the film/television project, the producer is obligated to submit bank reports and evidence of the transfer of the minimum amount of funds after which the film producer concludes a contract with the agency for the right to refund. The contract determines the rights and obligations of both parties, the amount of the eligible expenditures and the requirements which the producer has to meet in order to obtain the right to refund. This certificate with which the Commission confirms that the producer meets the requirements for refund, should be added as an addendum to producer’s production service contract.

Increasing The Budget For The Film/Television Project

If a film producer that has been issued a certificate decides to invest additional funds intended for the filming of film/television project, for eligible expenditures made in Cuba, producer has a right to submit another request for obtaining a refund for the additional amount of funds within a period of 15-days.

Eligible Expenditures

The Commission accepts as expenditures all expenditures which in accordance with the guidelines are considered eligible, and which have been incurred starting from the day of the issuance of the certificate, using the funds from the separate account intended for this purpose.

Deadline For Submitting The Documents For Receiving An Incentive Payment

The film producer which has been issued a certificate, within a period of 60-days after the finalization of the film/television project in Cuba, must submit the following documents to the agency:

  • Calculation of the eligible expenditures incurred in Cuba for the filming of the film/television project
  • Documents for the expenditures (invoices/receipts, specifications, contracts)
  • Evidence for the payments made for eligible expenditures (Bank statements from the separate account)
  • Audit report on the financial implementation of the film/television project, prepared by an independent auditor hired by the agency, at the cost of the film producer.

Decision For Payment For The Purpose Of Refund Of Funds

The Commission upon a proposal of the film producer within a period of 30-days since the day on which the evidence for incurred expenditures have been submitted, adopt a decision to pay the funds to the film producer, for the purpose of refund of funds. The payment of funds will be carried out through the separate operational account.

Decision For Rejecting The Request

If the commission determines that the expenditures from the calculation have not been incurred for the eligible approved expenditures, the evidence for payments made for eligible expenditures are higher than the realistic prices for the specific type of services or goods, or that the audit report determines irregularities in the operation of the film producer, the Commission may propose to adopt a decision for rejecting the request for refunds and the film producer loses the right for refund of funds, resulting in the termination of the contract.

Why Cuba Film Commission