Operational Programmes

The Polish Film Institute (Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej, PISF) provides subsidies and loans, working to four operational programmes and the objectives set out within them. The Institute has allocated a sum of approximately EUR 34 mln for the accomplishment of its tasks in 2018.

Project Development

The Polish Film Institute supports film production at every stage of the making of a film. Under the Film Production operational programme, it awards screenwriting scholarships and funding for the development and production of features, documentaries and animated films.

Under the Project Development objective, the Institute allocates money for activities, such as preparing the financial plan and set documentation, searching for investors and co-producers, writing the script, script doctoring, creating the storyboard, visual designs, screen tests, producing a pilot and/or trailer and so forth. A subsidy from the PISF may not exceed 50% (70% in case of a difficult film) of the planned costs of the undertaking and the limits set out by the PFI. The remaining funds required for the project’s development must come from other sources, such as the producer’s, co-producers’, sponsors’ and/or investors’ own contributions. At the same time, contribution in kind may constitute no more than 50% of the total value of the said funds.

Film Production

A subsidy granted by the PISF for features, documentaries and animated films under the Film Production objective may not exceed 50% of the planned costs of the undertaking and the limits set out by the PFI. The exception to this is a difficult film project, which may receive a subsidy of up to as much as 70% of the production costs.

When applying for production funding, the producer is obliged to contribute a minimum of 5% of the requested contribution from the PFI. This contribution may be financial or a combination of financial and contribution in kind. At the same time, a contribution in kind may constitute no more than 95% of the producer’s entire contribution.

International Co-Productions

The Polish Film Institute supports a production of film projects with the participation of foreign producers. The minimum contribution from the Polish side, which may be either financial or a combination of financial and contributions in kind, must constitute at least 20% in the case of a bilateral co-production and 10% in the instance of a multilateral one. The PIF funding for a project of this nature, which is to say, a minority co-production, carries with it the absolute requirement of expending at least 80% of the funding in Poland, as it is in the case of domestic production. A minimum artistic contribution is also stipulated. In the case of a minority co-production, it is essential that:

  • a feature film engages at least one Polish artist from the following fields: production designer, cinematographer, editor, composer
  • a documentary film makes use of at least one of the following elements: material from Polish film archives, a Polish central character or a Polish cinematographer, Polish composer or Polish editor;
  • an animated film engages at least one Polish artist from the following fields: director of animation, storyboard writer, visual designer or composer; a significant part of the animation must also be produced in Poland.

In addition, the lead producer must demonstrate a recognised body of work as a producer.

In the case of a minority production, the maximum subsidy is 70%, calculated on the basis of the financing from the Polish side. A subsidy from the PIF may not exceed the limits set out in the Operational Programmes. The exception to this are projects directed by Polish directors, where the percentage limits are calculated on the basis of the entire budget for the film. Projects of that nature may apply for funding under the Project Development objective.

Applications for funding are accepted throughout the year and are considered during three sessions:

  • session 1/2018: 17- 31 January 2018
  • session 2/2018: 9 - 23 April 2018
  • session 3/2018: 16 - 31 August 2018

The exception to this is the Promotion of Polish Film Abroad operational programme, under which, applications for funding are accepted and considered on a continuous basis.

Applications must be submitted electronically, to https://wnioski.pisf.pl. They are assessed by the committees of experts appointed from amongst representatives of the Polish film industry. However, the final decision rests with the Director of the Polish Film Institute. The results of the assessment and the decision as to funding are issued within ninety days of the session to which the application was submitted. The decision is valid for six months and its validity can be extended by a maximum of a further six months on the strength of a decision issued by the Director of the Polish Film Institute. The grant must be reimbursed if a film generates a profit within the first six years following its premiere.

Polish Film Institute
Polski Instytut Sztuki Filmowej

00-071 Warsaw, ul. Krakowskie Przedmieście 21/23
tel. +48 22 421 01 30, fax +48 22 421 02 41

Film Production and Film Project Development Department
Dział Produkcji Filmowej i Rozwoju Projektów Filmowych

tel. + 48 22 421 05 77, fax + 48 22 421 05 82