Country Focus: Czech Republic
New Czech film law is finally approved
by Viktor Palák
- After the president Václav Klaus (photo) refused to sign the bill, saying that he did not see "a reason why film producers and other businessmen from the field should be privileged over other similar fields", the Czech parliament nevertheless outvoted his decision and for the first time privately run TV stations will subsidize the Czech Film Fund.
The amount should be around 150,000.000 Czech Crowns (approximately €6 million), one half of the whole yearly budget.
The funds provided by commercial stations is equal to around 2% of their income from advertising, which will now help produce new films. This change is related to another limitation of advertising time on national TV. Further revenue will – as it is the case now – come from 1% deducted off each cinema ticket sold, as well as sales of films under the Fund's control.
The contributors will have a delegate in the committee of nine members which will supervise the treatment of the funds. The Fund's board is to decide on the projects which will be supported – those can be either feature and documentary films or series' episodes, each assigned a minimal amount spent during production in the Czech republic. The incentives would be paid to film crews in retrospect. The law puts the Czech Republic back into the game after film crews moved to Hungary or Romania due to lack of incentives and despite the acclaimed high level of professional services in the country. Culture Minister Alena Hanáková described the new system as being more transparent and supporting the competitiveness of Czech filmmakers.