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INDUSTRY / MARKET Netherlands

The Netherlands Film Fund begins to protect the Dutch film industry

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- The public film agency has announced its first measures to limit project-related damage to subsidised film productions

The Netherlands Film Fund begins to protect the Dutch film industry

The Netherlands Film Fund, the country’s main film agency, has disclosed the first measures it is taking in an attempt to limit the economic damage caused by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

The organisation confirmed its will to act in line with the principles upheld by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) and is ready to take specific actions in the short term, aimed at particular projects and activities. Therefore, the body has announced that it will try to limit project-related damage to subsidised film productions as much as possible by adopting a range of provisions. First of all, it will favour leniency in the fulfilment of conditions and obligations, so that projects are given some breathing space to respond to changes in production, delivery and release. In addition, the fund will also try to guarantee flexibility in subsidy periods and advance payments.

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Secondly, the agency confirmed that, based on an inventory of bottlenecks for specific projects, it would be willing to take additional measures where possible. These may include bridge financing for demonstrable extra costs as a result of the postponement of (pre-)production and recordings, including those related to the affected cast and crew, and redistribution and marketing for films whose release has been postponed.

In addition, the fund invites producers who are currently working on projects to contact them directly and inform them about the bottlenecks they have encountered. For this purpose, an email address has been provided: m.wijdenes@filmfonds.nl.

With regard to film festivals, if these are cancelled, the agency will not continue to impose the performance obligations normally connected to grant conditions, and it will also look for extra support for these organisations, whose survival is at stake due to loss of income. Recent cancelled film events backed by the organisation include The Hague’s Movies That Matter and Curaçao IFFR (CIFFR).

Finally, operations will continue as normal. In order to limit interpersonal contact, appointments and meetings will be arranged through Skype and FaceTime. Obviously, phone lines and email addresses will remain active.

It will be interesting to see what steps the fund takes next to protect the local film sector.

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