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INDUSTRY / MARKET Czech Republic

More millions pumped into the Czech film industry

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- The Czech Film Fund is setting aside almost 100 million Czech crowns to accelerate the revival of the domestic film sector

More millions pumped into the Czech film industry
The Kino Lucerna cinema in Prague

“Exceptional situations call for exceptional and fast solutions,” said the Czech Film Fund as it earmarked 92 million Czech crowns (€3,328,974) to accelerate the restarting of the domestic film industry. Previously, the government relaxed coronavirus restrictions, enabling domestic and international productions to resume (see the news), and now the Czech Film Fund is contributing more financial resources in order to fuel the rapid recovery of the local film industry.

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"In this unusual situation, the board of the Czech Film Fund has changed its short-term concept. The support is aimed at those areas of the Czech film industry that need an accelerated restart as a priority. In other words, for the reopening of cinemas, for the development of audiovisual projects, including series, and for distribution," says the board’s chairwoman, Helena Bendová. "Given that the speed of the measures is crucial at the moment, the board will decide on the call for cinemas and distribution exceptionally without expert analyses," adds Bendová.

The exceptional call for cinemas aims to distribute 50 million Czech crowns (€1,806,641) in order to aid the reopening of theatres, most notably by ensuring health-protection measures related to COVID-19 are observed, promoting Czech and European films, and facilitating other activities necessary for the operation of cinemas. Another exceptional call worth 20 million Czech crowns (€722,656) has been opened for the complete development of feature films, documentaries and series being staged by independent producers. A total of 10 million Czech crowns (€361,328) is reserved for film distribution. Moreover, the Czech Film Fund board set aside 12 million Czech crowns (€433,593) for a reserve set to assist previously supported projects that might now be endangered. For example, the reserve is specifically dedicated to distribution projects that have already received support, but whose campaign has been disrupted by the epidemic, entailing a significant increase in their costs.

Domestic filmmakers have already noted that it is necessary to buttress the already-approved budget for the audiovisual industry for 2020. They have estimated that 75 million Czech crowns (€2,710,762) are needed as a one-off injection to maintain the functionality of the industry. 20 million Czech crowns (€722,870) were needed to support the development of projects, according to domestic filmmakers, while they also noted that 55 million Czech crowns (€1,987,892) should be set aside to revive the entire distribution chain, including cinema operators. They also said that it is necessary to maintain the incentive programme and keep it at at least the same level as in 2019 (see the news).

The incentive programme has not been interrupted during the lockdown in the country, and the Czech Film Fund has continued to register applications for incentives as well as paying up without delay once all conditions have been met.

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