The Austrian government rescues the country’s audiovisual industry with a special €25 million fund
- The provision will be able to cover financial losses incurred by both local and international film productions during the COVID-19 crisis
The Austrian government has introduced the first fund to compensate film and TV productions that have been delayed or shut down because of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
In detail, the emergency programme will cover up to €2.5 million per audiovisual production to cover the firms’ financial losses if, for instance, an actor tests positive and is forced to go into quarantine. International productions will also be eligible for support and governmental funds may be able to cover up to 50% of the additional coronavirus-related costs.
Approved by Finance Minister Gernot Blümel, the provision will be valid retrospectively from 16 March and can be applied for until the end of the year. The fund will be administered by AWS, Austria’s federal development bank for the promotion and financing of companies, with the help of several film experts.
The country has recently emerged from the health crisis almost unscathed, reporting to date a relatively low number of cases (17,477) and 698 victims.
Similar initiatives may be welcomed and encouraged from other European producers. Many insurance companies did not agree to provide coverage for coronavirus-related incidents on set, leaving the majority of producers to bear all the risks of a possible shut down.
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