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INDUSTRY / MARKET Czech Republic

Film production could decline by 75% in the Czech Republic due to coronavirus restrictions

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- The preventive measures put in place have been disrupting projects by the biggest spenders in the Czech Republic, such as Netflix and Amazon

Film production could decline by 75% in the Czech Republic due to coronavirus restrictions
On the set of Amazon's Carnival Row

The measures implemented to prevent the spread of the coronavirus will reduce film production in the Czech Republic by 75% until the end of the year, according to the Czech Audiovisual Producers’ Association. The outbreak of the pandemic and the subsequent strict restrictions have disrupted domestic film and television productions, local distribution operations and large foreign productions such as Alma and Oskar, a biopic drama revolving around painter Oskar Kokoschka and Gustav Mahler’s widow, as well as the second season of Amazon’s steampunk gothic fantasy series Carnival Row.

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Amazon and Netflix are among the biggest spenders in the Czech Republic, with Carnival Row holding the current record for incurring almost €68.5 million in eligible costs (see the news). The restrictions have obstructed another blockbuster series from Amazon that was being shot in the Czech Republic, the high fantasy The Wheel of Time (see the news).

The Czech Audiovisual Producers’ Association noted that only 40% of investments in audiovisual production flow into film professions, whereas 60% ends up in non-film industries. The losses incurred by the disrupted foreign projects have so far been estimated at 5 billion Czech crowns (€183,077,645), and this stands at 500 million Czech crowns (€18,307,764) for domestic projects.

Projects from the UK, the USA, Germany and Denmark were being shot at the moment of the lockdown, for Netflix, Columbia Pictures, Warner Bros, ZDF, the BBC, Amazon, Sony Pictures and Disney. “A number of foreign projects are now known to have been cancelled, whereas others will return to the Czech Republic. Some countries are beginning to respond to the crisis by planning to introduce special incentives for filmmakers to keep the film business at home in order to restart their own economies,” said the executive director of the Czech Audiovisual Producers’ Association, Magdaléna Králová.

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