Slovakia

The Rift by Peter Bebjak, source: TV JOJMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

BRATISLAVA: The year 2019 was more successful for Slovak cinema compared to 2018 in terms of admissions and also a large number of domestic titles released in cinemas.

A total of 30 projects registered for the 20% cash rebate at the Slovak Audiovisual Fund in 2019, compared to 30 in 2018 and 12 in 2017.

In September 2019, new amendments to the Audiovisual Law were approved and the rebate increases from 20% to 33% starting 1 January 2020.

PRODUCTIONCensor by Peter Kerekes

A total of 26 feature films (including 14 minority coproductions), 16 documentaries (including six minority coproductions) and two animated features were completed in 2019.

Multiple high-profile projects were in production in 2019, and some of them are expected to premiere in 2020.

Martin Šulík finished shooting his new feature film Man with Hare Ears / Muž so zajačími ušami in June 2019. The film produced by Šulík´s company TITANIC s.r.o. and Rudolf Bierman´s IN Film Praha in coproduction with RTVS and the Czech Television is to be released in 2020.

The award winning director Peter Bebjak started shooting his WWII drama The Report / Správa at the beginning of 2019. The film is a coproduction between Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Germany, produced by Bebjak’s company D.N.A. in coproduction with Agresywna Banda, Evolution Films, Ostlicht Filmproduktion, RTVS, the Czech Television and TVP.

Aclaimed documentary director Peter Kerekes finished the production of his first feature film Censor / Cenzorka, produced by Punkchart films in coproduction with the Czech company endorfilm, Arthouse Traffic from the Ukraine, RTVS and Slovakia´s E-S Production.

Mátyás Prikler started shooting his new feature film Power / Moc at the end of 2019. The film is produced by MPhilms and coproduced by Proton Cinema from Hungary, Czech company Negativ and RTVS .

Mariana Čengel Solčanská and Rudolf Biermann directed and produced the thriller Scumbag / Sviňa as a coproduction between Slovak CinemArt SK, Magic Seven Slovakia and Czech IN Film Praha. The film was released in February 2020.

Zdeněk Jiráský shot his drama Kryštof, produced by Slovakia‘s ALEF FILM & MEDIA and the Czech company Fulfilm, in the first half of 2019. The project is coproduced by the Czech Television, Slovakia’s RTVSUN FILM and FULLHOUSE Production Group, as well as Barrandov Studios. The premiere is set for the autumn of 2020.

Kryštof by Zdeněk JiráskýTwo big animated projects were in production in 2019, White Plastic Sky / Umelohmotné nebo, a scifi drama directed by Tibor Bánóczki and Sarolta Szabó, and produced by Slovakia‘s Artichoke and Hungary’s Salto Film, as well as the big budget animated debut by Peter Budinský, Heart of a Tower / Srdce veže produced by BFILM and coproduced by Slovak company Plutoon, Belgian Stacka, Czech BFILM.cz and Slovak RTVS .

A total of 30 projects registered for the 20% cash rebate at the Slovak Audiovisual Fund in 2019, compared to 30 in 2018 and 12 in 2017.

Among the projects that registered for incentives in 2019 are the Slovak majority coproductions: Servants / Služobníci aka Disciple directed by Ivan Ostrochovský and produced by Punkchart films in coproduction with the Slovak RTVS, Romania’s Point Film, Negativ from the Czech Republic, Ireland’s Film & Music Entertainment, Slovak LEV Design and sentimentalfilm; The Nightsiren / Svetlonoc directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by BFILM in coproduction with Czech moloko film; Power / Moc directed by Mátyás Prikler, produced by MPhilms and coproduced by Hungarian Proton Cinema, Czech Negativ and RTVS; Piargy / Fašiangy directed by Ivo Trajkov, produced by ARINA and coproduced by Czech i/o post, Macedonian Story Scope Production and
RTVS; Little Kingdom / Malá ríša directed by Peter Magát, produced by FilmFrame, coproduced by RTVS, Iceland´s Loki Films production and Czech UP&UP; Chambermaid / Slúžka directed by Mariana Čengel Solčanská, produced by Bright Sight Pictures and coproduced by RTVS and CINEART TV Prague.

The historical drama Il Boemo directed by Petr Václav and coproduced by Czech Mimesis film, Slovakia´s sentimentalfilm, France´s Les Films D´ici and Italy´s Dugong, also applied for cash rebates.

White Plastic Sky by Tibor Bánóczki and Sarolta SzabóDISTRIBUTION

A total of 43 domestic films (27 feature films, 14 documentaries and two animated films) were released in Slovakia in 2019, of which 13 were 100% Slovak productions, 11 majority coproductions and 19 minority coproductions.

Continental Film, a big distributor of mostly Hollywood productions, was the leader in distributing domestic titles in 2019 with three 100% Slovak productions: The Rift / Trhlina directed by Peter Bebjak, produced by D.N.A. Production in coproduction with TV JOJ; Casino.$k directed by Ján Sabol and produced by Art4fun in coproduction with Home Media Production and Rebuy stars; and The New Year´s Kiss / Šťastný nový rok directed by Jakub Kroner and produced by INOUT Studio.

Continental Film also released the Slovak majority coproductions: By a Sharp Knife / Ostrým nožom directed by Teodor Kuhn, produced by nutprodukcia in coproduction with RTVS and Czech nutprodukce; Amnesty / Amnestie directed by Jonáš Karásek, produced by Hečko’s AZYL Production and coproduced by Slovak HomeMedia Production, RTVS and Czech endorfilm; and The Good Death / Dobrá smrť directed by Tomáš Krupa, produced by Hailstone, in coproduction with Czech MasterFilm, Austrian Golden Girls Film, RTVS, French ARTE G.E.I.E. and the Czech Television. In 2019 Continental Film also released five minority coproductions.

The Association of Slovak Film Clubs (ASFK) released the following 100% Slovak productions: Calling / Volanie directed by Erik Praus and produced by Filmpark production in coproduction with RTVS and Filmworx Studios; Svetozár Stračina directed by Pavol Barabáš and produced by K2 studio in coproduction with RTVS and the Slovak Film Institute; The Lonely Runners: Moving On! / Osamelí bežci: Ideme ďalej! directed by Martin Repka and produced by Punkchart films in coproduction with RTVS and the Slovak Film Institute.

Let There Be Light by Marko Skop, credit: www.aic.skASFK also released majority coproductions: Punk Never Ends / Punk je hned! directed by Juraj Šlauka and produced by Punkchart films in coproduction with i/o post, FTF VŠMU, Filmpark production, Admiral Films and kaleidoscope; and Let There Be Light / Nech je svetlo directed by Marko Škop and produced by Artileria in coproduction with Negativ , RTVS and the Czech Television. ASFK also released two Slovak minority coproductions.

Small but progressive-thinking distributor Filmtopia released five Slovak films, including three minority coproductions, as well as the 100% Slovak production Lost Home / Stratený domov directed by Juraj Mravec Jr. and produced by All4films in coproduction with Punkchart films and RTVS, and the Slovak majority production Silent Days / Hluché dni directed by Pavol Pekarčík and produced by partizanfilm in coproduction with RTVS, kaleidoscope and Czech školfilm.

Other distribution companies that also released domestic titles in 2019 are Magic Box Slovakia, Forum Film, Virus film, CinemArt SK, Garfield film, Cinetype, Bontonfilm, Itafilm, Filmpark production and MEDIA FILM.

Some of the Slovak films that premiered internationally are scheduled to be released in domestic distribution in the early months of 2020. The list includes FREM directed by Viera Čákanyová and produced by Hypermarket Film in coproduction with Punkchart films and the Czech Television; Paradise on Earth / Raj na zemi directed by Jaro Vojtek and produced by MPhilms and coproduced by RTVS; Cook, F**k, Kill / Žaby bez jazyka directed by Mira Fornay and produced by CINEART TV Prague in coproduction with RTVS, the Czech Television, Synergia film and MIRAFOX; Pardon / Ułaskawienie by Polish director Jan Jakub Kolski, a coproduction between Poland’s Wytwórnia Doświadczalna, Centrala, Czech Mimesis Film, Slovak sentimentalfilm and Polish Telewizja PolskaOdra Film, Podkarpacki Fundusz Regionalny, EC1 Łódź – Miasto Kultury, Centrum Technologii Audiowizualnych (Wrocław), Wojewódzki Dom Kultury (Rzeszów); as well as Old-Timers / Staříci directed by Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník, and produced by endorfilm in coproduction with sentimentalfilm and the Czech Television.

Heart of a Tower by Peter BudinskyEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

By the end of 2019, Slovakia had 170 cinemas with 271 screens, of which 197 screens were already digitalised. They include four multiplexes, 21 miniplexes, 26 open air cinemas (six of them digitalised), 1 travelling theatre, 1 drive-in and 17 alternative spaces with 18 screens.

Compared to 2018, the number of cinemas increased from 153 to 170 and the number of digitalised screens increased from 196 to 197. Slovakia also has one IMAX cinema, which was opened in 2015.

Several small art house cinemas operate in Bratislava. Kino Lumière has been operated by the Slovak Film Institute on the site of the former Charlie’s Centrum since September 2011. MladosťNostalgia and Film Europe Cinema also add to the diversity of Bratislava's art house landscape, together with Kino Klap, located in the Academy of Performing ArtsFoajé and Kino inak, a screening room hosted by the alternative cultural centre A4 – Space for Contemporary Culture.

In 2019 the Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported 25 cinemas with a total amount of 157,150 EUR through a programme focused on support of 1 EUR for each admission to a Slovak film, including minority coproductions (0.50 EUR for a film of more than 100,000 total admissions). The programme was launched in 2016. Every cinema has the right to apply.

The New Years Kiss by Jakub KronerTotal admissions were 6,529,320 in 2019, an increase of 9.46%. Total gross increased by 12.76% compared to 2018, according to official statistics.

In 2019, admissions to Slovak films were 1,075,129.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Slovak Audiovisual Fund has been the main tool of public support for cinema in the Slovak Republic since 2010. The budget of the AVF is subsidised with at least 6 m EUR annually from the country’s budget and by the contributions of other subjects, like TV channels, cinemas and distributors.

In 2019, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund registered 534 applications for audiovisual culture support, of which 345 (64.6%) were supported with a total amount of 10.7 m EUR.

Little Kingdom by Peter MagátSlovakia’s 20% incentive scheme established in 2015 eased its requirements starting August 2017. In 2019 the Fund supported 12 projects with a total amount of 970,457 EUR. The minimum sum of expenses is at least 300,000 EUR for feature TV series and 150,000 EUR for feature films, documentaries, animated series.

The cash rebate support of audiovisual industry has a separate budget according to presumable expenses of registered projects (there is no maximum limit of the budget for audiovisual industry support). The budget estimate for this support for 2020 is 7.5 m EUR.

In 2019 the Fund registered 30 projects with an estimated production spending of 27.5 m EUR during 2019, 2020 and 2021.

In September 2019, new amendments to the Audiovisual Law were approved, so film incentives in Slovakia increased from 20% to 33% starting 1 January 2020.

In accord with the Slovak Audiovisual Fund (AVF) Act’s amendment of 2017, the Slovak Film Commission was established as a unit of the AVF. The Commission’s aim is to promote the Slovak film industry, to mediate creative business opportunities for Slovak audiovisual professionals and to present related services and individual regions of Slovakia. On 1 June 2018, Zuzana Bieliková was appointed manager of the SFC.

In structures of audiovisual film support for 2020, the maximum amount of support for one project, comparing to 2019, increased for projects in development from 30,000 EUR to 50,000 EUR, and decreased for festival support from 300,000 down to 250,000 EUR. For minority productions the support decreased from 300,000 EUR to 200,000 EUR.

The primary sources of information on films are the Slovak Film Institute through its specialised office – the Audiovisual Information Centre.

Amnesty by Jonáš KarásekTV

Slovakia is unique in the CEE as the home of the only channel devoted exclusively to European films. Film Europe Channel was developed by Film Europe Media Company, which operates two more channels: Československo HD, dedicated to Czech and Slovak cinema, and Be2Can HD, which was called Festival HD till November 2018, for films from A-list festivals.

The channel operates in Slovakia along with the public broadcaster RTVS and commercial broadcasters Slovenská produkčná (with channels: TV JOJPLUSWAUJOJ CinemaJojko, JOJ Family), Markiza Slovakia (with channels: TV Markíza, TV Doma, Dajto), the news channel TA3 (by C.E.N.), children channel ducktv (by Mega Max Media) and religious channel TV Lux.

The public broadcaster RTVS opened its third channel 3 in December 2019.

The epic historical TV series Slavs / Slovania, a big Slovak/Ukrainian TV project directed by Peter Bebjak, Michal Blaško, Serhii Sanin and Oleg Stakhursky, finished production in October 2019. This coproduction between Wanda Hrycová´s Wandal Production and Andrey Yermak´s European Partnership Media Group is expected to start broadcasting in September 2020.

CONTACTS:

SLOVAK AUDIOVISUAL FUND
Director: Martin Šmatlák
Grösslingová 53
SK-811 09, Bratislava
Phone: +421 5923 4545
Fax: +421 5923 4461
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.avf.sk

The Good Death by Tomáš KrupaSLOVAK FILM COMISSION
Manager: Zuzana Bieliková
Grösslingová 53
SK-811 09, Bratislava
Phone: +421 905 360 033
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SLOVAK FILM INSTITUTE
General Director: Peter Dubecký
Phone: +421 2 5710 1503
Fax: +421 2 5296 3461
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.sfu.sk

Audiovisual Information Center
Miroslav Ulman
Lea Pagáčová
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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www.aic.sk

NATIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHIC CENTRE
Director: Rastislav Steranka
Phone: +421 2 5710 1526
Scumbag by Mariana Čengel Solčanská and Rudolf BiermannPhone/fax: +421 2 5273 3214
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RADIO AND TELEVISION OF SLOVAKIA
Mlynská dolina
845 45 Bratislava
Phone: +421 2 6061 1103
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www.rtvs.sk

Report by Zuzana Točíková Vojteková (2020)
Sources: the Slovak Film Institute, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Union of Film Distributors of the Slovak Republic


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Let there Be Light by Marko Skop, credit: www.aic.skYear 2018 proved not to be as successful for the Slovak cinema as the extraordinary year of 2017, as it saw a decline in general box office as well as the box office for domestic films.

However, the expectations are high for 2019 as multiple high-profile productions are expected to be released.

Thirty projects registered for the 20% cash rebate at the Slovak Audiovisual Fund in 2018, compared to 12 in 2017 and 4 in 2016.

In 2018, the Slovak Film Commission headed by Zuzana Bieliková started to operate.

PRODUCTION

A total of 18 feature films (including 11 minority coproductions), 15 documentaries (including three minority coproductions) and two animated films were completed in 2018.

Multiple high-profile projects were in production in 2018, and some of them are expected to premiere in 2019.

FIPRESCI award-winner from the Toronto IFF, Marko Škop shot his new feature film Let There Be Light / Nech je svetlo in 2018. The film is a Slovak/Czech coproduction from Artileria and Negativ.

Power by Mátyás PriklerIvan Ostrochovský’s new feature film The Disciple / Posol was in postproduction at the beginning of 2019. The film is produced by Punkchart films in coproduction with the Slovak RTVS, Romania’s Point Film, Negativ from the Czech Republic and Ireland’s Fame & Music Entertainment.

Mira Fornay’s follow-up to her Tiger Award winner My Dog Killer / Môj pes Killer, entitled Cook, Fuck, Kill / Žaby bez jazyka is expected to be completed in 2019. The film is produced by CINEART TV Prague and coproduced by MIRAFOX, RTVS and the Czech Television.

The award winning director Peter Bebjak was shooting the WWII drama The Report / Správa, a coproduction between Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland, at the beginning of 2019. The film is produced by Bebjak’s company D.N.A. and coproduced by Evolution Films, RTVS, Agresywna Banda and German Ostlicht Produktion.

Mátyás Prikler was shooting his sophomore feature Power / Moc at the beginning of 2019. Slovakia‘s MPhilms is producing in coproduction with Negativ from the Czech Republic and Hungary's Proton Cinema.

The successful documentary director/producer Peter Kerekes was also shooting his first feature Censor / Cenzorka, produced by Punkchart films and coproduced by endorfilm, Peter Kerekes and Ukrainian Arthouse Traffic, at the beginning of 2019.

Robert Kirchhoff is expected to finish his Alexander Dubček doc All Men Become Brothers / Všetci ľudia budú bratia by the end of 2019. All Men Become Brothers is produced by Kirchhoff’s atelier.doc and coproduced by Czech endorfilm, RTVS and the Czech Television.

To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the death of Milan Rastislav Štefánik, a general and important politician of the early 20th century, RTVS is coproducing three films on Štefánik, including the big budget production General / Generál, directed by Jerôme Cornau, produced by JMB Film & TV Production and also coproduced by the Czech Television.

The other two projects coproduced by RTVS are the animated docudrama The Impossible Voyage / Cesta do nemožna by Noro Držiak produced by MEDIA FILM and KABOS Film & Media and coproduced by TOBOGANG and the Czech Television, and the adventure TV series Monument / Mohyla by Andrej Kolenčík produced by Cinetype.

Twenty-eight projects registered for the 20% cash rebate at the Slovak Audiovisual Fund in 2018, compared to 12 in 2017 and 4 in 2016.

All Men Become Brothers by Robert KirchhoffSlovakia’s 20% incentive scheme established in 2015 eased its requirements in August 2017. The minimum expenditure level was cut from 2 m EUR to 150,000 EUR for a single feature, documentary or animated film (minimum length of 70 minutes), and to 300,000 EUR for a project involving at least two such films or a television series (maximum 13 episodes of minimum 40 minutes in case of fiction and minimum of 50 minutes in case documentaries and animation).

Among the projects that registered for incentives in 2018 there are Slovak majority coproductions Muž so zajačími ušami directed by Martin Šulík and produced by Titanic production in coproduction with IN Film Praha,, Peter Bebjak’s projects The Report / Správa and the three-part mini-series-turned-feature The Rift / Trhlina, produced by D.N.A. Production and TV JOJ..

Flickering Ghosts of Love Gone by / Láska z celuloidu by French director André Bonzel and coproduced by Slovakia’s Artichoke, France’s Les artistes associaux, Les Films du Poisson, HBO Central Europe and the Slovak Film Institute, also applied for incentives in 2018.

Among the minority coproductions that applied for rebates in 2018 there are the long animated film Even Mice Belong in Heaven / Myši patří do nebe directed by Denisa Grimmová and Jan Bubeníček and coproduced by Czech Fresh Films, France’s Les Films du Cygne, Poland’s Animoon, Slovakia’s CinemArt SK and Belgium’s Panache Productions, and also Pardon / Ułaskawienie by Polish director Jan Jakub Kolski, a coproduction between Poland’s Wytwórnia Doświadczalna, Centrala, Czech Mimesis Film, Slovakia‘s sentimentalfilm and Poland‘s Telewizja Polska, Odra Film, Podkarpacki Fundusz Regionalny, EC1 Łódź – Miasto Kultury, Centrum Technologii Audiowizualnych (Wrocław), Wojewódzki Dom Kultury (Rzeszów).

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 32 long and mid-length Slovak films entered domestic distribution in 2018, plus two short animated films. Of the 32 films, 13 were feature films (including eight minority coproductions), 16 were documentaries (including three minority coproductions) and three were animated films.

The leader in the distribution of Slovak films is the Association of Slovak Film Clubs (ASFK), which released seven majority coproductions in 2018, all of them documentaries: Patrik Lančarič’s Válek produced by BEETLE and coproduced by Punkchart films, the Slovak Film Institute and RTVS; Marek Kuboš’s The Last Self-Portrait / Posledný autoportrét produced by his PSYCHÉ Film and coproduced by RTVS; Spirit of Jaguar / Tieň jaguára by Pavol Barabáš, produced by his K2 studio in coproduction with RTVS; ELSEWHERE / INDE by Juraj Nvota and Marian Urban, produced by ALEF FILM & MEDIA and coproduced by RTVS, Ateliéry Bonton Zlín, UN FILM, Filmpark production, Czech Fulfilm and the Slovak Film Institute; Adam Hanuljak’s Crazy Against the Nation / Prípad Kalmus produced by Mandala Pictures and coproduced by DogDocs and RTVS;  Dežo Ursiny 70 by Maroš Šlapeta and Matej Beneš, produced by Punkchart films and coproduced by RTVS, the minority coproduction Freedom / Freiheit by German director Jan Speckenbach, produced by German ONE TWO FILMS and coproduced by Slovak BFILM and German ZAK Film Production, and also a documentary series Female First / Prvá by various directors, produced by HITCHHIKER Cinema in coproduction with RTVS and the Slovak Film Institute. The series of 10 mid-length documentaries was considered as one title by the Union of Film Distributors of the Slovak Republic.

The Cellar by Igor VoloshinSmall and progressive-thinking Filmtopia released five Slovak films, including two majority coproductions - Peter Kerekes’ omnibus project Occupation 1968 / Okupácia 1968 produced by Peter Kerekes and coproduced by Czech Hypermarket Film, Bulgaria’s Agitprop, Poland’s Silver Frame and Hungary’s ELF Pictures, and An Extra Something / Niečo naviac by Palo Kadlečík and Martin Šenc, produced by KADMEDIA and OZ UP-Down syndrome.

Filmtopia also released three minority coproductions: a Rotterdam-entry The Flower Shop / La fleurière by Ruben Desiere, produced by Belgian Accatone Films and coproduced by Slovak Mandala Pictures, Belgian Beursschouwburg and Popiul and Slovak RTVS; My Unknown Soldier / Můj neznámý vojín by Anna Kryvenko, produced by Czech Analog Vision and coproduced by Latvian Baltic Pine Films and Slovak Wandal Production, and also Circus Rwanda / Cirkus Rwanda by Michal Varga, a coproduction between Czech Xova Film, the Czech Television, Slovak nutprodukcia and RTVS.

Other notable films in distribution were The Cellar / Pivnica directed by Russian Igor Voloshin, starring Jean-Marc Barr and distributed by Itafilm; Martin Šulík’s The Interpreter / Tlmočník, starring Peter Simonischek and Jiří Menzel and distributed by Garfield Film, and Jan Švankmajer’s last film Insects / Hmyz, distributed by Slovak coproducer PubRes.

Some of the Slovak films that premiered internationally are scheduled to be released in domestic distribution in the early months of 2019. The list includes Karlovy Vary awarded Winter Flies / Všechno bude by Olmo Omerzu, Talks With TGM / Hovory s TGM by Jakub Červenka, a coproduction between Bedna Films and Slovak FANTOMAS PRODUCTION, which was awarded a Special Mention at IDFF Ji.hlava, and also a IDFF Ji.hlava entry THE GOOD DEATH / DOBRÁ SMRŤ by Tomáš Krupa, a coproduction between Slovakia’s Hailstone, Czech MasterFilm, France’s ARTE G.E.I.E., Austria’s Golden Girls Film, Slovakia’s RTVS and the Czech Television.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

By the end of 2018, Slovakia had 153 cinemas with 254 screens, of which 196 screens were already digitalised. They include four multiplexes, 21 mini-plexes, 22 open air cinemas (five of them digitalised) and nine alternative spaces.

Compared to 2017, the number of cinemas increased from 149 to 153 and the number of digitalised screens increased from 189 to 195. Slovakia also has one IMAX cinema, which was opened in 2015.

The Interpreter by Martin SulikSeveral small art house cinemas operate in Bratislava. Kino Lumière, operated by the Slovak Film Institute, opened on the site of the former Charlie’s Centrum in September 2011. Mladosť, Nostalgia and Film Europe Cinema also add to the diversity of Bratislava's art house landscape, together with Kino Klap, located in the Academy of Performing Arts, Foajé and Kino inak, a screening room hosted by the alternative cultural centre A4 – Space for contemporary culture.

A new programme of support for Slovak films in domestic cinemas was launched in 2016. Every cinema has the right to apply and receive one euro per each ticket sold for a domestic title. In 2016 the AVF allotted 217,488 EUR for 2015 and in 2017 it allotted 188,048 EUR for 2016. Due to the rapid increase of admissions in 2017, AVF had to change the regulations for 2018 and ended up allotting 538,478 EUR.

Total admissions through November 2018 were 5,471,091 compared to 6,692,871 in 2017. Total gross was 30,318,033 EUR compared to 34,513,049 EUR in 2017.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Slovak Audiovisual Fund has been the main tool of public support for cinema in the Slovak Republic since 2010. The budget of the AVF is subsidised with at least 6 m EUR annually from the country’s budget and by contributions of other subjects like the TV, cinemas and distributors. A total of 8 m EUR were allocated for the support in 2018 and the same amount is expected in 2019.

Slovakia’s 20% incentive scheme established in 2015 eased its requirements starting August 2017. The minimum expenditure level was cut from 2 m EUR to 150,000 EUR for a single feature, documentary or animated film (minimum length of 70 minutes) and to 300,000 EUR for a project involving at least two such films or a television series (maximum 13 episodes of minimum 40 minutes in case of fiction and minimum of 50 minutes in case documentaries and animation). This scheme has a separate budget according to presumable expenses of registered projects (there is no maximum limit on the budget for audiovisual industry support). In 2018, the AVF registered 30 projects for audiovisual industry support. For 2019 the budget estimate for this support is 4.7 m EUR.By a Sharp Knife by Teodor Kuhn, photo: Simon Luptak

In accord with the Slovak Audiovisual Fund Act’s amendment of 2017, the Slovak Film Commission was established as a unit of the AVF. The Commission’s aim is to promote Slovak film industry, to mediate creative business opportunities for Slovak audiovisual professionals and to present related services and individual regions of Slovakia. On 1 June 2018, Zuzana Bieliková was appointed manager of the SFC.

In September 2018 minor changes in AVF’s regulations came into action. The beneficiaries can use up to 7% for overhead costs now and sanctions for mishandling the support were also amended.

A funding scheme of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region was launched in 2015 to support the culture in the region. However, 2018 was the last year when projects related to cinema were eligible. In 2018 the scheme supported the development, production and postproduction of nine films and two documentary series including, The Disciple / Posol by Ivan Ostrochovský, Peter Kerekes’ omnibus project Occupation 1968 / Okupácia 1968, produced by Peter Kerekes and coproduced by Czech Hypermarket Film, Bulgarian Agitprop, Polish Silver Frame and Hungarian ELF Pictures, By a Sharp Knife / Ostrým nožom by Teodor Kuhn, Reborn directed by Iveta Grófová and produced by Hulapa film, and Konšpirácia ticha directed by Robert Kirchhoff and produced by atelier.doc..

The primary sources of information on films are the Slovak Film Institute, which celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2018, and the National Cinematographic Centre, through its specialised office – the Audiovisual Information Centre.

Insects by Jan Svankmajer, still: www.indiegogo.comTV

Slovakia is unique in the CEE as the home of the only channel devoted exclusively to European films. Film Europe Channel was developed by Film Europe Media Company, which operates two more channels: Československo HD, dedicated to Czech and Slovak cinema, and Be2Can HD, which was called Festival HD till November 2018, for films from A-list festivals.

The channel operates in Slovakia along with the public broadcaster RTVS and commercial broadcasters Slovenská produkčná (with channels: TV JOJ, PLUS, WAU, JOJ Cinema, RiK, Ťuki TV, JOJ Family), Markiza Slovakia (with channels: TV Markíza, TV Doma, Dajto), the news channel TA3 (by C.E.N.), children channel ducktv (by Mega Max Media) and religious channel TV Lux.

CONTACTS:

SLOVAK AUDIOVISUAL FUND
Director: Martin Šmatlák
Grösslingová 53
SK-811 09, Bratislava
Phone: +421 5923 4545
Fax: +421 5923 4461
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.avf.sk

Censor by Peter KerekesSLOVAK FILM COMISSION
Manager: Zuzana Bieliková
Grösslingová 53
SK-811 09, Bratislava
Phone: +421 905 360 033
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

SLOVAK FILM INSTITUTE
General Director: Peter Dubecký
Phone: +421 2 5710 1503
Fax: +421 2 5296 3461

Audiovisual Information Center: Miroslav Ulman
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.sfu.sk

NATIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHIC CENTRE
Director: Rastislav Steranka
Contact person: Lea Pagáčová
Phone: +421 2 5710 1526
Tel/fax: +421 2 5273 3214
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www.aic.sk

RADIO AND TELEVISION OF SLOVAKIA
Mlynská dolina
845 45 Bratislava
Phone: +421 2 6061 1103
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.rtvs.sk

Report by Tomáš Hudák (2019)
Sources: the Slovak Film Institute, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Union of Film Distributors of the Slovak Republic


MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

The Line by Peter BebjakSlovak films set box office records in domestic cinemas in 2017. The attendance of nearly 1.5 m admissions was the strongest in the history of independent Slovakia, since 1993.

One of the most successful films in 2017 was the crime-thriller The Line / Čiara, directed by Peter Bebjak, which together with the romantic comedy All or Nothing / Všetko alebo nič directed by Marta Ferencová,  topped the 300,000 admission mark.

The political thriller Kidnapping / Únos, directed by Mariana Čengel Solčanská, had almost 300,000 admissions.

Ten projects registered for the 20% cash rebate at the Slovak Audiovisual Fund in 2017, including the fourth season of the Netflix 13-episode series Outlander. The eased requierements implemented in 2017 attracted more international projects than in 2016, when four projects applied for incentives.

The Slovak Audovisual Fund together with the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic decided to make major cuts to the requirements for minimum expenditure for international productions applying to the incentive scheme and launched a National Film Agency in August 2017 to work with incoming foreign productions.

The Outlander series by Julian HolmesPRODUCTION

A total of 27 feature length films were shot in Slovakia in 2017: 21 feature films (including 14 minority coproductions) and six documentaries (including two minority coproductions).  No long animated film was produced in 2017.

The 100% Slovak productions include the political thriller and box office hit Kidnapping / Únos, directed by Mariana Čengel Solčanská and produced by JMB Film & TV Production in coproduction with RTVS and Studio 727; the comedy Cuky Luky Film, directed by Karel Janák and produced by noemo; DOGG, directed by Jonáš Karásek, Enrik Bistika, Slavomír Zrebný and Vilo Csino, and  produced by Azyl Production and HomeMedia Production; the documentary Ťažká duša / Heavy Heart, directed by Marek Šulík and produced by Žudro, the Slovak Academy of Sciences and RTVS; the family musical comedy Spievankovo a kráľovná Harmónia / Spievankovo and Queen Harmony, directed by Diana Novotná and produced by Tonada and RTVS, and the documentary Vábenie výšok / Addicted to Altitude, directed by Pavol Barabáš and produced by K2 Studio in coproduction with RTVS.

After a long break since 2011, the acclaimed Slovak director Martin Šulík shot his new feature The Interpreter / Tlmočník, a Slovak/Czech/Austrian coproduction between Titanic production, In Film, coop99RTVS and the Czech Television. The film will have its world premiere at the Berlinale and will be released in March 2018.

Censor by Peter KerekesOther important coproductions shot in 2017 are: Cellar / Pivnica, directed by Igor Voloshin and produced by Slovakia’s Furia Film in coproduction with the Czech company 8heads production, Russia’s Gate LCC and RTVS; Power / Moc, directed by Mátyás Prikler and produced by MPhilms in coproduction with Czech Negativ and Hungary's Proton Cinema and Belgian Les Films du Carré; the Slovak/Czech coproduction Censor / Cenzorka, directed by Peter Kerekes and produced by Punkchart films, Hypermarket Film and Peter Kerekes, and also Juraj Jakubisko’s fairytale Seven Legged Lucas / Sedmonohý Lukáš, produced by the Czech and Slovak branches of J&J Jakubisko Film Europe in coproduction with TV JOJ.

Katarína Kerekesová, the director of the children animated series Mimi and Lisa / Mimi a Líza (Fool Moon), introduced a new animated series in 2017. The Websters / Websterovci is the first Slovak animated series in 3D and is a coproduction between Fool Moon, RTVS and Polish Studio Miniatur Filmowych. This Slovak/Polish coproduction was broadcast on RTVS during the 2017 Christmas holidays. 

In 2016 four projects applied for cash rebates and two of them stepped into production in 2017. The TV mini-series Mária Terézia / Maria Theresia, a Slovak/Czech/Austrian/Hungarian coproduction directed by Robert Dornhelm and produced by Beta Film (Germany), MR Film (Austria) and Maya Production (CZ) in coproduction with the Slovak RTVS, the Czech TV, the Austrian ORF and the Hungarian MTVA, was released during the Christmas holidays.

The 13-part TV miniseries Inšpektor Max / Inspector Max, directed by Jaroslav Brabec and produced by Slovakia’s Trigon Production in coproduction with the Slovak RTVS and the Czech Television, was shot and finished in 2017, with the release set for January 2018.

The Websters by Katarina KerekesovaAccording to Martin Šmatlák, the Director of AVF, three times more projects applied for the 20% cash rebate in 2017 compared to 2016. They will be shot throughout 2018. The fourth season of the 13-episode series Outlander, directed by the British Julian Holmes and produced by Netflix, will be shot in Slovakia for 30 days, as well as the US/Czech/Slovak coproduction Alleraya – The Falcon Princess, directed by Slovak Palo Janík Jr. (with  Filmpark production applying for rebates), InOut Studio’s 12-episode series Mistresses / Zamilované directed by Jakub Kroner, The Magic Quill  / Čertovské pero, directed by Marek Najbrt and produced by Czech Punk Film in coproduction with Trigon ProductionRTVS, the Czech Television, Magic Lab, Michal Bauer and Barrandov Studios, and the three-episode miniseries directed by Peter Krištúfek and produced by PubRes in coproduction with Czech Evolution Films and T.H.A.

Also benefitting from the rebates are Villa Lucia, directed by Michal Kollár and produced by KFS Production, RTVS and Czech Fog‘n’Desire FilmsDubček, directed by Laco Halama and produced by Filmpark production in coproduction with RTVS and the Czech Television; The General / Generál, a film and a three-episode miniseries directed by Mariana Čengel Solčanská and produced by JMB Film & TV Productions in coproduction with Prague Film Production, and Šťastné zviera, directed by Jozef Slovák, produced by Tatra Star and starring Ivan Trojan.

Slovakia’s 20% incentive scheme established in 2015 eased its requirements in August 2017. The minimum expenditure level was cut from 2 m EUR to 150,000 EUR for a single feature, documentary or animated film (with a minimum length of 70 minutes), and to 300,000 EUR for a project involving at least two such films or a television series (maximum 13 episodes of minimum 40 minutes).

All or Nothing by Marta FerencováDISTRIBUTION

A total of 31 domestic long films had their premiere in 2017, including 14 minority coproductions as well as nine long documentaries (including three minority coproductions), two middle-length documentaries, one long animated film produced as Slovak minority coproduction and two animated short films.

The leader in the distribution of Slovak films is the Association of Slovak Film Clubs (ASFK), which released three domestic majority coproductions: Out, directed by Gyorgy Kristóf and produced by sentimentalfilm in coproduction with Mirage Film StudioFilm Angels Studioendorfilm, KMH Film, Punkchart FilmsRTVSFAMUFilm Angels Prods; Diera v hlave / A Hole in the Head, directed by Robert Kirchhoff  and produced by HITCHHIKER Cinema in coproduction with the Czech TelevisionRTVS, atelier.doc and Addicted to Altitude directed by Pavol Barabáš, as well as four minority coproductions: Ice Mother  / Baba z Ledu, directed by Bohdan Sláma and produced by  Negativ, in coproduction with the French Why Not Productions, Slovak ARTILERIA , the Czech television RTVSBarrandov Studiosi/o post; Spoor / Pokot, directed by Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik, and produced by TOR Film Production in coproduction with Heimatfilm GmbH, Chimney Group, Nutprodukce, nutprodukcia; Little Crusader / Křižáček, directed by Václav Kadrnka and produced by Sirius Films in coproduction with ARTILERIA , the Czech TelevisionBarrandov Studioi/o post, and Wolf from the Royal Vineyard Street / Vlk z Kráľovských Vinohrad, directed by Jan Němec and produced by MasterFilm in coproduction with the Czech TelevisionMedia Film, UPP and French Bocalupo Films.

Continental Film, a big distributor mostly of Hollywood productions, is also an important player in distributing domestic titles. In 2017 it released All or Nothing / Všetko alebo nič, directed by Marta Ferencová and produced by NUNEZ NFE s.r.o. in coproduction with Evita Film Production s.r.o. and MOJO Film s.r.o., Kidnapping directed by Mariana Čengel Solčanská, DOGG directed by Jonáš Karásek, Enrik Bistika, Slavomír Zrebný and Vilo Csino and The Third Wish / Tri želania, directed by Vít Karas and produced by the Czech Television in coproduction with Slovak TV Markíza and Promea Communication.

Kidnapping by Mariana Čengel SolčanskáForum Film released Oddsockeaters / Lichožrúti, directed by Galina Miklinova and produced by Total HelpArt - T.H.A. in coproduction with the Czech TelevisionPubResAlkay Animation PragueFilmosaurus Rex; Filthy / Špina, directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by Moloko Film and BFILM) , Barefoot / Po strništi bos, directed by Jan Svěrák and produced by Biograf Jan Svěrák in coproduction with the Czech Televisioninnogy, Phoenix Film, NovinskiRTVS; Garden Store: The Family Friend  / Záhradníctvo: Rodinný priateľ,  directed by Jan Hřebejk and produced by Fog'n'Desire Films in coproduction with the Czech Television, MD4, Sokol Kollár, KFS Production, RTVSBarrandov Studiosinnogy, HN film, Magic Lab, ROZVID, EUROPE Visual Consulting, Chimney Group; Garden Store: Deserter / Záhradníctvo: Dezertér, directed by by Jan Hřebejk  and produced by Fog'n'Desire Films in coproduction with the Czech Television, MD4, Sokol Kollar, KFS Production, and Garden Store: Suitor  / Záhradníctvo: Nápadník, directed by Jan Hřebejk and produced by Fog'n'Desire Films in coproduction with the Czech Television, MD4, Sokol Kollar, KFS Production and CinemArt.

Itafilm released two titles in 2017: Cuky Luky Film by Karel Janák and Spievankovo and Queen Harmony directed by Diana Novotná.

PubRes released two documentaries: The Lust for Power / Mečiar, directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by PubRes in coproduction with HBO Europe and Negativ, and Červená, directed by Olga Sommerová and produced by Czech Evolution Films in coproduction with MuMo, PubRes and the Czech Television.

The young platform Filmtopia, which was launched in 2012, began distributing domestic films also on the web portal DAFilms. In 2017 Filmtopia distributed the documentaries Heavy Heart directed by Marek Šulík, Hotel Sunrise / Hotel Úsvit, directed by Mária Rumanová and produced by Punkchart Films in coproduction with RTVS, FTF VŠMU and kaleidoscope, and Varga, directed by Soňa Maletzová and produced by Punkchart Films, RTVS, the Czech Television and FAMU.

Film Europe Media Company released Nina, directed by Juraj Lehotský and produced by Punkchart Films in coproduction with Lehotsky Film, sentimentalfilm, RTVS, Czech Television and endorfilm.

Wolf from the Royal Vineyard Street by Jan NemecCinemArt released Little Harbour /  Piata loď, directed by Iveta Grófová and produced by Hulapa film, Ltd. in coproduction with endorfilm,  Katapult Film, Silverart and RTVS, Garfield Film released A Prominent Patient / Masaryk by Julius Ševčík and produced by IN Film Praha in coproduction with the Czech Television, ZDF/ARTE, RTVS, and Bontonfilm released The White World According to Daliborek / Svet podľa Daliborka, directed by Vít Klusák and produced by Hypermarket Film in coproduction with Peter Kerekes, the Czech Television and BRITDOC Foundation.

There is little Slovak participation in VOD platforms, although a lot of documentaries can be found on DAFilms. The main platform for Slovak films is Kinocola, while ASFK VOD, a VOD platform launched by the Association of Slovak Distributors in 2015, is handling international and domestic titles. Private Slovak television Markíza also releases its domestic series on Voyo.

According to Martin Šmatlák, 2017 was unique also in terms of participation in A-listed festivals. Slovak majority productions winning prizes in 2017 are: Little Harbour by Iveta Grófová - Generation KPlus prize at the Berlinale, The Line / Čiara, directed by Peter Bebjak and produced by Wandal Production in coproduction with Ukraine‘s Garnet International Media Group, RTVSHomeMedia Production and Martin Kohút - best director at the Karlovy Vary IFF, Nina by Juraj Lehotský - Bronze Pyramid  at the Cairo IFF.

Also, the Slovak/Czech/Hungarian coproduction Out by Gyorgy Kristóf  had its premiere in Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, Filthy by Tereza Nvotová had its world premiere at Rotterdam’s Bright Future and the German/Slovak coproduction Freedom / Sloboda directed by Jan Speckenbach (produced by German ONE TWO FILMS, ZAK Film Production and Slovakia‘s BFILM) had its world premiere at the Locarno IFF.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

By the end of 2017, Slovakia had 149 cinemas with 246 screens, of which 189 screens were already digitalised. They also include five alternative spaces for film screenings and 21 open-air theatres. Compared to 2016, the number of cinemas increased from 138 to 149 and the number of digitalised screens increased from 185 to 189. Slovakia also has one IMAX cinema, which was opened in 2015.

Little Harbor by Iveta GrofovaSeveral small art house cinemas operate in Bratislava. Kino Lumière, operated by the Slovak Film Institute, opened on the site of the former Charlie’s Centrum in September 2011. MladosťNostalgia and Film Europe Cinema also add to the diversity of Bratislava's art house landscape, together with Kino Klap (located in the Academy of Performing Arts), Foajé and Kino Inak (a screening room hosted by the alternative cultural centre A4).

A new programme of support for Slovak films in domestic cinemas was launched in 2016. Every cinema has the right to apply and receive one euro per each ticket sold for a domestic title. In 2016 the AVF alloted 217,488 EUR for 2015 and in 2017 it allotted 188,048 EUR for 2016. Due to the rapid increase of admissions in 2017, AVF had to change the regulations for 2018.

Total admissions in 2017 were 6,692,871 representing a 18.10 percent increase compared to 2016. Total gross was 34,513,049 EUR, which is 18.91 percent higher than in 2016.

Total admissions to Slovak films and coproduction titles released in 2017 were 1,430,504 and total gross was 7,201,048 EUR. Admissions to Slovak productions represents 21.37% of all released titles. In 2016 domestic titles had only 6.6% attendance from among all the released titles.

According to the Union of Film Distributors of the Slovak Republic (UFD ), the romantic comedy All or Nothing by Marta Ferencová was the most popular film in 2017 with 340,535 admissions, followed by The Line by Peter Bebjak with 329,349 admissions. In 2016 the most popular domestic title was the Czech/Slovak/Polish coproduction The Red Captain / Červený kapitán, directed by Michal Kollár and  produced by Fog´n Desire Films, in coproduction with Sokol Kollár, MD4, RTVS, Czech Television, Barrandov Studio, S Pro Alfa, Krakow Festival Office, and Kino 64 U hradeb, with 86,000 admissions.

All or Nothing is followed in the admissions top ten for domestic films by Kidnapping directed by Mariana Čengel Solčanská with 278,763 admissions, Cuky Luky Film directed by Karel Janák with 116,139 admissions, Spievankovo and Queen Harmony directed by Diana Novotná with 86,555 admissions, A Prominent Patient directed by Július Ševčík with 55,183 admissions, Filthy directed by Tereza Nvotová with 50,564 admissions, Barefoot directed by Jan Svěrák with 41,203 admissions, the animated film Oddsockeaters directed by Galina Miklínová with 20,214 admissions and the documentary The Lust for Power directed by Tereza Nvotová with 15,621 admissions.

A Prominent Patient by Július ŠevčíkGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Slovak Audiovisual Fund has been the main tool of public support for cinematography in the Slovak Republic since 2010. Its budget was 6.9 m EUR in 2010, but fell to 5.5 m EUR in 2013 and increased again to 6.6 m EUR in 2014. The fund had a budget of 7 m EUR in 2017.  

The budget of AVF is provided in part by TV advertising revenues. In 2017, AVF registered ten projects for audiovisual industry support.

Slovakia’s 20% incentive scheme established in 2015 eased its requirements starting August 2017. The minimum expenditure level was cut from 2 m EUR to 150,000 EUR for a single feature, documentary or animated film (with a minimum length of 70 minutes) and to 300,000 EUR for a project involving at least two such films or a television series (maximum 13 episodes of minimum 40 minutes).

The Slovak Audovisual Fund together with the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic launched a National Film Agency in August 2017, aiming to work with incoming foreign productions.

In January 2017 the development grants increased from 3,000 EUR to a maximum of 5,000 EUR. Maximum grant for festivals increased from 200,000 EUR to 300,000 EUR per festival. Films and TV projects are now judged separately.

With a new legislation, animated films are included in the production grants contest for Slovak minority coproductions, and TV animated projects are preferred. Slovak majority productions can apply for development and production support, which have a cap of 50,000 EUR for development and 1.2 m EUR for production. The significant new element of allotting funding to minority TV productions with minority Slovak coproduction was successfully lobbied for by the Slovak Association of Animated Film Producers (APAF). 

The Interpreter by Martin SulikAnother novelty is that one project cannot receive more than three grants from the Slovak Audiovisual Fund. However, minority coproductions and student films can receive only one grant from the AVF.

A new funding scheme of the Bratislava Self-Governing Region was launched in 2015 for supporting the culture in the region. In 2017 the scheme supported the distribution of Nina by Juraj Lehotský, The Line by Peter Bebjak, Little Harbour by Iveta Grófová and Filthy by Tereza Nvotová.

The primary sources of information on film are the Slovak Film Institute, which will celebrate its 55th anniversary in 2018, and the National Cinematographic Centre, through the specialised office of the Audiovisual Information Centre.

The Magic Quill by Marek Najbrt, photo: Punk Film / Marek NovotnýTV

Slovakia is unique in the CEE as home of the only channel devoted exclusively to European films. Film Europe Channel was developed by Film Europe Media Company, which launched two more channels, Československo HD and Festival Channel HD in November 2016, in addition to Film Europe Channel HD.

The channel operates in Slovakia along with the public broadcaster RTVS and commercial broadcasters MAC TV - Slovenská produkčná since January 2017 (with channels: TV JOJPLUSWAUJOJ CinemaRiKŤuki TV, JOJ Family) and Markiza Slovakia (with channels: TV MarkízaTV DomaDajto).

CONTACTS:

SLOVAK AUDIOVISUAL FUND
Director: Martin Šmatlák
Grösslingová 53
SK-811 09, Bratislava
Phone: +421 5923 4545
Fax: +421 5923 4461
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.avf.sk

The Cellar by Igor VoloshinSLOVAK FILM INSTITUTE
General Director: Peter Dubecký
Phone: +421 2 5710 1503
Fax: +421 2 5296 3461

Audiovisual Information Center: Miroslav Ulman
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www.sfu.sk

NATIONAL CINEMATOGRAPHIC CENTRE
Director: Rastislav Steranka
Contact person: Lea Pagáčová
Phone: +421 2 5710 1526
Tel/fax: +421 2 5273 3214
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.aic.sk

RADIO AND TELEVISION OF SLOVAKIA
Mlynská dolina
845 45 Bratislava
Phone: +421 2 6061 1103
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.rtvs.sk

Report by Alexandra Gabrižová (2018)
Sources: the Slovak Film Institute, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Union of Film Distributors of the Slovak Republic