Market Analysis

Market Analysis (21)

Czech Republic

The Painted Bird by Václav MarhoulMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

PRAGUE: Czech cinema enjoyed domestic and international success with numerous feature films, documentaries and also several short films in 2019. The year was marked by a growing number of coproductions, the so far highest spend of international film crews shooting on Czech locations and exceptional box office results.

The Painted Bird directed by Václav Marhoul was selected as Czech Republic’s candidate for the 92nd edition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the International Feature Film category. The film is the first Czech majority coproduction selected for the main competition of the Venice Film Festival (2019) in 25 years and it was also selected for the Special Presentations section of the 44th Toronto IFF (5-15 September 2019).

Jiří Mádl’s sophomore feature On the Roof won the main prize at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival, Michal Hogenauer’s debut feature A Certain Kind of Silence won the Bronze Pyramid Award at the Cairo IFF and the Slovak/Czech coproduction Let There Be Light by Marko Škop won the main prize at the Almaty FF.

The most successful Czech documentary of 2019 was Forman vs. Forman by Helena Třeštíková, which premiered in the Cannes Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival and was screened afterwards at another 40 festivals.

The animated short film Daughter / Dcera by Daria Kashcheeva won the Cristal for a Graduation Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival as well as the Children’s Jury Prize for Best Student Film. The film has won approximately 40 awards, including the prestigious Student Academy Award for best animated film (International Film Schools category), and it was nominated for the Academy Award in the Animated Short Film category.

Daughter by Daria KashcheevaPRODUCTION

More than 100 Czech feature films and long documentaries were in various stages of production in 2019, including numerous international coproductions. The coproducing countries traditionally included largely represented Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Lithuania, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Russia.

As far as the topics and genres of the feature films are concerned, period films - both from older and more recent Czech history - represent a substantial part of the 2019 production, but films on political and social subjects are made more and more often. Filmmakers of all genres also often touch ecological problems of today´s world. Comedy remains a successful genre in Czech cinemas, as well as films for children, including long animated films.

Beside experienced and renowned directors shooting new films, numerous debut features were also produced in 2019.

Important films were in postproduction or completed in 2019 after several years of production. Among them are the US/Czech/UK coproduction Medieval / Jan Žižka directed by Petr Jákl and produced by WOG FILM; Agnieszka Holland’s Charlatan / Šarlatán produced by Marlene Film Production (CZ) and coproduced by Film and Music Entertainment (IE), Madants (madants.pl, PL), Furia Film (SK), the Czech Television, Barrandov Studio (CZ), the Radio and Television of Slovakia, CertiCon (CZ) and Magiclab (CZ); and Juraj Jakubisko´s Czech/Slovak fantasy coproduction Perinbaba and the Two Worlds / Perinbaba a dva světy, produced by the Czech company J&J Jakubisko Film Europe SE in coproduction with J&J Jakubisko Film Europe Production Slovakia and JOJ TV.

Other important films produced in 2019 include People of Blood / Lidi krve directed by Miroslav Bambušek and produced by Czech FreeSaM in coproduction with Germany’s Jana Cisar Filmproduktion, the Czech Television and Slovakia’s atelier.doc; Brothers / Bratři directed by Tomáš Mašín and produced by Czech FilmBrigade in coproduction with the Czech Television, Germany’s Rohfilm Productions and Slovakia’s PubRes; Nightsiren / Světlonoc directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by Czech moloko film and Perinbaba and the Two Worlds by Juraj JakubiskoSlovak BFilm in coproduction with France’s Senorita Films; I Don´t Like You Anymore / Už tě nemám rád directed by Zdeněk Jiráský and produced by Czech i/o post in coproduction with Romania’s Tangaj Production and Slovenia’s Staragara.

Among feature films produced in 2019 there are also: Havel directed by Slávek Horák and produced by Tvorba Films in coproduction with the Czech Television; Bohdan Sláma´s Shadow Country / Krajina ve stínu, produced by Luminar film in coproduction with the Czech TV; the children film Martin and the Forest Secret / Mazel a tajemství lesa directed by Petr Oukropec and produced by Czech BFilms in coproduction with Poland’s Wajda Studio and Germany‘s Leitwolf Filmproduktion; The Last Race / Poslední závod directed by Tomáš Hodan and produced by Punk Film; the debut feature The Pack / Smečka directed by Tomáš Polenský and produced by Czech 8Heads Productions in coproduction with Latvia’s EgoMedia, Moss &Roy, IS Produkce, Sleepwalker and Magiclab from the Czech Republic; Zátopek directed by David Ondříček and produced by Lucky Man Films; Grand Prix directed by Jan Prušinovský and produced by Offside Men; Bourák directed by Ondřej Trojan and produced by T.H.A.; the Czech/Slovak coproduction Droneman / Modelář directed by Petr Zelenka and produced by Czech 0.7 km films in coproduction with the Czech Television, Hangar Films, Slovakia´s Punkchart Films and Slovenia’s Fabula.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 62 new domestic feature films and documentaries and four long animated films were theatrically released during 2019, compared to 70 in 2018 (of which two were animated films).

The list of comedies successfully distributed in Czech cinemas in 2019 includes Women on the Run / Ženy v běhu directed by Martin Horský, produced by Infinity Prague, coproduced and released by CinemartThe Last Aristocrat / Poslední aristokratka directed by Jiří Vejdělek, produced by Evolution Films in coproduction with CertiCon, the Czech Television, Hangar Films, Innogy, PubRes, and distributed by Falcon, with 436,952 admissions; and LOVEhunt / LOVEní directed by Karel Janák, produced by Bontonfilm Studios and Love Frame, and distributed by Bontonfilm, with 151,595 admissions.   

The Painted Bird by Václav Marhoul was selected as Czech Republic’s candidate for the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best International Feature Film category. The film is the first majority Czech coproduction selected for the Charlatan by Agnieszka Hollandmain competition of the Venice Film Festival (2019) in 25 years and it was also selected for the Special Presentations section of the 44th Toronto IFF (5-15 September 2019).

The film was also screened in London, Warsaw, Tokyo and Chicago, where the jury awarded the work of the cinematographer Vladimír Smutný. The film has already been sold to the USA and Canada. International sales are handled by the French company Celluloid Dreams.


EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The year 2019 was exceptionally successful for Czech cinemas, with total admissions of 18,319,471 and net revenues of 104,060,594 EUR / 2,616,603,639 CZK, with a year-on-year increase of 1,974,988 admissions and 13,826,248 EUR / 347,661,016 CZK.

The average ticket price in 2019 was 5.68 EUR.

There are eight distribution companies in the Czech Republic with a market share of over 1%.

In 2019, Falcon with 35.7% market share replaced CinemArt, which was at the top last year. Its market share in 2019 was 33.7%. Vertical Entertainment (Freeman) ranked third with 13.2%, followed by Bontonfilm with 5% market share.

The most attended film in Czech cinemas was the Czech comedy Women on the Run / Ženy v běhu directed by Martin Horský and distributed by CinemArt, with 1,543,842 admissions and 8,428,122 EUR / 211,925,133 CZK gross.

Women on the Run by Martin HorskýIn 2019 the attendance in multiplexes, counting 247 screens and 42,735 seats, reached a market share of 62.5%. The largest multiplex cinema operators are Cinema City and Cine Star.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The main tool for public support of Czech cinema is the Czech Film Fund. The funding is granted in 10 areas: development, production, distribution, technological development, promotion, publications, education and training, protection, preservation and access to film heritage, festivals and film events and protection of rights to cinematographic works.

The Fund, through its division, the Czech Film Center, represents and promotes Czech cinema and film industry and increases the awareness of Czech film worldwide. It also supports the activities of film offices in the Czech Republic through its division Czech Film Commission, helping Czech and foreign filmmakers to shoot in various regions of the country.

In 2019, the Czech Film Fund issued a total of 29 calls for domestic grants with a total funding of 14,098,809 EUR / 340.5 m CZK, of which 11,169,693 EUR / 267.5 m CZK was earmarked for Czech film development and production of all film genres, including minority coproductions.

Among the important feature films supported in 2019 there are: Brothers / Bratři directed by Tomáš Mašín and produced by FilmBrigade, with 576,923 EUR / 15 m CZK; Nightsiren / Světlonoc directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by Moloko Film, with 384,615 EUR / 10 m CZK; Slovo (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia) directed by Beata Parkanová and produced by LOVE FRAME and Bontofilm Studios in coproduction with KIJORA Film and DNA production, with 326,923 EUR / 8.5 m CZK; Tancuj Matyldo (Czech Republic, Slovakia) directed by Petr Slavík and produced by Nataša Slavíková in coproduction with Virus Film, with 307,629 EUR / 8 m CZK; People of Blood / Lidi krve directed by Miroslav Bambušek and produced by FreeSaM, with 288,461 EUR / 7.5 m CZK, Nobody Likes Me / Nikdo mě nemá rád directed by Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda, and produced by Black Balance, with 269,230 EUR / 7 m CZK; I Don´t Like You Anymore / Už tě nemám rád directed by Zdeněk Jiráský and produced by i/o post, with 192,307 EUR / 5 m CZK; Hrana zlomu directed by Emil Křižka and produced by Bionaut, with 115,384 EUR / 3 m CZK.

Forman vs. Forman by Helena Třeštíková Jakub HejnaThe Czech Film Fund also administrates production incentives for film and TV productions shooting in the Czech Republic. The incentives are granted in the form of a 20% cash rebate on Czech production costs and 66% on the withholding tax on non-resident labour costs paid in the Czech Republic. The incentives are available for feature, animated and documentary films, TV and animation series, including postproduction. Maximum eligible costs are set at 80% of the total budget, there is no cap on the incentive per project or per applicant. The application can be submitted at any time of the year. The Czech Film Fund is currently trying to increase the rebate to 25%. A total of 50 m EUR / 1.3 billion CZK was allocated in the incentive programme in 2019. For eligibility criteria and application process, check the Czech Film Commission’s website.

The incentives allocated in 2019 include the fantasy series The Wheel of Time (6,231,000 EUR / 162 m CZK) directed by Uta Biesewitz, produced by Sony Pictures and Amazon, and serviced by Partnership Pictures, with 69 shooting days in the Czech Republic in 2019 (shooting will continue in 2020 with 150 shooting days in total); the second season of Carnival Row (9.5 m EUR / 247 m CZK), produced by Amazon with Stillking Features servicing (42 days in 2019, 106 in total); the comedy series Miracle Workers (3 m EUR / 78 m CZK), produced by TBS with Stillking Films servicing (44 shooting days); the drama series Shadowplay (4,307,690 EUR / 112 m CZK), produced by ZDF and serviced by Film United, with 90 shooting days; the family film A Boy Called Christmas (2,961,540 EUR / 77 m CZK), produced by Netflix and serviced by Czech Anglo Productions, with 55 shooting days; the adaptation of the bestseller Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof ZOO (2,076,923 EUR / 54 m CZK), a series produced by Amazon and serviced by Wilma Film, with more than 100 shooting days.

Also benefiting from the rebates in 2019 were: the German series produced by Netflix Tribes of Europa (1,615,385 EUR / 42 m CZK), serviced by Mia Film, with 82 shooting days; the UK family series The Letter for the King (2,153,846 EUR / 56 m CZK) produced by Netflix, serviced by Unit and Sofa, with 70 shooting days; the Austrian series Freud (1,480,769 EUR / 38.5 m CZK) directed by Marvin Kren, produced by Netflix and serviced by Mia Film, with 86 shooting days.

Rebates were also given to a broad range of coproductions such as Shadow of my Eyes (692,308 EUR / 18 m CZK) directed by Ole Bornedal and coproduced by Sirena Film, with more than 30 shooting days in 2019; the coproduction series Atlantic Crossing (1,653,846 EUR / 43 m CZK) directed by Alexander Eik and coproduced by Sirena Film, with almost 100 shooting days; the coproduction series Das Boot 2 (2,557,692 EUR / 66,5 m CZK), produced by Bavaria Fiction in coproduction with Stillking Features, Zatopek by David Ondricek, photo: Lucky Man Filmswith 104 shooting days. Production incentives were also used by AGC Studios for the postproduction of the sci-fi film Voyagers (423,076 EUR / 11 m CZK) directed by Neil Burger. The postproduction was made by U Film.

One of the important supporters of Czech film is Innogy, which coproduced several important new films, including Petr Zelenka´s Droneman and David Ondříček´s Zátopek, and which supports the Karlovy Vary IFF, the Czech Critics´ Awards and the Czech Lions.

The Prague Film Fund supports Czech and international films and TV series shot in Prague, where the city plays itself. In 2019 the fund supported, among others, Charlatan by Agnieszka Holland, Zátopek by David Ondříček and the documentary Mucha: The Story of an Artist Who Created Style directed by David Vávra and produced by Punk Film in coproduction with maximfilm (DE), the Czech Television and ARTE.

TV

The major TV companies in the Czech Republic are NOVA group, the Czech Television and PRIMA group.

The Czech Television currently runs six channels: CT1, CT2, CT24, CT sport, CT:D and CT Art.

NOVA group channels include NOVANOVA 2NOVA CinemaNOVA ActionNOVA Gold, NOVA Sport and NOVA Sport 2.

Prima group consists of Prima FamilyPrima COOLPrima LOVEPrima ZOOM, Prima MAX and Prima Comedy and Prima Crime.Shadows Country by Bohdan Sláma, source: Facebook / Krajina ve stínu

Seznam TV is among the fast growing Internet TVs in the Czech Republic, also producing its own original programmes, including popular internet series.

The TV stations make their programmes also available on the Internet, thus reaching a larger audience. TV NOVA has its video library Voyo.cz, Prima group runs PrimaPlay.cz, while the Czech TV offers its programmes via iVysílání.cz.

The most attended VOD portals in the Czech Republic are Stream.cz, HBO Go and Netflix. Specialised documentary VOD service is provided by DAFilms.cz.

The market for TV advertising is dominated by Nova and Prima (90%), while advertising on the Czech Television is limited to the minimum by the law. The television is traditionally the strongest advertising medium in the country.

Television stations play a large role in the production of quality content for local film and TV productions. The Czech TV is a permanent partner of the Czech cinema, with its in-house production sector Film Center, coproducing increasing numbers of feature films. Czech TV is also a coproducer of almost all documentaries released in Czech cinemas.

Old Timers by Ondřej Provazník and Martin DušekAmong the film projects coproduced by the public Czech Television in 2019 are the already mentioned feature films: Old Timers directed by Ondřej Provazník and Martin Dušek, Prague Orgy directed by Irena Pavlásková, Droneman directed by Petr Zelenka, Shadow Country directed by Bohdan Sláma, People of Blood directed by Miroslav Bambušek, Bourák directed by Ondřej Trojan, Zátopek directed by David Ondříček and Grand Prix directed by Jan Prušinovský.

Among important TV projects produced by the public television in 2019 there are: the Czech/Polish coproduction series Princip slasti directed by Dariusz Jabłoński, the miniseries Jak si nepodělat život directed by Tereza Kopáčová and the TV series Sever directed by Robert Sedláček.

Also in 2019, HBO Europe produced the original Czech series Bez vědomí directed by Ivan Zachariáš.

CONTACTS:

CZECH FILM FUND
Veletržní palác, Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7
Phone: +420 224 301 278
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondkinematografie.cz

Charlatan by Agnieszka Holland shooting, photo: Marlene Film Production / Alžběta JungrováCZECH FILM FUND - CZECH FILM CENTER
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcenter.cz

CZECH FILM FUND - CZECH FILM COMMISSION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: 420 778 543 290
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcommission.cz

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Malešická 12, 130 00 Prague 3
Phone: +420 778 522 729
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfa.cz

APA- AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 603 844 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.asociaceproducentu.cz

CREATIVE EUROPE – MEDIA CZECH REPUBLIC
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 209
Fax: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mediadeskcz.eu

CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION ACADEMY
Karlovo nám 285/19, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.cfta.cz

Daughter by Daria KashcheevaINSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM
Štěpánská 611/14, 110 00 Praha 1
Phone: +420 224 214 858
Fax: +420 224 214 858
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.dokweb.net

FITES – CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION UNION
Pod Nuselskými schody 3, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.fites.cz

FILM DISTRIBUTORS’ UNION
nám. Winstona Churchilla 2, 130 00 Prague 3
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.ufd.cz 

PRAGUE FILM FUND
Mariánské náměstí 2/2, 110 00 Praha 1
www.praguefilmfund.eu

ASSOCIATION OF CZECH ANIMATION FILM
Heřmanova 3, Prague
http://en.asaf.cz/

Report by Denisa Strbova (2020)
Sources:  the Czech Film Fund, the Czech Film Center, the Czech Film Commission, the Film Distributor´s Union, the Czech Television


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Jan Palach by Robert SedláčekCzech cinema enjoyed domestic and international successes of both feature films and documentaries in 2018, with the Czech Film Fund effectively supporting the development and production of numerous quality films (including a strikingly high number of debut features), a growing number of coproductions, returning international film crews shooting on Czech locations and exceptional box office results.

PRODUCTION

Film production in the Czech Republic in 2018 was marked by a growing interest of domestic producers in international coproductions including minority coproductions, which enjoyed a significant support from the Czech Film Fund. The range of coproducing countries is getting wider than before, including – next to traditional partner countries - also new partners from the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, France or the USA.

As far as the topics and genres are concerned, period films seemed to prevail in 2018, both from older and more recent Czech history. Numerous domestic comedies are still being made - traditionally a very successful genre in Czech cinemas, as well as films for children, including long animated films. Together with experienced and renowned directors shooting new films, a strikingly high number of debut features was produced in 2018.

Among the most important and at the same time most expensive titles shooting in 2018 there were: the epic period film Medieval / Jan Žižka by Petr Jákl, a US/Czech/UK coproduction produced by WOG FILM, the war dramaThe Painted Bird / Nabarvené ptáče, directed by Václav Marhoul and produced by Silvescreen, (a coproduction between the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, Slovakia) and The Glass Room / Skleněný pokoj by Julius Ševčík produced by IN Film Praha.

Other titles which were shot in 2018 and which deal with important political topics were The Prague Orgy / Pražské orgie by Irena Pavlásková produced by Prague Movie Company,  the Czech/German coproduction National Street / Národní třída directed by Štěpán Altrichter and produced by Negativ, and On the Roof / Na střeše directed by Jiří Mádl and produced by Dawson Productions.

Important coproductions shot in 2018 are the children film My Grandpa Is an Alien by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree Škop, a coproduction between Croatia, Luxembourg, Norway, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, produced by Studio Dim, and the Danish/Czech coproduction In Love and War / I Krig & Kærlighed, directed by Kasper Torsting and produced by Fridthjof Film and Film United.

Agnieszka Holland’s new feature film Charlatan / Šarlatán, produced by Marlene Film Production, started shooting for one week in 2018 with the main shooting set for 2019.The Prague Orgy by Irena Pavlásková

There were numerous big and small foreign productions shooting in the Czech Republic in 2018, including the big budget TV series Wiskey Cavalier and the second season of Knightfall, most of them supported by the film incentives programme.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 70 new domestic features and documentaries were theatrically released during 2018. Numerous important feature films were inspired by events and personalities from the Czech history and literature: the Czech/Slovak drama Jan Palach directed by Robert Sedláček, produced by Cineart TV Prague and distributed by CinemArt (which was nominated for six Czech Critics’ Awards), Toman by Ondřej Trojan, produced by Total HelpArt T.H.A.. (which was released by Falcon in October 2018), the long awaited fairy tale The Magic Quill / Čertí brko directed by Marek Najbrt, produced by Punk Film and distributed by Falcon, and the adaptation of the acclaimed novel Hastrman directed by Ondřej Havelka, produced by První veřejnoprávní, and distributed by CinemArt.

The list of comedies successfully distributed in Czech cinemas in 2018 includes What Men Long For / Po čem muži touží directed by Rudolf  Havlík, produced by Fénix Film in coproduction with Flamesite and distributed by CinemArt, Patrimony / Tátova Volha directed by Jiří Vejdělek, produced by Infinity Prague and distributed by CinemArt, and  Desperate Ladies Act Desperately / Zoufalé ženy dělají zoufalé věcí directed by Filip Renč, produced by Mojo Film and distributed by Bioscop.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The year 2018 was very good for Czech cinemas. The results surpassed even the box office record year 2016. The total admissions reached 16,344, 483, the total box office was 88,595,963 EUR / 2, 268, 942, 623 CZK, compared to 15,233,432 admissions and total box office of 78,814,200 EUR / 2,004,245,131 CZK in 2017.

The average ticket price in 2018 was 5.42 EUR / 138.82 CZK.

My Grandpa is an Alien by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree SkopThere are eight distribution companies in the Czech Republic with a market share of over 1%.

In 2018, CinemArt, the distributor of some major US studios’ productions and also high-profile Czech films, had 40.8% market share and replaced the top distributor of 2017, Falcon, which had 28.1% market share. Vertical Entertainment (Freeman) ranked third with 12.7%, followed by Bontonfilm with 6.2% market share.

The most attended film in Czech cinemas was Bohemian Rhapsody (distributed by CinemArt) with 1,073,638 admissions and 6,466,605 EUR / 165,609,745 CZK gross.

The most attended Czech film in 2018 was the comedy What Men Long For / Po čem muži touží, with 558,988 admissions and 3,226,102 EUR / 82, 620,472 CZK.

In 2018 the market share of multiplexes, counting 256 screens and 44,464 seats, reached 65.88% (attendance). The largest multiplex cinema operators are Cinema City and Cine Star.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The main tool for public support of Czech cinema is the Czech Film Fund. The funding is granted in 10 areas: development, production, distribution, promotion, technological development, publications, education and training, festivals and events, protection, preservation and access to film heritage. The Fund, through its division Czech Film Center, represents and promotes Czech cinema and film industry and increases the awareness of Czech film worldwide. It also supports through its division Czech Film Commission the activities of film offices in the Czech Republic, helping Czech and foreign filmmakers to shoot in various regions of the country.

In 2018, the Czech Film Fund issued a total of 30 calls for domestic grants with a total funding of 14.098,809 EUR / 361 m CZK, of which 11,169,693 EUR / 286 m CZK was earmarked for Czech film development and production of all film genres, including minority coproductionsWhiskey Cavalier ABC series .

Among important feature films supported in 2018 there are: Havel directed by Slávek Horák and produced by TVORBA Films, with 560,603 EUR / 14.5 m CZK, Zátopek directed by David Ondříček and produced by Lucky Men Films, with 579,039 EUR / 15 m CZK, Bourák directed by Ondřej Trojan and produced by Total Help Art T.H.A., with 386,026 EUR / 10 m CZK, Snake Gas / Hadí plyn directed by David Jařab and produced by Cineart TV Prague, with 386,026 EUR / 10 m CZK, Princip Kriegel aneb Muž, který stál v cestě directed by Ivan Fíla and produced by Bio Illusion, with 386,026 EUR / 10 m CZK, Krajina ve stínu directed by Bohdam Sláma and produced by Luminar Film, with 425,285 EUR / 11 m CZK, Admin directed by Olmo Omerzu and produced by endorfilm, with 425,285 EUR / 11 m CZK, Chyby directed by Jan Prušinovský and produced by Offsidemen, with 270,270 EUR / 7 m CZK, and the children and youth film A City Boy and the Forest Secret / Mazel a tajemství lesa directed by Petr Okropec and produced by BFilms, with 289,575 EUR / 7.5 m CZK.

The Czech Film Fund also administrates film incentives for film and TV productions shooting in the Czech Republic. The incentives are granted in the form of a 20% cash rebate on Czech production costs and 66% on the withholding tax on non-resident labour costs paid in the Czech Republic. The incentives are available for feature films, TV and animation series, animated and documentary films. Maximum eligible costs are set at 80% of the total budget. The Czech Film Fund is currently trying to increase the rebate to 25%.

More than 38.9 m EUR / 1 billion CZK were allocated to the incentive programme in 2018.

For eligibility criteria and application process, check the Czech Film Commission’s website.

The amendment to the audiovisual law approved in May 2016 came into effect on 1 January 2017. An improved incentives scheme was introduced, which makes the system more flexible for film productions.

Toman by Ondřej TrojanThe rebates allotted in 2018 include the action series Whiskey Cavalier (8,748, 291 EUR / 224 m CZK) directed by  Peter Atencio, produced by Doozer and Warner Bros. Television and serviced by Stillking Films, with almost 100 shooting days in the Czech Republic; the second season of the historical series Knightfall (5,702,011 EUR / 146 m CZK) directed by Rick Jacobson, produced by A+E Studios, Midnight Radio and The Combine with Stillking Films servicing (90 shooting days); the US/German coproduction Jojo Rabbit (1,390,353 EUR / 35.6 m CZK) directed by Taika Waititi, produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures and serviced by Czech Anglo Productions (40 shooting days); the French biopic Edmond (812,341 EUR / 20.8 m CZK) directed by Alexis Michalik, produced by Légende Films, Ezra, Gaumont (FR), Nexus (BG), Sirena Film, which also serviced in the Czech Republic (41 shooting days); Norwegian Amundsen (523,335 EUR / 13.4 m CZK) directed by Espen Sandberg, produced by Motion Blur (NO), SF Studios (SE) and serviced by Film Kolektiv (22 days), Amazon Studios’ horror series Lore (1,093, 536 EUR / 28 m CZK) by Darnell Martin, Thomas J. Wright, Michael E. Satrazemis and produced by Amazon Studios, Propagate Content, Valhalla Entertainment, serviced by Milk & Honey Pictures.

Also benefiting of the rebates in 2018 were: the German mini-series The Wall (1,132,591 EUR / 29 m CZK) directed by Michael Krumennacher and produced by Gabriela Sperl Produktion, Wiedemann & Berg Television, ZDF Enterprises, with Wilma Film coproducing and servicing; the BBC series World on Fire (2,069, 908 EUR / 53 m CZK); three German TV films for the Der Zurich-Krimi series (488,186 EUR / 12.5 m); the German/Austrian feature film Narziss und Goldmund (585,823 EUR / 15 m CZK) directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, produced by Tempest Film Produktion Und Verleih, Mythos Film Produktions, Lotus-Film and serviced by Mia Film; the US/UK TV mini-series The Little Drummer Girl (410,076 EUR / 10.5 m CZK) directed by Park Chan-wook, produced by AMC Networks, BBC, Endeavor Content, The Ink Factory and serviced by Sirena Film.

Rebates were also given to large scale Czech coproductions such as Agnieszka Holland’s feature film Charlatan / Šarlatán produced by Marlene Film Production -  429,603 EUR / 11 m CZK, and Glass Room / Skleněný pokoj by Julius Ševčík, produced by InFilm - 468,658 EUR / 12 m CZK.

TV

The main TV companies in the Czech Republic are NOVA group, the Czech Television and PRIMA group.

The Czech Television currently runs six channels: CT1, CT2, CT24, CT sport, CT:D and CT Art.The Magic Quill by Marek Najbrt, photo: Punk Film, Marek Novotný

NOVA group channels include NOVANOVA 2NOVA CinemaNOVA ActionNOVA Gold, NOVA Sport and NOVA Sport 2.

Prima group consists of Prima FamilyPrima COOLPrima LOVEPrima ZOOM,  Prima MAX and Prima Comedy and Prima Crime.

TV stations also increased the number of programmes available on the internet, bringing them to a larger audience. TV NOVA has its video library Voyo.cz, Prima group runs PrimaPlay.cz, while the Czech TV offers its programmes via iVysílání.cz.

Hastrman by Ondřej HavelkaThe market for TV advertising is dominated by Nova and Prima (90%), while advertising on the Czech Television is limited to the minimum by the law. The television is traditionally the strongest advertising medium in the country.

Television stations play a large role in the production of quality content for local film and TV productions. The Czech TV has become a permanent partner of Czech cinema, with its in-house production sector Film Center coproducing increasing numbers of feature films. Czech TV is also a coproducer of almost all documentaries released in Czech cinemas.

Among TV projects produced by the public television in 2018 there are: the Czech historical TV miniseries Rašín directed by Jiří Svoboda, A Pilot Tale / Balada o pilotovi by Jan Sebechlebský and the film for children Magician Zito / Kouzelník Žito by Zdeněk Zelenka. Important miniseries dealing with the Czech history are also Jan Hrebejk´s Redl and the 8-part series Lynč directed by Klára Jůzová, Jan Bártek and Harold Apter. The Czech TV coproduced many important feature films including The Magic Quill by Marek Najbrt, Winter Flies by Olmo Omerzu, On the Roof by Jiří Mádl and Toman by Ondřej Trojan.

CONTACTS:

CZECH FILM FUND
Veletržní palác, Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7
Phone: +420 224 301 278
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondkinematografie.cz

CZECH FILM FUND - CZECH FILM CENTER
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcenter.cz

CZECH FILM FUND - CZECH FILM COMMISSION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: 420 778 543 290
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcommission.cz

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Malešická 12, 130 00 Prague 3
Phone: +420 778 522 729
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfa.cz

APA- AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 603 844 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.asociaceproducentu.cz

CREATIVE EUROPE – MEDIA CZECH REPUBLIC
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 209
Fax: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mediadeskcz.eu

Desperate Women Do Desperate Things by Filip RenčCZECH FILM AND TELEVISION ACADEMY
Karlovo nám 285/19, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.cfta.cz

INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM
Štěpánská 611/14, 110 00 Praha 1
Phone: +420 224 214 858
Fax: +420 224 214 858
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.dokweb.net

FITES – CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION UNION
Pod Nuselskými schody 3, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.fites.cz

FILM DISTRIBUTORS’ UNION
nám. Winstona Churchilla 2, 130 00 Prague 3
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.ufd.cz 

PRAGUE FILM FUND
Mariánské náměstí 2/2, 110 00 Praha 1
www.praguefilmfund.eu

ASSOCIATION OF CZECH ANIMATION FILM
Heřmanova 3, Prague
http://en.asaf.cz/

Report by Denisa Strbova (2019)
Sources:  the Czech Film Fund, the Czech Film Center, the Czech Film Commission, the Film Distributor´s Union


 MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Toman by Ondřej TrojanCzech cinema had a good year in 2017, with international success of both feature films and documentaries, a film fund effectively supporting the development and production of numerous quality films, a growing number of coproductions, returning international film crews shooting on Czech locations and excellent box office results.

PRODUCTION

Among the most important titles shooting in 2017 were several period films, including Painted Bird / Nabarvené ptáče, directed by Václav Marhoul and produced by Silvescreen, Jan Palach, directed by Robert Sedláček and produced by Cineart TV Prague, and Toman by Ondřej Trojan, produced by Total HelpArt T.H.A..

The long awaited fairy tale The Magic Quill / Čertí brko, directed by Marek Najbrt and produced by Punk Film, was shot in the summer of 2017.

The romantic fantasy based on the acclaimed novel Hastrman, directed by Ondřej Havelka and produced by První veřejnoprávní,, was shot from July to September 2017.

The comedies filmed in 2017 included Dad´s Volha, directed by Jiří Vejdělek and produced by Infinity Prague, and Desperate Women Do Desperate Things / Zoufalé ženy dělají zoufalé věcí directed by Filip Renč and produced by U.F.O. Pictures..

The Magic Quill by Marek Najbrt, photo: Punk Film, Marek NovotnýThere were also numerous foreign productions shooting in the Czech Republic in 2017. Unique Czech locations, the experience and expertise of the Barrandov Studio, which hosts one of the largest costumes and props rental houses in Europe, are constantly attracting big and small productions.

The year 2017 saw a boom of German TV productions shooting on Czech locations. According to Helena Bezděk Fraňková, the Director of the Czech Film Fund, 14 television films and series spent over 33 m EUR / 850 m CZK in nearly 400 filming days in the Czech Republic. “German television productions have in recent years been our most loyal ‘clients’ and Germany clearly surpasses other countries in terms of the number of foreign projects shooting here”, Helena Bezděk Fraňková said.

The eight-part series Das Boot, directed by Andreas Prochaska and produced by Bavaria Fiction, is the biggest German production shot in the Czech Republic since the introduction of incentives in 2010. Stillking Films provided services. Out of the total budget of 25 m EUR, about 14 m EUR were spent at the Barrandov Studio. 

Der Prag Krimi, photo: Schivago FilmOther German productions shot in the Czech Republic in 2017 were: Der Prag-Krimi, directed by Nicolai Rohde and produced by Schiwago Film GmbH, the Charité series, directed by Anno Saul, produced by UFA Fiction for ARD and serviced by Mia Film, and the two-part thriller Walpurgis Night, directed by Hans Steinbichler, produced by Wiedemann & Berg Television GmbH & Co. KG for ZDF and serviced by Czech Wilma Film.

Other important international productions shot in the Czech Republic in 2017 were: the first season of the Genius series, directed by Ron Howard and produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, Imagine Television, OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow for the National Geographic channel and with Stillking Films providing services; the postwar drama The Aftermath, directed by James Kent and produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Scott Free Productions with Sirena Film servicing; Xavier Dolan’s Death and Life of John F. Donovan, produced by Lyla Films and Sons of Manual and serviced by Film United;; Ben Levin’s The Catcher Was a Spy, produced by PalmStar Media, Animus Films, Serena Films, in association with Windy Hill Pictures, with Czech-Anglo Productions servicing, and the two-part film Maria Theresa directed by Robert Dornheim and produced by Maya Production, MR-Film Gruppe (A) and BETA Film GmbH (A).   

Hastrman by Ondřej HavelkaDISTRIBUTION

A total of 26 domestic feature films, two long animated films and 27 documentaries longer than 60 minutes had their premieres in 2017. Of these, 13 are debuts and 20 are coproductions, including six minority coproductions.

Many important feature films released in 2017 were inspired by events and personalities from the Czech history.

Jan Svěrak´s Barefoot / Po strništi bos, produced by Biograf Jan Svěrák Pictures, became the best attended Czech film in 2017. Jan Svěrák returns to the war childhood of his father, Zdeněk Svěrák, and makes a prequel to another extremely popular film of the Svěráks’ tandem, The Elementary School / Obecná škola (1991, Barrandov Film Studio).

A Prominent Patient /  Masaryk, directed by Julius Ševčík and produced by In Film, premiered in the Berlinale Special section of the 2017 Berlin IFF. This drama, focusing on the controversial figure of the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Masaryk in the 40´s, was domestically released by Bioscop in the spring of 2017.

Milada, directed by David Mrnka and produced by Loaded Vision Entertainment, was released by Bohemia M.P. in 2017 and is available in numerous language versions on Netflix, which co-funded its production. The film is based on the tragic story of the politician Milada Horáková, who was unjustly sentenced and executed during Stalin's political processes in the 50s.

Little Crusader by Václav KadrnkaThe medieval road movie Little Crusader / Křižáček, directed by Václav Kadrnka and produced by Sirius Films, won the Crystal Globe for best film at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival 2017.

Ice Mother / Bába z ledu, directed by Bohdan Sláma and coproduced by the Czech company Negativ, Slovakia’s Artileria and France’s Why Not Productions, was voted as the Czech Oscar bid in the Foreign Language Film category in 2017. The film was distributed in the Czech Republic by Falcon.

Among the most interesting documentaries in 2017 were Červená by Olga Sommerová and Miroslav Janek´s Universum Brdečka, both produced by Evolution Films and released in cinemas by Aerofilms.

Minority coproductions also had a successful life at festivals. Czech minority coproduction Spoor / Pokot, directed by Agnieszka Holland and produced by TOR Film Production, was awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize for Artistic Contribution at the Berlin IFF 2017.

Cervena by Olga SommerovaLittle Harbor/ Pátá loď, directed by Iveta Grófová and produced by Silverart and endorfilm, won the Crystal Bear for best film of the Children's Jury in the Generation Kplus section of the 2017 Berlin IFF.

Filthy / Špína, directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by Bfilm and Moloko Film, premiered at the Rotterdam IFF.

There are seven distribution companies in the Czech Republic with a market share of over 1%.

In 2017, Falcon, the distributor of some major US studios’ productions and also high-profile Czech films, had 32.1 % market share and replaced the last year’s top distributor Cinemart, which had 29, 2% market share. Vertical Entertainment (Freeman) ranked third with 16.8%, followed by Bioscoop/AQS with 11.5% market share.

Dads Volha by Jiří Vejdělek, photo: CinemartEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The year 2017 was very good for Czech cinemas. Although the results slightly decreased compared with 2016, it was still the second best year in the history of the independent Czech cinema market.

Total admissions were 15,233,432 and total box office was 78,814,200 EUR / 2,004,245,131 CZK, compared to 15,621,923 admissions and 79,081,565 EUR / 2,011,044,198 CZK in 2016.

However, there was a considerable drop of over 10 percent in the admissions to domestic titles, which reached only 20 percent of the total admissions in 2017. 

The most attended Czech film in 2017 was Jan Svěrak´s Barefoot / Po strništi bos with 505,282 admissions and 2.55 m EUR / 64,813,015 CZK gross. The film was distributed by Bioscop.

There were three Czech films in the admissions top ten: Barefoot, the comedy River Rascals / Špunti na vodě directed by Jiří Chlumský, produced by Fresh Lobster in coproduction with Fénix Film, Sibira Pro and Fénix Distribution (distributed by Bioscop), and the 2016´s hit Angel of the Lord 2, directed by Jiří Strach, produced by Marlene Film Production and distributed by Falcon .

Barefoot by Jan SvěrakA total of 284 new releases hit Czech cinemas in 2017, of which 56 were Czech titles.

The average ticket price in 2017 was 5.18 EUR / 131.57 CZK (compared to 5.07 EUR / 128.73 CZK in 2016).

Total admissions top ten is topped by the US animation Despicable me 3 directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, with 610,882 admissions and 3.26 m EUR / 82,848,893 CZK gross, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, with 567,665 admissions and 3.25 m EUR / 82, 651,627 CZK gross.

In 2017 the market share of multiplexes, counting 256 screens and 44,464 seats, reached 75.4%. The largest multiplex cinema operators are Cinema City and Cine Star.

Desperate Women Do Desperate Things by Filip RenčGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Czech Film Fund remains the main tool for public support of Czech cinema. The funding is granted in 10 areas: development, production, distribution, promotion, technological development, publications, education and training, festivals and events, protection, preservation and access to film heritage. The fund also supports the activities of film offices in the Czech Republic, helping Czech and foreign filmmakers to shoot in various regions of the country.

In 2017, the Czech Film Fund issued a total of 36 calls for domestic grants with the total funding of 14.6 m EUR / 370 m CZK, of which 11.3 m EUR / 287 m CZK (80%) was earmarked for Czech film development and production of all film genres, including minority coproductions.

The most important films supported in 2017 were: My Sunny Maad, directed by Michaela Pavlátová and produced by Negativ and France’s Sacrebleu Productions (744,000 EUR / 19 m CZK); Šarlatán, directed by Agnieszka Holland and produced by Marlene Film Production (509,000 EUR / 13 m CZK); Opravdoví bratři, directed by Petr Nikolaev and produced by Daniel Severa Production (587,544 EUR / 15 m CZK); Kryštof, directed by Zdeněk Jiráský and produced by Fulfilm (528,790 EUR / 13.5 m CZK) and Jan Palach ,directed by Robert Sedláček and produced by Cineart TV Prague (430,865 EUR / 11 m CZK).

Since the introduction of the new law in 2013, the Czech Film Fund has also administered the Czech incentives scheme. The incentives are granted in the form of a 20% cash rebate on Czech production costs and 66% on the withholding tax on non-resident labor costs paid in the Czech Republic. The incentives are available for feature films, TV and animation series, animated and documentary films. Maximum eligible costs are set at 80% of the total budget.

My Sunny Maad by Michaela PavlátováThe pre-condition of eligibility for the incentive is the minimum volume of the Czech cost:

555,000 EUR / 15 m CZK for a feature, animated or TV film (minimum runtime 70 min.)
74,000 EUR / 2 m CZK for a theatrical documentary (minimum runtime 70 min.)
295,000 EUR / 8 m CZK for a TV episode (minimum runtime 30 min.)
147,500 EUR / 1 m CZK for an animated episode (minimum runtime5 min.)

The amendment to the audiovisual law approved in May 2016 came into effect on 1 January 2017. An improved incentives scheme was introduced, which makes the system more flexible for film productions.

The rebate is no longer subject to a yearly cap. Producers can register the project at any time during the year and immediately receive a registration certificate. Upon receiving the registration certificate, the producer can apply for the allocation of the rebate. The timing of the application is important. Within four months after the application is filed, at least 10 shooting days must be completed in the Czech Republic. Rebates are allotted throughout the year, depending on the beginning of production. For animated films, if shooting in the Czech Republic is longer than 10 days, producers are able to receive their grants in two parts: first upon the completion of the shooting in the Czech Republic and the second part after the completion of all Czech production.

Large amounts of incentives were allotted in 2017 to: Carnival Row (10.3 m EUR /  261 m CZK), directed by Paul McGuigan and Anna Foerster, produced by Legendary Television, Ophelia (1.7 m EUR / 42.6 m CZK), directed by Claire McCarthy and produced by Covert Media (US), Bobker / Kruger Films (US) and Forthcoming Films (UK), both with Stillking Films servicing, and the Czech production Jan Palach (294,000 EUR / 7.5 m CZK), directed by Robert Sedláček and produced by Cineart TV Prague.

The National Film Archive handles both domestic and international sales of films made in Czechoslovakia before 1991 and produced by Barrandov and Zlín film studios (both state owned at the time).

The Czech Film Center is in charge of the promotion of Czech films abroad and is the official national representative of Czech cinema and film industry at key film festivals and markets. The Czech Film Commission is the official film office supporting and promoting audiovisual production in the Czech Republic. Both institutions are a part of the Czech Film Fund.

A Prominent Patient by Július ŠevčíkTV

There are three major TV groups in the Czech Republic, reaching a cumulative market share of approximately 80% in the target group of viewers 15+ in 2017: the public TV Czech Television with a market share of 29.26%, NOVA group with 30.26%, Prima group with 20.76% and Barrandov TV with 8.91%.

TV companies are introducing new channels in order to compensate for the declining audience of flagship stations. The Czech Television currently runs six channels: CT1, CT2, CT24, CT sport, CT:D and CT Art.

NOVA group channels include NOVANOVA 2, NOVA CinemaNOVA Action, NOVA Gold, NOVA Sport and NOVA Sport 2.

Prima group consists of Prima FamilyPrima COOLPrima LOVEPrima ZOOM, new Prima MAX and Prima Comedy.

Milada by David Mrnka, photo: www.loadedvision.comTV stations also increased the number of programmes available on the internet, bringing them to a larger audience. TV NOVA has its video library Voyo.cz, Prima group runs PrimaPlay.cz, while the Czech TV offers its programmes via iVysílání.cz.

The market for TV advertising is dominated by Nova and Prima (90%), while advertising on the Czech Television is limited to a minimum by the law. The television is traditionally the strongest advertising medium in the country.

Television stations play a large role in the production of quality content for local film and TV productions. The Czech TV has become a permanent partner of Czech cinema, with its in-house production sector Film Center coproducing many feature films, including the already mentioned high-profile films Barefoot, Little Crusader, Jan Palach or Garden Store. The Czech TV is also a coproducer of almost all documentaries released in the cinemas.

CONTACTS:

CZECH FILM FUND
Veletržní palác, Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7
Little Harbor by Iveta GrofovaPhone: +420 224 301 278
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondkinematografie.cz

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVES
Malešická 12, 130 00 Prague 3
Phone: +420 778 522 729
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfa.cz

APA- AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 603 844 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.asociaceproducentu.cz

CREATIVE EUROPE – MEDIA CZECH REPUBLIC
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 209
Fax: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mediadeskcz.eu

CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION ACADEMY
Karlovo nám 285/19, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.cfta.cz

CZECH FILM CENTER
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcenter.cz

CZECH FILM COMMISSION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: 420 778 543 290
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcommission.cz

Spoor by Agnieszka HollandINSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM
Štěpánská 611/14, 110 00 Praha 1
Phone: +420 224 214 858
Fax: +420 224 214 858
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.dokweb.net

FITES – CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION UNION
Pod Nuselskými schody 3, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.fites.cz

FILM DISTRIBUTORS’ UNION
nám. Winstona Churchilla 2, 130 00 Prague 3
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.ufd.cz 

Report by Denisa Strbova (2018)
Sources:  the Czech Film Fund, the Czech Film Center, the Czech Film Commission, the Film Distributor´s Union

 

Estonia

Truth and Justice by Tanel ToomMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

TALLINN: The year 2019 turned out to be another record-breaking year for Estonian film industry. Domestic films had more than 847,000 admissions, which is an all-time record. The year’s record-breaker was Truth and Justice, the historical epic directed by Tanel Toom and produced by Ivo Felt from Allfilm.

Truth and Justice was submitted for the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best International Feature Film category and made it to the short list. The film topped the Estonian box office with over 267,000 admissions. It was the last feature film produced under the Estonia 100 programme.

Four Estonian films made it to the top ten admissions list.

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was shot in Tallinn in June 2019. The film benefited from the Film Estonia production incentives scheme.

PRODUCTION

Erna at War by Henrik Ruben Genz, photo: Karl Anders VaiklaSeveral films were shot in Estonia in 2019, and most of them were produced with the support of the Estonian Film Institute.

The Danish/Belgian/Estonian war drama Erna at War / Erna läheb sõtta directed by Henrik Ruben Genz and produced by Danish Nimbus Films in coproduction with Belgian Entre Chien & Loup and Estonia’s Nafta Films, was shot in Tartu in August 2019.

Tartu was also the shooting location for the spy-thriller O-2 directed by Margus Paju and produced by Finnish Solar Film and Estonia’s Nafta Films.

On the Water / Vee peal directed by Peeter Simm and produced by Filmivabrik started shooting in February 2019 and continued throughout the summer of 2019.

The Finnish/Estonian coproduction Helene directed by Antti Jokinen and produced by Cinematic Finland and Estonia’s Stellar Film, started filming in Haapsalu in February 2019 and continued throughout the spring of 2019.

Talve, a film based on a renowned Estonian novel, was also shot during the summer of 2019. The film is directed by Ergo Kuld and coproduced by Kassikuld, Taska Film and Apollo Film Productions.

Priit Pääsuke’s youth comedy Kids of the Night / Öölapsed started shooting at the end of July 2019. The film is produced by Alexandra Film.

The Latvian/Estonian coproduction Christmas in the Jungle / Ziemassvētki džungļos started shooting in Indonesia in September 2019. The director of the film is the acclaimed Estonian documentarist and filmmaker Jaak Kilmi. The film is produced by Latvian Christmas In The Jungle by Jaak Kilmi, photo: Andrejs StrokinsLocomotive Productions in coproduction with Estonian Stellar Film.

Two long animated features were in production in 2019. Old Man Cartoon Movie / Vanamehe film directed by Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa, and produced by BOP! animation, wrapped production in the first half of 2019 and premiered domestically in September 2019.

The children’s animation Raggie / Sipsik directed by Meelis Arulepp and Karsten Kiilerich, and produced by A Film Estonia in coproduction with Danish A.Film Production, will premiere in February 2020.

Christopher Nolan’s action thriller Tenet was shot in Tallinn in June 2019. Tenet, which will premiere in the summer of 2020, is supported by Estonian Film Institute’s Film Estonia production incentives.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 427 films were distributed in cinemas in 2019, with 313 new and 114 old releases. The number of Estonian films distributed was 57, out of which 29 were new and 28 old releases.

The overall top ten includes four domestic releases and is dominated by Truth and Justice directed by Tanel Toom and distributed by Berlin-based Films Boutique.

On the Water by Peeter SimmThe other Estonian films in the top ten are Class Reunion 3 / Klassikokkutulek 3 directed by René Vilbre, produced by Taska Film and distributed by Forum Cinemas, Ott Tänak: The Movie directed by Tarvo Mölder and produced by Sterotek, and Old Man Cartoon Movie / Vanamehe multikas directed by Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa, produced by BOP! animation and Apollo Film Productions, and distributed by Apollo Film Productions.

Lotte and The Lost Dragon / Lotte ja kadunud lohed directed by Janno Põlma and Heiki Ernits, and produced by Eesti Joonisfilm, was just outside the top ten with 76,745 admissions. The film premiered internationally at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

In 2019, the total number of tickets sold for all distributed films was 3,685,522.

Domestic films gained over 847,600 admissions in 2019, adding up to a record 23% of the market share. In 2018, domestic films racked up over 647,600 admissions and held 17.8% of the market share.

In 2019 the total gross increased to 21,798,820, from over 20.6 m in 2018.

The market share of Estonian films was 23 percent and the box office 22.3 per cent.

Kids of the Night by Priit Pääsuke, credit: Alexandra FilmThe average cost of a ticket was 5.91 EUR and the yearly average of cinema visits 2.78. In 2018, the numbers were 5.7 euros and 2.75 per capita.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATIONS

In 2019, the Estonian Film Institute provided production and postproduction grants for the following feature films: Erik Stoneheart / Erik Kivisüda directed by Ilmar Raag and produced by Amrion, Goodbye, Soviet Union / Hüvasti, NSVL directed by Lauri Randla and produced by Exitfilm (Estonia) in coproduction with Bufo (Finland), Dead Woman / Surnud naine directed by Kadri Kõusaar and produced by Estonia’s Meteoriit, French Les Films d'Antoine, Polish Serce sp z.o.o, Chech Republic’s Sirena Film, O-2 directed by Margus Paju and produced by Nafta Films and Finnish Solar Film, On the Water / Vee peal directed by Peeter Simm and produced by Filmivabrik, Container / Konteriner directed by Arun Tamm and produced by Allfilm, Kratt directed by Rasmus Mervoo and produced by Tallifornia, Kalev directed by Ove Musting and produced by Allfilm and Latvian Ego Media.

Six minority coproductions received funding from the Estonian Film Institute in 2019: Henrik Ruben Genz’s war drama Erna at War / Erna läheb sõtta, produced by Danish Nimbus Film in coproduction with Belgian Entre Chien et Loup and Estonia’s Nafta Films, Latvian/Estonian coproduction Christmas in the Jungle / Jõulud džunglis, produced by Latvian Locomotive Productions in coproduction with Estonian Stellar Film, Compartment No. 6 / Kupee nr 6 directed by Juho Kuosmanen, produced by Finnish Aamu Company, German Achtung Panda Media, Russia’s CTB Film Company and Estonia’s Amrion, Finnish/Irish/Estonian documentary Tukdam directed by Donagh Coleman and produced by Finland’s Making Movies in coproduction with Irish Wildfire Films and Estonian Allfilm, Danish/Estonian documentary Freedom Is Just Another Word / Vabadus on sõnakõlks directed by Jon Bang Carlsen and produced by Danish Final Cut for Real in coproduction with Allfilm, Canadian/Estonian coproduction Government Digital / E-riik directed by Chris Mullington and produced by Title Entertainment in coproduction with Estonia’s Traumfabrik.

The Film Estonia cash rebate programme supported eight projects with the amount of 5.9 m EUR in 2019. 

Among supported projects were Warner Bros.’ feature Tenet directed by Christopher Nolan and serviced by Estonia’s Allfilm, which received 4.6 m EUR, the animated films Bibi Blocksberg (Denmark) directed by Karsten Kiilerich and Aina Järvine, and serviced Ott Tänak: The Movie by Tarvo Mölderby A Film Estonia, and Alya in Terraland (UAE) directed by Priit Tender and serviced by Nukufilm, which received together 90,983 EUR, the Finnish feature film Renovation directed by Taneli Mustonen and serviced by Estonia’s Baron Noir (272,812 EUR), Helene directed by Antti Jokinen and coproduced by Estonia’s Stellar Film (372,072 EUR) and the Danish feature Erna at War directed by Henrik Ruben Genz, serviced by Nafta Films (333,910 EUR).

TV

There are three main TV broadcasters in Estonia. The Estonian Public Broadcasting, which operates ETVETV2, and the Russian-language ETV+. The two leading commercial broadcasters are Kanal2 and Viasat-owned TV3.

CONTACTS:

ESTONIAN FILM INSTITUTE
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 627 60 60
Fax: +372 627 60 61
www.filmi.ee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CULTURAL ENDOWMENT OF ESTONIA
Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148
Lotte and the Lost Dragons by Janno Põldma and Heiki ErnitsPhone: +372 699 9150
www.kulka.ee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ESTONIAN ANIMATION UNION
Roo 9, Tallinn 10611
Phone: +372 646 4299
Fax: +372 646 4299
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Rao Heidmets

ESTONIAN DOCUMENTARY GUILD
Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
www.dokfilm.ee
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ESTONIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4068
www.kinoliit.ee
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Contact: Kadri Vaas

ESTONIAN NATIONAL PRODUCERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 5825 8962
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Contact: Aet Laigu

ESTONIAN FILM INDUSTRY CLUSTER
Phone +372 5343 6863
www.filmestonia.eu
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Contact: Karin Reinberg-Šestakov

ESTONIAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS ESC
www.esc.edicypages.com/et

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS OF ESTONIA
Uus 5, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4517
Fax: +372 646 4516
www.enliit.ee
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THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF FILM JOURNALISTS
Narva mnt 11e, Tallinn 10151
On the Water by Peeter SimmPhone: +372 669 8210
Fax: +372 669 8154
www.filmikriitik.ee
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Contact: Andrei Liimets

THE UNION OF ESTONIAN FILM CLUBS
Vikerlase 13-62, Tallinn 13616
Phone: +372 632 4662; +372 55 46042
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Contact: Raivo Olmet

ESTONIAN FILM MUSEUM
Pirita road 56, 10127 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6 968 600; +372 5620 8875
http://www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/en/filmmuseum
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Contact: Maria Mang

ESTONIAN FILM DATABASE
Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6015982
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www.efis.ee/en 

ESTONIAN FILM ARCHIVES
Ristiku 84, Tallinn 10318
Phone: +372 693 8613
www.filmi.arhiiv.ee/index.php?lang=eng
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Report by Aurelia Aasa (2020)
Sources: the Estonian Film Institute, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Class Reunion 2 by Rene Vilbre, photo: Vaata FilmiEstonian films had a breakthrough year in 2018. Domestic films had more than 647,600 admissions, which is an all-time record. In 2017 Estonian films had 282,421 admissions. The success of 2018 is mostly due to the Estonian Republic 100 film programme. Two record-breakers, The Little Comrade / Seltsimees laps directed by Moonika Siimets and produced by Amrion, and Phantom Owl Forest / Eia jõulud Tondikakul directed by Anu Aun and coproduced by Luxfilm and Kinosaurus Film, were both part of the programme.

However, the most popular Estonian film was Class Reunion 2: A Wedding and a Funeral / Klassikokkutulek 2: Pulmad ja matused directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska Film, with more than 146,000 admissions.

PRODUCTION

The last films from the Estonian 100 programme wrapped production in 2018 and premiered at the beginning of 2019. One of them, Lotte and the Lost Dragons / Lote un pazudušie Pūķi by Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits, will have its international premiere in the Generation 14plus section of the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. Lotte and the Lost Dragons, the only animated film in the Estonia 100 programme and the third instalment of Estonia’s animated franchise, is produced by Eesti Joonisfilm. The film reached the domestic screens on 2Lotte and the Lost Dragons by Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits January 2019 with 45,946 admissions in the first two weeks.

Truth and Justice / Tõde ja õigus, directed by Tanel Toom and produced by Allfilm, wrapped filming in August 2018, with the domestic premiere set for February 2019.

The Estonian production company Kopli Kinokompanii is in production with Sandra Gets a Job / Sandra saab tööd by Kaupo Kruusiauk, which will have its premiere later in 2019, and is the producer of The Real Life of Johannes Pääsuke by Hardi Volmer, which premiered on 10 January 2019.

Class Reunion 3: Godfathers / Klassikokkutulek 3: Ristiisad directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska film, started shooting in June 2018. The premiere is set for January 2019.

Several international productions are currently in various stages of production.

The Little Comrade by Moonika SiimetsScandinavian Silence / Skandinaavia vaikus by Martti Helde, which started shooting in 2016, is still in production. The film is an Estonian/French/Belgian coproduction between Three Brothers, ARP Selection and Media International. The domestic premiere is scheduled for March 2019.

Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway is a sci-fi thriller directed by Miguel Llanso set to be completed in 2019. The film is a Spanish/Estonian coproduction between Lanzadera Films and Alasti Kino.

The Estonian/Polish coproduction Rain by Janno Jürgens will be completed in 2019. The film is an Estonian/Polish coproduction between Alasti Kino and Furia Film.

The Finnish/Estonian coproduction Maria’s Paradise / Marian Paratiisi by Zaida Bergroth will also be completed in 2019. The film is produced by Elokuvayhtio Komeetta (Finland), Stellar Film (Estonia) and Kaiho Republic (Finland).

Peeter Rebane started shooting his debut feature Firebird in September 2018. The film is produced by UK’s The Factory and No Reservation Entertainment, and it was supported by the Estonian Film Institute through the cash rebate programme.

The independent road movie Chasing Unicorns directed by Rain Rannu and produced by Tallifornia, will premiere in September 2019.

The Last Ones / Viimased directed by Veiko Õunpuu and produced by Estonia’s Homeless Bob Production and Finland’s Bufo, is currently in postproduction. The project was selected for the Work in Progress section at Les Arcs IFF in December 2018.Truth and Justice by Tanel Toom

The Estonian/Finnish coproduction Goodbye Soviet Union / Nägemiseni NSVL by Lauri Randla is a coming-of-age story set during the collapse of the Soviet Union. The film is produced by Exitfilm (Estonia) and Bufo (Finland) with the premiere set for 2020.

DISTRIBUTION

Nearly 300 films were distributed in Estonia in 2018. The average ticket price was 5.67 EUR, representing a 2.5 percent increase from 2017. A total of 24 Estonian films premiered in 2018 including 14 feature films and 10 documentaries. Additionally, three short-film collections made it to the cinemas.

Four Estonian films made it to the top ten. Class Reunion 2: A Wedding and a Funeral directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska Film, was the most-watched film in 2018 with over 146,500 admissions. Phantom Owl Forest directed by Anu Aun and produced by Kinosaurus Film, which ranked 3rd, premiered in December 2018 and gained more than 110,000 admissions within a month.

The Little Comrade directed by Moonika Siimets and produced by Amrion, ranked 4th with over 116,000 admissions. The Fourth Sister. Under the Clouds directed by Toomas Kirss and produced by Kartulid ja Apelsinid OÜ ranked 10th with over 66,500 admissions.

The Real Life of Johannes Pääsuke by Hardi Volmer, photo: Heikki LeisThe second edition of the Estonian Film & Television Awards was held in March 2018. November directed by Rainer Sarnet and produced by Homless Bob Production, received eight awards, including best film and best director. Sulev Keedus won best screenplay for The Manslayer / The Virgin / The Shadow produced by F-Seitse (Estonia) and Era Film (Lithuania), Tõnu Kark won best actor for Green Cats directed by Andres Puustusmaa and produced by Leo Production, while Martin Männik won best editor for Terje Toomistu’s documentary Soviet Hippies produced by Kultusfilm.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

There were more than 3.6 m admissions altogether, which is an all-time record, resulting in 2.75 admissions per capita. Total box office reached over 20.6 m EUR.

Domestic films racked up over 647,600 admissions, adding up to a record 17.8% of the market share. It is twice as much as in 2017. Estonian films got 16.25 % of the box office. The most successful Estonian film was Class Reunion 2: A Wedding and a Funeral by Rene Vilbre with over 146,500 admissions and over 858, 990 EUR gross.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Estonian Film Institute’s budget for grants and film industry was 7,882,135 EUR in 2018. That includes the budget for the Estonia’s cash rebate system FilmEstonia. Estonian Cultural Endowment supported the film industry with 2,032,631 EUR.

In 2018, the Estonian Film Institute provided production and postproduction grants for the following feature films: The Last Ones directed by Veiko Õunpuu and produced by Homeless Bob Production and Finland’s Bufo, Erik Stoneheart directed by Ilmar Raag and produced by Amrion, Class Reunion 3: Godfathers directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska film, Goodbye Soviet Union directed by Lauri Randla and produced by Estonia’s Exitfilm and Finland’s Bufo, Dead Woman directed by Kadri Kõusaar and produced by Meteoriit, Chasing Unicorns directed by Rain Rannu and produced by Tallifornia, Grown-ups directed by Priit Pääsuke and produced by Alexandra Film, On the Water directed by Peeter Simm and produced by Filmivabrik and O-2 directed by Margus Paju and produced by Nafta Films.Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway by Miguel Llansó

Six minority coproductions received funding from the Estonian Film Institute in 2018: Gateway 6 directed by Tanel Toom and coproduced by Allfilm, Maria’s Paradise directed by Zaida Bergroth and coproduced by Stellar Film; Undergods directed by Chino Moya and coproduced by Homeless Bob Productions, On the Way to Heaven directed by Carl Olssen and coproduced by Allfilm, Quicksand directed by Margot Schaap and coproduced by Homeless Bob Productions and Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway directed by Miguel Llanso and coproduced by Alasti Kino.

In 2018, the budget of Estonia’s cash rebate programme FilmEstonia reached over 2 m EUR. It is an increase of more than 50% compared to 2017. FilmEstonia supports feature films, documentaries, high-end TV dramas and animated films, and it offers up to 30% support for international coproductions.

The Film Estonia cash rebate programme supported five projects with the amount of 772,336 EUR in 2018. Maria’s Paradise directed by Zaida Bergroth, which was coproduced with Estonia’s Stellar Film, received 219,995 EUR, the acclaimed Finnish TV series All the Sins directed by Mika Ronkainen worked on postproduction with Taska Film and received 27,750 EUR, the UK-based feature film Firebird directed by Peeter Rebane received 447,375 EUR and the Danish animated films Checkered Ninja and Bibi Blocksberg worked with A Film Estonia and received 77,216 EUR.

In 2018, Enterprise Estonia supported two audio-visual projects with a total of 4,293,420 EUR, to be spent within three years. The VR-centre set in the historic Noblessner quarter received 2,390,300 EUR and the Interactive WOW! Center in Kuressaare, which will also have a 4D Rain by Janno Jürgenscinema, received 1,903,120 EUR.

TV

There are three main TV broadcasters in Estonia. The Estonian Public Broadcasting, which operates ETV, ETV2, and the Russian-language ETV+. The two leading commercial broadcasters are Kanal2 and Viasat-owned TV3.

The 10-part TV drama series The Bank / Pank, produced by Itamambuca, aired in 2018. This 1.5 m EUR production received 781,000 EUR from the Estonian Film Institute. The Bank was sold to MHz Networks to air in North America in October 2018.

CONTACTS:

ESTONIAN FILM INSTITUTE
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 627 60 60
Fax: +372 627 60 61
www.filmi.ee
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CULTURAL ENDOWMENT OF ESTONIA
Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148
Phone: +372 699 9150
www.kulka.ee
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ESTONIAN ANIMATION UNION
Roo 9, Tallinn 10611
Phone: +372 646 4299
Fax: +372 646 4299
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Contact: Rao Heidmets

ESTONIAN DOCUMENTARY GUILD
Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
www.dokfilm.ee
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ESTONIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4068
www.kinoliit.ee
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Contact: Kadri Vaas

ESTONIAN NATIONAL PRODUCERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 5825 8962
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Contact: Aet Laigu

ESTONIAN FILM INDUSTRY CLUSTER
Phone +372 5343 6863
www.filmestonia.eu
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Contact: Karin Reinberg-Šestakov

ESTONIAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS ESCFirebird by Peeter Rebane, credit: The Factory
www.esc.edicypages.com/et

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS OF ESTONIA
Uus 5, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4517
Fax: +372 646 4516
www.enliit.ee
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THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF FILM JOURNALISTS
Narva mnt 11e, Tallinn 10151
Phone: +372 669 8210
Fax: +372 669 8154
www.filmikriitik.ee
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Contact: Andrei Liimets

THE UNION OF ESTONIAN FILM CLUBS
Vikerlase 13-62, Tallinn 13616
Phone: +372 632 4662; +372 55 46042
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Contact: Raivo Olmet

ESTONIAN FILM MUSEUM
Pirita road 56, 10127 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6 968 600; +372 5620 8875
http://www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/en/filmmuseum
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Contact: Maria Mang

ESTONIAN FILM DATABASE
Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6015982
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www.efis.ee/en 

ESTONIAN FILM ARCHIVES
Ristiku 84, Tallinn 10318
Phone: +372 693 8613
www.filmi.arhiiv.ee/index.php?lang=eng
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Report by Aurelia Aasa (2019)
Sources: Estonian Film Institute, Cultural Endowment of Estonia


MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

The Dissidents by Jaak KilmiEstonian cinema had a successful year in 2017 and continued to break records. Total admissions reached an all-time high of 3.51 m, a 6.3 percentage-point increase from 2016. Another record is 2.67 admissions per capita. Total box office reached a record of 19.39 m EUR, with 9.1 percentage points more than in 2016.

Domestic films had 282,421 admissions, adding up to an 8% market share. The Dissidents, directed by Jaak Kilmi and produced by Taska Film, topped the box office with 85,306 admissions and over 480,000 EUR gross.

Enterprise Estonia, the country’s industry development agency, supported two creative industry initiatives with a total of 522,063 EUR to be spent over the next two years.

PRODUCTION

In 2017 major production of feature films for the centennial film programme Estonian Republic 100 took place. Most of the premiere dates are already scheduled.The Little Comrade by Moonika Siimets

The Little Comrade, directed by Moonika Siimets and produced by Amrion, was shot in August 2016-June 2017 and is set to be released on 15 March 2018.

The Riddle of Jaan Niemand, directed by Kaur Kokk and produced by Homeless Bob Production, was shot in March-June 2017 and will premiere on 5 October 2018.

Truth and Justice, directed by Tanel Toom and produced by Allfilm, started filming in April 2017 and will wrap in August 2019, with the domestic premiere scheduled for 2019.

Lotte and the Lost Dragons, the third instalment of Estonia’s most famous animated franchise and the only animated feature in the centennial film programme, directed by Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits and produced by Eesti Joonisfilm, will wrap production in early 2018. The film will reach the screens in 2019.

Take It or Leave It, directed by Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo and produced by Allfilm, will finish production in January 2018. The release is planned for September 2018.

The Riddle of Jaan Niemand by Kaur KokkThe last Estonian Republic 100 film to enter production is Eia's Christmas at Phantom Owl Farm, directed by Anu Aun and produced by Luxfilm and Kinosaurus Film. Principal photography is due to begin in January 2018 with the premiere set for December 2018.

Other films wrapped production in 2017.

Estonian minority coproduction Scary Mother, directed by Georgian Ana Urushadze and coproduced by Allfilm, has already collected nine awards at international film festivals since its premiere in August 2017.

The Finnish/Estonian/Swedish coproduction The Eternal Road, directed by AJ Annila and coproduced by Taska Film, received the first ever FilmEstonia cash rebate support and premiered in August 2017 in Finland and December 2017 in Estonia. The film was in the Official Selection of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

The Confession aka The Monk by Academy Award nominated director Zaza Urushadze, an Estonian/Georgian coproduction produced by Allfilm, was finished and premiered in 2017.

The Estonian/Russian coproduction Green Cats, directed by Andres Puustusmaa and produced by Leo Production, was finished in 2017 with the premiere set for 12 January 2018.

Scary Mother by Ana UrushadzeThe Swan, directed by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdótir, is a coproduction between Iceland, Germany and Estonia (Kopli Kinokompanii), set to hit Estonian cinemas in January 2018.

Class Reunion 2: Wedding and Funeral, the sequel to the 2016 film still holding the box office record in Estonia, directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska Film, was also finished in 2017 with the premiere scheduled for 13 February 2018.

Portugal, directed by Lauri Lagle and produced by Allfilm, which won the First Look main award along with postproduction support in Locarno, will be domestically released on 5 April 2018.

The Estonian/French/Belgian coproduction Fire Lily, directed by Maria Avdjuško and produced by Meteoriit, will open in May 2018. The film, starring the Hollywood-based Estonian-born actor Johann Urb, was shot in November-December 2017.

Morten and the Spider Queen, a long animated film directed by Kaspar Jancis and coproduced by Estonia’s Nukufilm, Ireland’s Telegael, Belgium’s GRID VFX and UK’s Calon, finished production at the end of July 2017 and it set to open in 2018. Its English version will be voiced by Ciaran Hinds and Brendan Gleeson among others.

Morten and the Spider Queen by Kaspar JancisMihkel, directed by Ari Alexander Magnusson and coproduced by Iceland’s True North and Estonia’s Amrion, was shot in Estonia for five days in May-June 2017, after an Icelandic shooting in the autumn of 2016. The film is set to premiere on 24 August 2018.

Rain, a debut feature directed by Janno Jürgens and produced by Alasti Kino, was shot over several periods from August 2017 to February 2018, and will premiere in late 2018.

 

Truth and Justice by Tanel ToomThe Last Ones, directed by Veiko Õunpuu and produced by Estonia’s Homeless Bob Production and Finland’s Bufo, was shot in August-November 2017 and will premiere in 2019.

The recipients of the FilmEstonia cash rebate grants in 2017 are: the animated series Bibi Blocksberg, directed by Aina Järvine and produced by A Film Eesti, the TV series Bordertown, directed by Miikko Oikkonen, Jyri Kähönen, Juuso Syrjä and produced by Amrion, and the long animated film Checked Ninja, directed by Anders Matthesen, Thorbjørn Christoffersen and produced by A Film Eesti.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 355 films were distributed in Estonia in 2017. The average ticket price was 5.53 EUR, a 2.3 percentage point increase year on year from 2016. The largest number of titles, 179, originated from Europe. The US came second with 111 films.

Swingers by Andrejs EkisA total of 21 Estonian Films premiered in cinemas through 2017 and two of them made it to the top ten. The Dissidents, directed by Jaak Kilmi and produced by Taska Film, ranked 2nd, while Swingers, directed by Andrejs Ekis and produced by Platforma Film, ranked 7th.

In March 2017, the first ever Estonian Film & Television Awards ceremony was held with The Days That Confused by Triin Ruumet, produced by Kinosaurus Film, bringing home the majority of the film awards, six in total, including Best Film and Best Director. Livia Ulman and Andris Feldmanis won Best Screenplay for Pretenders by Vallo Toomla, produced by Amrion, Jaagup Roomet won Best Production Design for The Polar Boy by Anu Aun, produced by Luxfilm, and Tiina Mälberg won Best Film Actress for Mother by Kadri Kõusaar, produced by Meteoriit.

The Days That Confused by Triin RuumetEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Total admissions reached an all-time high of 3,510,932, a six percent increase from 2016. Another record is 2.67 admissions per capita. Total box office reached a record of 19,399,483 EUR, 9.1 percent more than in 2016.

Rain by Janno JürgensDomestic films had 282,421 admissions, adding up to an 8% market share. The most successful Estonian film was The Dissidents, which made box office No 1 with 85,306 admissions and over 480,000 EUR gross.

The distribution market was dominated by ACME Films with 36% and Estonian Theatrical Distribution with 30% of market share. Forum Cinemas in the third place had 22% of the market share.

 

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

In 2016, the annual state support for film industry was 9,877,146 EUR with 7,025,151 EUR from the Estonian Film Institute, 2,141,995 EUR from the Cultural Endowment, and 710,000 EUR from the Ministry of Culture.

In 2017, the Estonian Film Institute provided production and postproduction grants for the following feature films and minority coproductions: The Dissidents directed by Jaak Kilmi; The Man Who Looks Like Me, directed by Katrin Maimik and Andres Maimik and produced by Kuukulgur Film; The Last Ones directed by Veiko Õunpuu; Mihkel directed by Ari Alexander Magnusson; Man Wanted, directed by Irida Zhonga and produced by Nukufilm; The Man Who Surprised Everyone, a Russian/French/Estonian coproduction coproduced by Homeless Bob Production, directed by Natalya Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov; Rain directed by Janno Jürgens; Sandra Gets a Job, directed by Kaupo Kruusiauk and produced by Kopli Kinokompanii; Class Reunion 2: Wedding and Funeral directed by René Vilbre; Green Cats directed by Andres Puustusmaa, and Fire Lily directed by Maria Avdjuško.

In 2017, the budget of Estonia’s cash rebate system FilmEstonia, targeted at foreign feature and quality TV productions, reached 1 m EUR. Estonia’s cash rebate allows for reimbursement of up to 30% of locally incurred costs. The system imposes a 1 m EUR minimum budget threshold for feature films and 2 m EUR for animated films, as well as minimum requirements for local spend (200,000 EUR for feature films, 100,000 EUR for animated films).The Eternal Road by AJ Annila

Estonia’s cash rebate system supported three projects with the amount of 118,279 EUR in 2017.

In 2017, Enterprise Estonia, the country’s industry development agency, supported two audiovisual infrastructure initiatives with a total of 522,063.90 EUR, to be spent within three years.

Creative industries development centre Creative Gate received 300,000 EUR to create an international platform as a gateway for film and audiovisual industry in collaboration with creative and service sector partners. The central export marketing channel of Creative Gate is the annual Industry@Tallinn, a part of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

Storytek Accelerator (which received 222,063.90 EUR) brings together deep audiovisual sector knowledge, technology and funding with a selection of hand-picked tech entrepreneurs and content creators. Storytek helps creatives, producers and early stage companies to develop business, fast track their content projects, products and services to the global markets and access finances during a challenging 10-week programme held twice a year in Tallinn, Estonia.

The new building of the Estonian Film Museum was opened in October 2017.

On 27-28 November 2017, the Estonian EU Presidency Conference Pictured Futures: Connecting Content, Tech & Policy in Audiovisual Europe was organised by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with Estonian Film Institute, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and the European Commission. The event was co-financed by the European Commission and Enterprise Estonia

The Confession by Zaza UrushadzeTV

There are three main TV broadcasters in Estonia. The Estonian Public Broadcasting operates three channels: the flagship ETV, the culturally oriented ETV2 and the recently launched Russian-language ETV+, that is yet to capture a sizeable audience of Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority. The two leading commercial broadcasters are Kanal2 and Viasat-owned TV3, both of which also beam a host of niche channels.

The 10-part TV drama series The Bank / Pank, which won a production grant from the centennial film and TV programme, started production and is planned to air in the autumn season of 2018. Itamambuca is producing on a more than 1.5 m EUR budget - more than 10 times the regular Estonian TV series.

CONTACTS:

ESTONIAN FILM INSTITUTE
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 627 60 60
Fax: +372 627 60 61
www.filmi.ee
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The Riddle of Jaan Niemand by Kaur KokkCULTURAL ENDOWMENT OF ESTONIA
Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148
Phone: +372 699 9150
www.kulka.ee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ESTONIAN ANIMATION UNION
Roo 9, Tallinn 10611
Phone: +372 646 4299
Fax: +372 646 4299
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Rao Heidmets

ESTONIAN DOCUMENTARY GUILD
Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
www.dokfilm.ee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ESTONIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4068
www.kinoliit.ee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Kadri Vaas

ESTONIAN NATIONAL PRODUCERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 5825 8962
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Aet Laigu

ESTONIAN FILM INDUSTRY CLUSTER
Phone +372 5343 6863
www.filmestonia.eu
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Contact: Karin Reinberg-Šestakov

ESTONIAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS ESC
www.esc.edicypages.com/et

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS OF ESTONIA
Uus 5, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4517
Fax: +372 646 4516
www.enliit.ee
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF FILM JOURNALISTS
Narva mnt 11e, Tallinn 10151
Phone: +372 669 8210
Fax: +372 669 8154
www.filmikriitik.ee
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Contact: Andrei Liimets

THE UNION OF ESTONIAN FILM CLUBS
Vikerlase 13-62, Tallinn 13616
Phone: +372 632 4662; +372 55 46042
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Contact: Raivo Olmet

ESTONIAN FILM MUSEUMThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pirita road 56, 10127 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6 968 600; +372 5620 8875
http://www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/en/filmmuseum
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Contact: Maria Mang

ESTONIAN FILM DATABASE
Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6015982
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.efis.ee/en 

ESTONIAN FILM ARCHIVES
Ristiku 84, Tallinn 10318
Phone: +372 693 8613
www.filmi.arhiiv.ee/index.php?lang=eng
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Report by Leana Jalukse (2018)
Sources: Estonian Film Institute, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture

 

Latvia

Blizzard of Souls by Dzintars DreibergsMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

RIGA: The Latvian film Blizzard of Souls directed by Dzintars Dreibergs broke box-office records existing since the early 1990s, showing the continuing demand for local films, that was significantly boosted by the Latvian centenary film programme, which peaked in 2018.

Two domestic productions made it to the the Top Ten box-office list. The most popular domestic film was Blizzard of Souls / Dvēseļu putenis, a historical drama directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and produced by Kultfilma, with 226,984 admissions (8.33 % of total 2019 admissions). The independent production Class Reunion / Klases salidojums directed by Andrejs Ēķis and produced by Platforma was number 7 on the list, reaching 80,967 admissions.

The last films of the Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary programme were released in 2019: the feature film 1906 directed by Gatis Šmits and produced by Studio Tanka, and the long animated film Jacob, Mimmi, and the Talking Dogs / Jēkabs, Mimi un runājošie suņi directed by Edmunds Jansons and produced by Atomart.  

PRODUCTION

Class Reunion by Andrejs EkisA total of 17 feature fiction films, 10 animated films and 16 documentaries were in production in 2019, with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia.

Among the feature fiction films in production there were: The Year before the War / Gads pirms kara directed by Dāvis Sīmanis and produced by Latvia’s Locomotive in coproduction with Lithuania’s Studio Uljana Kim and Czech Produkce Radim Prochazka, In the Mirror / Spogulī directed by Laila Pakalniņa and produced by Hargla in coproduction with Lithuania’s Just a Moment, The Pit / Bedre directed by Dace Pūce and produced by Marana Productions, Christmas in the Jungle / Ziemassvētki Džungļos directed by Jaak Kilmi and produced by Locomotive.

Among the documentaries in production there were: The Peasants / Zemnieki directed by Ivars Seleckis and produced by Mistrus Media, and The Fire Circle / Uguns aplis directed by Signe Birkova and produced by VFS Films.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 320 films were distributed in 2019, including 54 domestic films, 117 European non-national productions, 130 films produced in the USA, and 19 films from other territories.

The leading distribution companies in the country are regional Baltic distributors: Forum CinemasLatvian Theatrical DistributionAcme Film, Garsu Pasaulio irasai and BestFilm.

1906 by Gatis ŠmitsRegional distribution in areas without permanent cinemas is handled by Kinopunkts, which screens films in more than 100 places. The project is sustained by the National Film Centre and the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Small cinema initiatives focusing on the distribution of independent and art house films, such as Kino Bize and Kino Spektrs, which emerged in 2014 and 2015, continued their activity in 2019.

The Internet platform Filmas.lv, the biggest Latvian film database, launched in 2015, provides a catalogue of 2,740 films going back to the 1920s. Two hundred films are available free of charge for viewing on any device in Latvia. Special events had been organised to make the films available internationally for a limited period of time, due to copyright restrictions. The project is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia in cooperation with the Culture Information Systems Centre.

Commercial platforms ShortcutLMT straume, Helio and Viaplay offer film streamings, including domestic premieres.

Nova Lituania by the Lithuanian director Karolis Kaupinis and produced by Lithuanian M-films, won the best feature film award at the 6th Riga International Film Festival (17-27 October 2019).

The best national fiction film award announced during the Lielais Kristaps National Film Festival (7-12 November 2019) went to Oleg / Oļegs directed by Juris Kursietis and produced by Tasse Film (Latvia) in coproduction with Iota Productions (Belgium), In Script (Lithuania) and Arizona Production (France).

The annual analogue and experimental film festival Process took place from 20-24 March 2019, and actors’ film festival Baltijas Pērle took place from 21-27 September 2019.

Oleg by Juris KursietisEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Latvia had 34 screening places in 2019, out of which 20 are cinemas (including five multiplexes, one of them with 4 screens) with 81 screens, from which 72 are digital screens (36 3D screens), throughout the country.

A new multiplex cinema Apollo Kino opened in Riga in 2019. It has nine screens with a total of 1,146 seats, and the first IMAX hall in Latvia.

Total admissions were 2,723,422 and total gross was 14,962,678 EUR in 2019, compared to 2,523,600 total admissions and 13,293,972 EUR total gross in 2018.

Out of the total, 548,938 were admissions to domestic films, 356,645 admissions to European non-national productions, 1,765,099 admissions to US-produced films, and 52,740 admissions to films from other countries.

Admissions to domestic films in 2019 (548,938) were only slightly lower than in 2018, when the number was 556,832.

Domestic films continued to have an important market share in the distribution in 2019 - 20.16 % (2,504,132 gross). In 2018 it was – 22.07%, in 2017 only 7.84%.

A total of 54 national films were screened in 2019 and two of them made it to the admissions top ten.

Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs by Edmunds JansonsThe most successful film was Blizzard of Souls directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and produced by Kultfilma, with 226,984 admissions, followed by five animated films such as The Lion King (109,821 admissions), How to Tame Your Dragon 3 (101,182 admissions) and The Secret Life of Pets 2 (95,487 admissions), as well as Joker (86,599 admissions), Avengers: Endgame (72,596 admissions) and Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood (51,675 admissions).

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The National Film Centre is the main film institution in Latvia. It serves as the primary source of funding for local films. The grants contest is held annually, although separate tenders regarding different stages of project development, or specific thematic programmes, are announced throughout the year.

Total state support for the industry in 2019 was 6 397 379 EUR, including 5 462 576 EUR from the National Film Centre and 934 803 EUR from the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Through the production financing grant schemes (annual production grants and a special programme for National identity films) in 2019, the National Film Centre supported the production of new domestic projects, four animated films, seven documentaries and six feature films, with a total amount of 1 610 401 EUR.

Four projects received funding through minority coproduction grants: one documentary and three feature films, for the total amount of 300,000 EUR.

In 2019, the total financing for the production of national films, including minority coproductions, in the amount of 3,64, 276 EUR, was granted to a total of 33 films: 14 feature films, eight animated films and 11 documentaries.

The Year Before the War by Dāvis Sīmanis, photo: Gatis Indrēvics, FACEBOOKIn 2019 a total of 679,903 EUR was distributed for servicing seven projects with production companies from the Netherlands, Hungary, Finland, Russia, Germany, Sweden and South Korea.

In 2019 one Latvian minority coproduction received funding from Eurimages in the amount of 48,000 EUR – the Lithuanian feature film, musical drama Songs for a Fox directed by Kristijonas Vildžiūnas and produced by Lithuania’s Studio Uljana Kim in coproduction with Latvia’s Locomotive.

In 2019 the Riga Film Fund, which offers a cash rebate of up to 20% of all production costs, approved co-financing agreements for a total amount of 484,110 EUR, supporting four minority coproductions.

A new rule was implemented in the financing legislation: in the case of grants for domestic films, at least 80% from the applicable expenses have to be spent in Latvia.

Latvia has a range of diverse filmmaking locations, including medieval architecture, Art Nouveau architecture and 19th century wooden architecture, therefore urban as well as natural locations in Latvia are able to double for many European locations.

Latvia is also home to The Cinevilla Film Studio, located 50 km from the national capital of Riga and providing opportunities for shooting, as well as its own hotel.

The Latvian Film Producers Association with its approximately 30 members represents the most important film production companies in Latvia. The Latvian Filmmakers Union, which was established in 1962, also represents local filmmakers. An important role in the region is played by the Films Service Producers Association, whose members include, among others, the Latvian Film Angels Studio, the Baltic Pines film studio and Ego Media. These studios have vast experience in handling foreign productions shooting in Latvia.

TV

Christmas In The Jungle by Jaak Kilmi, photo: Andrejs StrokinsThe leading broadcaster in Latvia until the second half of 2019 was the commercial channel TV3 along with the LNT channel. LNT was taken over by TV3, that combined previously separately operating news departments and rebranded LNT. TV3 belongs to the company All Media Baltics, which underwent rebranding and is now called TV3 Group.

The public broadcaster LTV is funded by the state and through advertising revenues. The Latvian Television organises an annual documentary film project The Code of Latvia / Latvijas kods focusing on stories about contemporary life in Latvia. The project is implemented in cooperation and with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Culture Capital Foundation. New episodes are presented every year in November as a part of Latvian Independence Day celebrations.

In 2019 LTV produced and broadcast a 12 episode series for the centenary of Latvia - The Red Forest / Sarkanais mežs directed by Normunds Pucis and Armands Zvirbulis, a historical story taking place at the end of the 1940s.  

CONTACTS:

NATIONAL FILM CENTRE OF LATVIA 
Peitavas 10, Riga, Latvia, LV-1050
Phone: +371 7358878
Fax: +371 7358877
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.nkc.lv
Director: Dita Rietuma


RIGA FILM FUND
Phone: +371 6703 7659
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.filmriga.lv

CULTURE CAPITAL FOUNDATION 
Class Reunion by Andrejs EkisPhone: +371 6750 3177
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.kkf.lv

LATVIAN FILM PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION 
President: Aija Berzina
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Mobile: +371 26466014

LATVIAN FILMMAKERS UNION 
Chairman: Ieva Romanova
Elizabetes Str.49, Riga
LV-1010, Latvia
Mobile: +371 29696874
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FILM SERVICE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION OF LATVIA
Kr. Valdemara 33-10, Riga, LV-1010, Latvia
Phone: +371 67331921
Mobile: +371 25666698
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.filmservice.lv


MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Phone: +371 6707 8137
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.km.gov.lv

Report by Zane Balčus (2020)
Sources: Film Riga, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Riga Film Fund, the Latvian Television


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Homo Novus by Anna VidulejaLatvia’s film programme for the country’s centenary, which was celebrated in 2018, has led to an unheard of box office success and has shown an unprecedented rise in local box office, marking the local share of up to almost 19% of the market compared to 5.7% previously.

Domestic productions took half of the top ten in 2018 and the GBO for local productions grew to 2.5 million EUR (from 764,000 EUR in 2017).

Intensive distribution of domestic films was due to the special programme “Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary”, consisting of 16 feature films, of which 11 had their premiere in 2018.

The most popular film was Homo Novus, a historical comedy directed by Anna Viduleja and produced by Film Angels Productions, with 91,109 admissions. The independent production and debut feature The Foundation of Criminal Exellence / Kriminālās ekselences fonds, directed by Oskars Rupenheits and produced by COMETE Films, OrderOrder and Jura Podnieka Studija, gained the biggest revenue – 460,000 EUR, with 81,899 admissions.The Foundation of Criminal Excellence by Oskars Rupenheits

PRODUCTION

The support for domestic film production fell after the end of the Centennial programme.

Seventeen feature films, 10 animated films and 16 documentaries were in production in 2018.

Oleg by Juris KursietisThe action drama Blizzard of Souls / Dvēseļu putenis directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and produced by KultFilma, one of the most expensive productions of all times, was shot in 2018 and will be released in November 2019.

Juris Kursietis’ drama Oleg / Oļegs produced by Tasse, was also shot in 2018 and is set for release in September 2019.

The last two films of the “Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary” programme will be released in 2019. The long animated film Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs / Jēkabs, Mimmi un runājošie suņi, directed by Edmunds Jansons and produced by Atom Art, will be released by Forumcinemas in February 2019, while Gatis Šmit’s historical drama 1906 produced by studio Tanka will be released by Acme in March 2019.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 310 films were distributed in 2018, including 34 domestic films.

The leading distribution companies in the country are regional Baltic distributors: Forum Cinemas, Latvian Theatrical Distribution, Acme Film and Topfilm Baltic.

Local distribution is handled by Kinopunkts, which screens films in more than 100 places outside traditional cinemas. The project is sustained by the National Film Centre and the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs by Edmunds Jansons

Small cinema initiatives focusing on the distribution of independent and art house films, such as Kino Bize and Kino Spektrs, which emerged in 2014 and 2015, continued their activity.

The Internet platform Filmas, the biggest Latvian film database launched in 2015, provides a catalogue of 2,658 films going back to the 1920s. Approximately 120 films are free of charge but for the time being only on Latvian devices, due to distribution rights. The project is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia in cooperation with the Riga Film Museum and the Culture Information Systems Centre.

Commercial platforms Shortcut, Helio and Viaplay offer film streamings, including domestic premieres.

Core of the World, directed by the Russian director Natalia Meshchaninova and coproduced by Lithuania’s Just A Moment, won the best feature film award at the 4th Riga International Film Festival (7-17 October 2018).

Core of the World by Natalia MeshchaninovaThe national award announced during the Lielais Kristaps National Film Festival went to Bille directed by Ināra Kolmane and produced by Film Studio Deviņi, in coproduction with Czech Masterfilm and Lithuanian Studija 2.

The annual short film festival 2 Annas took place from 26 November to 2 December 2018.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Latvia had 25 cinemas in 2018 (including four multiplexes) with 62 screens (25 3D screens) and 60 digital screens throughout the country.

Domestic films had a significant rise in admissions, adding up to almost 18,85% market share, which is unprecedented, compared to 7,83% in 2017.

A total of 34 films had their premiere in 2018 and five of them made it to the admissions top 10.In the Dusk by Šarūnas Bartas

The most successful films through October 2018 are Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (94,231 admissions), Homo Novus directed by Anna Viduleja and produced by Film Angels Productions (91,109), The Pagan King / Nameja gredzens directed by Aigars Grauba and produced by Platforma Filma (83,140), The Foundation of Criminal Excellence / Kriminālās ekselences fonds directed by Oskars Rupenheits (81,899), Grinch (80,544), Bohemian Rhapsody (72,751), Bille directed by Ināra Kolmane and produced by Film Studio Deviņi in coproduction with Czech Masterfilm and Lithuanian Studija 2 (62,992), Johny English Strikes Again (47,449), Paradise ’89 / Paradīze ’89 directed by Madara Dišlere, produced by Tasse Film and coproduced with Bastei Media (57,386), Fifty Shades Freed (57,340).

Admissions for domestic films reached 560,257 in 2018, compared to 194,083 in 2017.

The Pagan King by Aigars GraubaGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The National Film Centre is the main film institution in Latvia. It serves as the primary source of funding for local films. The grants contest is held annually, although separate tenders regarding different stages of project development are announced throughout the year.

Total state support for the industry in 2018 was 6,192,637 EUR, including 5,455,699 EUR from the National Film Centre and 736,938 EUR from the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Approximately 3.7 m EUR was granted for the production of 43 films in 2018: 17 feature films, 10 animated films and 16 documentaries.

In 2018 a total of 576,825 EUR was distributed for servicing three projects, while 581,188 EUR was allotted as coproduction grants for 11 projects: six feature films, three documentaries, one long animated film and one short animated film.

In 2018 two Latvian minority coproductions received funding from Eurimages totalling 540,000 EUR – the Lithuanian feature film In the Dusk directed by Sharunas Bartas, and the Hungarian feature film Natural Light directed by Denes Nagy, both of them coproduced by Mistrus Media,

Paradise '89 by Madara DišlereIn 2018 the Riga Film Fund, which offers a cash rebate of up to 20% of all production costs, approved co-financing agreements for a total amount of 1,112,598 EUR, supporting five minority coproductions.

Among the projects that received co-financing agreements were two coproductions handled by Latvia’s Tasse Film, one by Forma Pro Films, one by Film Studio Deviņi and one by Rīgas Filmu Studija. The largest rebate was granted to Tasse Film’s Heirs of the Night, directed by Diederik Van Rooijen and coproduced by Lemming Film. The rebate will be up to 490,000 EUR, representing 20% of the costs in Latvia.

Latvia has a range of diverse filmmaking locations, including medieval architecture, Art Nouveau architecture and 19th century wooden architecture, therefore urban as well as natural locations in Latvia are able to double for many European places. Latvia is home to The Cinevilla Film Studio, that is located 50 km from the national capital of Riga and provides opportunities for shooting, as well as its own hotel.

The Latvian Film Producers Association with its approximately 30 members represents the most important film production companies in Latvia. The Latvian Filmmakers Union, which was established in 1962, also represents local filmmakers. An important role in the region is played by the Films Service Producers Association, whose members include, among others, the Latvian Film Angels Studio, the Baltic Pines film studio and Ego Media. These studios have vast experience in handling foreign productions shooting in Latvia.

TV

Bille by Inara KolmaneThe leading broadcaster in Latvia is the commercial channel TV3 and along with the LNT channel it was purchased in 2017 by the investment company Providence Equity Partners from its previous owner Modern Times Group.

The public broadcaster LTV is funded by the state and through advertising revenues. The Latvian Television organises an annual film project The Code of Latvia / Latvijas kods focusing on stories about contemporary life in Latvia. The project is implemented in cooperation and with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Culture Capital Foundation. New episodes are presented every year in November as a part of Latvian Independence Day celebrations.

In 2018 public TV Latvian Television launched the TV series for teenagers 16+, broadcast only on YouTube, and the TV series Two in One, produced by Ugunsgreks, which previously produced a similar TV show for commercial TV3 (https://skaties.lv/tv3/).

CONTACTS:

NATIONAL FILM CENTRE OF LATVIA
Peitavas 10, Riga, Latvia, LV-1050
Phone: +371 7358878
Fax: +371 7358877
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nkc.lv
Director: Dita Rietuma


RIGA FILM FUND
Phone: +371 6703 7659
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmriga.lv

CULTURE CAPITAL FOUNDATION
Phone: +371 6750 3177
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kkf.lv


The Foundation of Criminal Excellence by Oskars RupenheitsLATVIAN FILM PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION
President: Aija Berzina
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: +371 26466014

LATVIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Chairman: Ieva Romanova
Elizabetes Str.49, Riga
LV-1010, Latvia
Mobile: +371 29696874
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


FILM SERVICE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION OF LATVIA
Kr. Valdemara 33-10, Riga, LV-1010, Latvia
Phone: +371 67331921
Mobile: +371 25666698
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmservice.lv


MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Phone: +371 6707 8137
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.km.gov.lv

Report by Zane Peneze (2019)
Sources: Film Riga, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Latvian Television


 MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Grandpa Is More Dangerous than the Computer by Varis BraslaAhead of Latvia's Centennial, which will be celebrated throughout 2018, the support for local film production steadily increased to 9,109,016 EUR in 2017, with more than 2 m EUR increase compared to 2016. Film production has taken a more robust path due to the Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary special programme, consisting of 16 feature films.

Total state support for the industry in 2017 was 9,109,016 EUR, including approximately 6 m EUR as production support for 42 films.

For the second consecutive year, two domestic films are among top 10 most watched movies in Latvia. There were 16 domestic premieres in 2017, of which the most successful was Varis Brasla's family film and comedy Grandfather Is More Dangerous than the Computer with 76,068 admissions and 281,029 EUR gross. Andrejs Ekis’ comedy Swingers, which was released at the end of 2016, ranked number seven.

PRODUCTION

Domestic films continued to steadily grow, as an unprecedented state support was given to the production of films in the Centennial programme.

A total of 15 feature films were in production in 2017, as well as nine animated films and 18 documentaries.

One of the most expensive productions, the historic drama The Pagan King, directed by Aigars Grauba and produced by Platforma Filma, wrapped at the end of 2017. Another major action drama, Blizzard of Souls / Dvēseļu putenis, directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and produced by KultFilma, was also shot in 2017.

Madara Dišlere's feature film Paradise '89 (produced by Tasse Film) is set at the time when Latvia regained its independence.

Swingers by Andrejs EkisMistrus Media produced three films in 2017: Ivars Seleckis' documentary To Be Continued (about several 7 year old children and their life), Gints Grūbe's documentary Lustrum (about KGB archives) and Dāvis Sīmanis' feature film The Mover (produced by Mistrus Media) about Žanis Lipke, who sheltered Jews during the Nazi occupation.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 295 films were distributed in 2017.

The leading distribution companies in the country are regional Baltic distributors: Forum Cinemas, Latvian Theatrical Distribution, Acme Film and Topfilm Baltic.

Local distribution is also handled by Kinopunkts, that screens films in more than 100 locations outside traditional cinemas. The project is supported by the National Film Centre and the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Small cinema initiatives focusing on the distribution of independent and art house films, such as Kino Bize and Kino Spektrs, which emerged in 2014 and 2015, continued their activity in 2017.

The internet platform Filmas, the biggest Latvian film database launched in 2015, provides a catalogue of more than 2,500 films, going back to the 1920s. Approximately 120 films are free of charge, but for the time being only on Latvian devices, due to distribution rights. The project is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia in cooperation with the Riga Film Museum and the Culture Information Systems Centre.

Two commercial platforms, Shortcut and Viaplay, offer film streamings, including domestic premieres.

The 4th Riga International Film Festival took place from 7 to 17 September 2017. Estonian director Rainer Sarnet’s November, an Estonian/Polish/Dutch coproduction between Estonia’s Homeless Bob Productions, Poland’s Opus Film and the Dutch company PRPL, was awarded Best Feature Film. The national award at the Lielais Kristaps National Film Festival went to Chronicles of Melanie, directed by Viestur Kairish and produced by Mistrus Media. The annual short film festival 2 Annas took place from 28 November to 3 December 2017.

The Pagan King by Aigars GraubaEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Latvia had 23 cinemas in 2017 (including 4 multiplexes) with 61 screens, of which 25 are 3D screens.

The average ticket price is 5.19 EUR.

In 2017 admissions were 2,476,951 and box office was 12,860,497 EUR.

Domestic films had 194 083 admissions, adding up to a 7.83% market share, which is a slight growth from 7,38% in 2016.

There were 16 domestic premieres in 2017. Among them are Varis Brasla's family film and comedy Grandfather Is More Dangerous than the Computer, produced by Studio F.O.R.M.A., which was the first film from the Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary programmme to be finished. Grandfather Is More Dangerous than the Computer was the most popular domestic movie in 2017 with more than 75,000 admissions and also the most successful domestic family film in the opening week with over 13,000 admissions. The film is domestically distributed by its production company, while Rija Films is handling the sales.

Ieva Ozolina's documentary Solving My Mother (produced by FA Filma), which won the 2017 IDFA First Appearance Special Jury Award, hit the domestic cinemas only at the beginning of 2018, but Janis Nords' relationship drama Foam at the Mouth (produced by Tasse Film) and the Latvian/Norwegian documentary Liberation Day (produced by VFS Films), about the famous band Laibach’s visit to North Korea, were released in 2017.

A total of 267 international films were released in 2017, compared to 276 in 2016.

Foam at the Mouth by Janis NordsThe most successful films in 2017 were: Despicable Me 3 (128,336 admissions), Grandpa Who Is More Dangerous Than the Computer (76,068 admissions), Boss Baby (76,017 admissions), The Fate of the Furious (72,813 admissions), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (69,774 admissions), Fifty Shades Darker (63,631 admissions), Swingers (58,560 admissions), Emoji Movie (52,576 admissions), Smurfs: The Lost Village (51,038), Cars 3 (46,494 admissions).

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The National Film Centre is the main film institution in Latvia. It serves as the primary source of funding for local films. The grants contest is held annually, although separate tenders regarding different stages of project development are announced throughout the year.

Total state support for the industry in 2017 was 9,109,016 EUR, including approximately 6 m EUR as production support for 42 films.

Additionally, 748,000 EUR were given to seven international coproductions, of which five are coproduced by Tasse Film. All the seven titles are Latvian minority coproductions.

Five Latvian productions received funding from Eurimages, totalling 557,000 EUR.

In 2017 the Riga Film Fund, which offers a cash rebate of up to 20% of all production costs, approved four co-financing agreements for a total amount of 686,509 EUR for six minority coproductions.

Among the projects that received co-financing agreements in 2017 were three coproductions handled by Tasse Film and two by Forma Pro Films. The largest rebate was granted to Film Angels Production for Age of Iron, directed by Philippe Berenger, that is a coproduction with France's Slot Machine. The rebate is 135,718 EUR, representing 20% of the costs of shooting in Latvia.

Paradise 89 by Madara DišlereLatvia has a range of diverse filmmaking locations, including medieval, Art Nouveau and 19th century wooden architecture, therefore urban as well as natural locations in Latvia are able to double for many European places. Latvia is home to the Cinevilla Film Studio, located 50 km from the national capital Riga and providing opportunities for shooting, as well as its own hotel.

The Latvian Film Producers Association with its approximately 30 members represents the most important film professionals association in Latvia. The Latvian Filmmakers Union, which was established in 1962, also represents local filmmakers. An important role in the region is played by the Films Service Producers Association, whose members include, among others, the Latvian Film Angels Studio, Baltic Pines film studio and Ego Media. These entities have a vast experience in handling foreign productions shooting in Latvia.

TV

The leading broadcaster in Latvia is the commercial channel TV3. Along with the LNT channel, it was purchased in 2017 by the investment company Providence Equity Partners from its previous owner Modern Times Group.

The public broadcaster LTV is funded by the state and also through advertising revenues. The Latvian Television organises an annual film project The Code of Latvia / Latvijas kods, focusing on stories about contemporary life in Latvia. The project is implemented in cooperation and with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Culture Capital Foundation. New episodes are presented every year in November as a part of Latvian Independence Day celebrations.

LTV, which is also a TV film producer, produced mostly documentaries in 2017. Red Book, a new historic drama TV series, was in production in 2017 and is set to be aired in 2018 as part of Latvia's Centennial celebration. The series is coproduced with Red Dot Media.

CONTACTS:

NATIONAL FILM CENTRE OF LATVIA
Peitavas 10, Riga, Latvia, LV-1050
Phone: +371 7358878
Fax: +371 7358877
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nkc.lv
Director: Dita Rietuma


RIGA FILM FUND
Phone: +371 6703 7659
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmriga.lv

Chronicles of Melanie by Viesturs KairišsCULTURE CAPITAL FOUNDATION
Phone: +371 6750 3177
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kkf.lv


LATVIAN FILM PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION
President: Aija Berzina
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: +371 26466014

LATVIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Chairman: Ieva Romanova
Elizabetes Str.49, Riga
LV-1010, Latvia
Mobile: +371 29696874
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


FILM SERVICE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION OF LATVIA
Kr. Valdemara 33-10, Riga, LV-1010, Latvia
Phone: +371 67331921
Mobile: +371 25666698
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmservice.lv


MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Phone: +371 6707 8137
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www.km.gov.lv

Report by Zane Peneze (2018)
Sources: Film Riga, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Latvian Television

 

Poland

Corpus Christi by Jan Komasa, photo: Aurum FilmMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

WARSAW: Polish cinema noted a very good year 2019 with record-breaking box office results, international success for feature films and an Academy Award nomination for Corpus Christi by Jan Komasa in the International Feature Films category, as well as a growing number of international productions taking advantage of the 30% cash rebate and bringing more productions to Poland.

PRODUCTION

In 2019 Poland produced over 40 feature films, most of them supported by the Polish Film Institute. The year also marked the first major shift in the market due to the introduction of the 30% cash rebate. In 2019 the Polish Film Institute granted 16 local and 10 international projects with over 12 m EUR as part of the cash rebate scheme that was introduced in Poland in February 2019.

A total of 26 projects received support and among them four international: Mission Ulja Funk, a German/Luxembourg/Polish family comedy/road film directed by Barbara Kronenberg and produced by In Good Company (Germany) in coproduction with Samsa Film (Luxemburg), ShipsBoy (Poland); the Polish/Czech drama Leave No Traces directed by Jan P. Matuszyński and produced by Aurum Film (Poland) in Suicide Room. Hater by Jan Komasacoproduction with Background Films (Czech Republic); The Masseur, a new film by Małgorzata Szumowska produced by the director's company Nowhere (Poland) and Match Factory Production (Germany), as well as Other People, a contemporary hip-hop musical directed by Aleksandra Trepińska and produced by Madants (Poland) in coproduction with Warner Bros. Studio.

In 2019 household names continued working on new projects, such as the director of the 2019 Polish Oscar entry Corpus Christi, Jan Komasa, who wrapped up the production of his new cyber thriller Suicide Room. Hater. The film follows a young man, who takes on a job at an ad agency, where he finds tools to launch an online attack on people he wants to take revenge on. The film was produced by Naima Film in coproduction with TVN, Canal+ Polska, Studio K2 and Coloroffon. The opening of Suicide Room. Hater in Polish cinemas was planned for 6 March 2020, distributed by Kino Świat.

The Masseur by Małgorzata SzumowskaIn February 2019 the awarded Polish director Małgorzata Szumowska moved into production with her first English language film, The Other Lamb. The film is an Irish/US/Belgian coproduction by Academy Awarded producers David Lancaster and Stephanie Wilcox of Whiplash. The film stars the English actress Raffey Cassidy, the Dutch actor Michiel Huisman and the Irish actor Denise Gough. The script written by Australian screenwriter Catherine S. McMullen follows a young woman, raised in a repressive cult led by a charismatic patriarch, who grows skeptical of his leadership after a supernatural event and begins to challenge his teachings. The Other Lamb is produced by David Lancaster and Stephanie Wilcox trough Rumble Films and Subotica Productions, in association with Zentropa and in coproduction with Umedia.

In March 2019 Robert Gliński started shooting his epic wartime drama Zieja, about the legendary Warsaw priest Jan Zieja, starring Andrzej Seweryn in the lead role. The shoot took place in Lublin, Janowiec, Nałęczów, Kazimierz Dolny and Wąwolnica in March and April 2019. The film is produced by Włodzimierz Niderhaus through WFDiF in coproduction with TVP, and it is supported by the Polish Film Institute. The film will open in Polish cinemas on 28 February 2020, distributed by TVP.

In April 2019 accomplished female directors Kasia Adamik, Olga Chajdas, Anna Kazejak and Anna Jadowska teamed up to direct Erotica 2022, a futuristic and erotic drama based on a script written by bestselling Polish authors Olga Tokarczuk, Joanna Bator, Gaja Grzegorzewska and Grażyna Plebanek. The film's producer Marta Lewandowska launched this project independently. The film was developed in 2019 with production planned for the second half of 2020.

In 2019 Władysław Pasikowski returned to his iconic series Dogs and directed the third installment of this crime thriller. Dogs 3 follows Franz Maurer, a former officer of the SB (Polish secret police) and his colleagues, who find themselves in the reality of post-communist Poland. The film produced by Scorpio Studio was shot in July 2019 and it was released in Poland by Kino Świat on 17 January 2020. The film had over 1 m admissions through the first week of February 2020.

Dogs 3 by Władysław Pasikowski, photo: Bartosz MrozowskiThe box office hit maker Patryk Vega started his four-part series of films about Polish political life in 2019, with the first installment Politics produced by his own company Vega Investments and shot under the radar in April 2019. The film portrays the political environment in Poland, that arouses widespread and extreme emotions in the country and divides the Poles. Politics opened in Polish cinemas on 4 September 2019, distributed by Kino Świat, and with its 1.89 m admissions became the 5th most watched film of the year.

Patryk Vega finished 2019 with a new production, Bad Boy, which was shot on location in Wrocław from December 2019 till the first week of January 2020. This time the Polish director takes on a scandal in the world of soccer. The film is produced by the director's company Vega Investments and commercially financed. Kino Świat will release the film domestically on 21 February 2020.

In November 2019 director Marta Karwowska wrapped shooting on Triple Trouble / Tarapaty 2, a sequel to the Polish hit live action children film Double Trouble / Tarapaty, following the adventures of child detectives Julka and Olek. The film is produced by Agnieszka Dziedzic through Koi Studio with support from the Polish Film Institute and the Mazovia Film Fund. The premiere is planned for September 2020. In 2017 Double Trouble / Tarapaty became the most popular blockbuster for children produced in Poland after 1989, with 320,000 admissions. It was later released on DVD and it has been sold to all major TV stations in Poland and also to Netflix.

DISTRIBUTION

Politics by Patryk VegaThe leading distributors of mainstream cinema on the Polish market are Kino Świat, SPI International Polska, NEXT FILM and Monolith Films. The art house market is dominated by Gutek Film and Against Gravity.  

The biggest Polish distribution success in 2019 was Corpus Christi by Jan Komasa, which was nominated for the Best International Feature Film Academy Award and which has been sold to over 45 territories including North America, France, Russia and Australia. The film was produced by Aurum Film in coproduction with Canal+, WFS Walter Film Studio, the Podkarpackie Regional Film Fund and Les Contes Modernes, with support from the Polish Film Institute.

Corpus Christi went into regular distribution in over 45 countries including the USA, Singapore, France, Russia, Hungary, Ecuador, Mexico, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Denmark and Sweden, Australia and New Zealand, Spain, Norway, Lithuania, Benelux, Switzerland, the UK and Ireland, Germany, South Korea, Italy, Greece, Iceland, Belarus, Romania, Latvia and Austria. The sales are managed by New Europe Film Sales.

In 2019 the trend of Polish titles venturing into foreign markets continued especially in the UK, where Poland’s box office number 1, Kogel Mogel 3 directed by Kordian Piwowarski, opened on 15 March 2019 and had 202,923 EUR gross. The film was also distributed in Iceland and Norway.

Patryk Vega’s Politics opened in the UK on 6 September 2019, cashing in 577,927 EUR. His previous crime drama Women of Mafia 2 premiered in British cinemas on 2 March 2019 and cashed in 359,639 EUR. Both films were also released in Iceland and Norway.

Corpus Christi by Jan KomasaPolish hit comedy Planet Single 3, directed by Sam Akina and Michał Chaciński, opened in the UK on 15 February 2019 and had 254,245 EUR gross through 2019.

In 2019 Netflix became an increasingly stronger leader on the VOD market. As data from the Gemoius / PBI study show, in December 2019 Netflix had 5.31 m real users in Poland (+ 42.2% compared to November 2019) with 76.86 million page views (+ 59.1% month to month). Only one other VoD service, vod.pl, had above 3 m visitors (3.05 m visitors and 11.74 m page views).

A total of 2.55 m Internet users generated 23.89 m page views on HBOGO.pl. The platform had a record-high number of users, with most views in March 2019: 16.69 m, with 1.08 m visitors.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Poland has over 1200 cinema screens, 80% operated by big multiplex cinema chains. The leading companies are Cinema City with over 30 multiplex cinemas, 380 screens and 110,000 seats, Helios with 42 cinemas and 49,000 seats, and Multikino with 48 cinemas and 70,000 seats. Additionally, there are more than 600 one-screen cinemas.

Bad Boy by Patryk Vega, photo: Vega InvestmentsThe year 2019 was record breaking with 60.2 m admissions and over 266 m EUR gross, compared to the 2018 record of 59.7 m total admissions.

The most popular films in 2019 were The Lion King (with 2.52 m admissions) and Frozen 2 (2.46 m admissions). The 3rd spot in the overall Polish box office belongs to the locally made comedy Kogel Mogel 3, a revamped sequel of a popular comedy series from the 80s, directed by Kordian Piwowarski. Kogel Mogel 3 had 2.39 m admissions, and it was produced by MTL Maxfilm in coproduction with TVP. Next Film released it theatrically on 25 January 2019.

The top 5 in the Polish overall box office is closed by the award winning crime drama Joker (1.96 m tickets) and Politics by Patryk Vega with 1.89 m admissions. Vega’s hit was followed by Avengers: End Game (1.88 m admissions), Secret Life Of Pets 2 (1.45 m admissions); Planet Single 3 (1.44 m admissions) by Sam Akina and Michał Chaciński; Corpus Christi directed by Jan Komasa (1.4 m admissions) and How To Train Your Dragon 3 (1.27 admissions).

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

Up to 45-50 films are produced annually with an average budget of approximately 930,000–1.1 m EUR / 4- 4.5 m PLN.

Kogel Mogel 3 by Kordian PiwowarskiThe Polish Film Institute is the largest source of funding with additional funds coming from the television, a well-developed network of regional film funds, as well as private sources. The most frequent coproduction partners for Poland are Germany, France and the Czech Republic, with growing involvement of the Scandinavian countries, including Sweden and Denmark.

In 2019 a total of 26 projects benefited from the 30% cash rebate on qualifying film production expenses, that was introduced in 2018. The Polish Film Institute had a 46 m EUR / 200 m PLN budget to refund partial costs of film production in Poland in 2019 and it has so far closed the contracts on 12 m EUR.

Click HERE for more information on Poland’s cash rebate.

In 2019 PISF granted approximately 12.6 m EUR / 54 m PLN for international coproductions and local feature film productions, with the biggest grant of 1.4 m EUR / 6 m PLN assigned to Volunteer / Ochotnik, a major war drama about Witold Pilecki, produced by Madants with a planned budget of 35.4 m EUR / 150 m PLN. Volunteer is said to be one of the most expensive films in Polish history. The film is supported by the Polish National Foundation. No director is attached to the project yet.

Poland has a well-developed network of regional film funds with 11 active funds: Łódź FF, Gdynia FF, Silesia FF, Lower Silesia FF, Poznań FF, Podkarpackie FF, Krakow FF, West Pomerania FF, Lublin FF, Mazovia FF and Warmia and Mazury Regional Film Fund.

The Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP) has over 1,700 members. The SFP is involved in the organisation of film events including festivals and major markets. Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association, which operates within the structure of the SFP, Triple Trouble by Marta Karwowskaproduces short films and debut features made by young filmmakers. Polish producers are members of the Polish Producers Alliance (KIPA) established in November 2000 to protect “the economic and legal interests of the Polish audiovisual sector”. The Polish market also has a very active network of film commissions for the the Lower Silesia, Małopolska, Mazovia, Silesia and Podkarpackie voivodships, and in the cities of Łódź and Poznań.

In 2019 The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage merged together public film production institutions WFDIF, KADR Film Studio, TOR Film Studio, ZEBRA Film Studio and KRONIKA Film Studio into one major film production centre. The consolidation of these entities created a company with 23.2 m EUR / 100 m PLN of annual revenue.

TV

In 2019 the private channel Polsat took the first place among the most popular TV stations in the whole year. The average daily share of this channel compared to 2018 decreased by 3.71 percent and amounted to 9.85 percent of the market share.

TVP1 was the first runner-up, whose share in the analysed period decreased by 0.51%. to 9.68 percent. The third place belongs to TVN. In 2019 the station’s share of the market amounted to 8.45%, after a decline compared to the same period last year. TVP2 took the next place with 9.91 percent (this station had an 8.34% share; up by 2.21%). The total share of the so-called "big four" decreased from 37.50 percent in 2018 to 36.32 percent in 2019.

In 2019 Polish Pay TV platform nc+ became the distributor of the catalogue of Kino Świat, by purchasing a 70% stake of the company.

CONTACTS:

POLISH FILM INSTITUTE
ul. Kruczkowskiego 2
00-412 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: +48 22 10 26 454
www.pisf.pl
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POLISH FILMMAKERS ASSOCIATION
ul. Pańska 85
00-834 Warsaw, Poland
Phone.: (+ 48) 22 512 41 00
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www.sfp.org.pl

 

FILM COMMISSION POLAND
ul. Kruczkowskiego 2
00-412 Warszawa
tel.: +48 22 102 64 42
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FILM COMMISSIONS

WROCŁAW FILM COMMISSION
50-020 Wrocław, Piłsudskiego 64A, Poland
Phone: +48 71 793 79 72, +48 601 384 194
Fax: +48 71 79 400 88
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http://wroclawfilmcommission.pl/

ŁÓDŹ FILM COMMISSION
90-022 Łódź, Targowa 1/3, Poland
Phone: 48 42 600 61 33
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www.lodzfilmcommission.com

KRAKOW FILM COMMISSION
31-311 Kraków, Wygrana 2, Poland
Phone: +48 12 354 25 53
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www.film-commission.pl

MAZOVIA WARSAW FILM COMMISSION
00-139 Warsaw, Elektoralna 12, Poland
Phone: +48 22 586 42 58
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www.mwfc.pl

POZNAN FILM COMMISSION
61-767 Poznan, Masztalarska 8, Poland
Phone: +48 61 8528833 ext. 35
Fax: +48 61 8528835
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www.poznanfilmcommission.pl

SILESIA FILM COMMISSION
40-008 Katowice, Górnicza 5, Poland
Phone: +48 698 353 147
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PODKARPACKIE FILM COMISSIONS
35-002 Rzeszów, Okrzei 7, Poland
Phone: +48 721 288 004
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www.podkarpackiefilmcommission.pl

KUJAWY POMORZE FILM OFFICE
tel. +48 881 232 234
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www.film.kujawsko-pomorskie.pl

Report by Katarzyna Grynienko (2020)
Sources: the Polish Film Institute, the National Broadcasting Chamber


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Cold War by Paweł Pawlikowski, photo: by Łukasz BąkPolish cinema had a strong year in 2018, with record-breaking box office results, international success of feature films, worldwide distribution for domestic titles, as well as the introduction of long-awaited 30% financial incentives for international filmmakers.

PRODUCTION

In 2018 Poland produced over 45 feature films, most of them supported by the Polish Film Institute. Polish cinema landscape took a significant turn towards period cinema, with major costume war dramas in production.

Michał Rosa launched the production of his Józef Piłsudski biopic, following the early years of the Polish statesman’ activity from 1900 to 1914. The shoot launched in August 2018 with the postproduction planned for the first half of 2019. The film is produced by KADR Film Studio.

Władysław Pasikowski shot The Courier, a war biopic about Jan Nowak-Jeziorański, one of the most notable resistance fighters of the Home Army. The film was shot in Warsaw and Lódź in the summer of 2018, produced by the Warsaw Rising Museum. The Courier will open in The Clergy by Wojciech Smarzowski, photo: Bartosz MrozowskiPolish cinemas on 8 March 2019, distributed by Kino Świat.

Maciej Pieprzyca finished work on Icarus. The biopic on the famous Polish pianist Mietek Kosz (1944-1973) was shot in October-December 2018, produced by RE Studio.. The premiere is planned for 27 September 2019 with Next Film distributing.

Lech Majewski started worki on his new drama Brigitte Bardot the Wonderful, based on his novel under the same title. The shoot to this elaborate costume drama launched in Silesia on 6 November 2018 and will continue throughout 2019. The film is produced by Domino Film in coproduction with Majewski's "Angelus Silesius" Association.

Polish company Watchout Studio launched production on The Coldest Game, a spy thriller in English directed by Łukasz Kośmicki and aimed at international markets. The Coldest Game is set in 1962 at the height of the Cuban missile crisis. The shoot took place in Warsaw in February-April 2018 and the film is produced by Watchout Studio, which also produced box office hits Gods by Łukasz Palkowski and Art of Love by Maria Sadowska, in coproduction with TVN and NEXT FILM.

Corpus Christi by Jan Komasa, photo: Aurum FilmDariusz Gajewski’s costume drama Legions will showcase a love triangle on the backdrop of the heroic deeds of the Polish Legions (1914-1916). Shooting took place in the autumn of 2017 and winter of 2018. The film is produced by Picaresque in coproduction with FINA. Kino Świat will release the film on 27 September 2019.

In the last decade Poland has been continuously involved in a steady number of international coproductions, the growing support from the Polish Film Institute introducing specially designed grants for producers working on international projects.

One of the biggest titles produced as part of this scheme in 2018 was Agnieszka Holland’s Mr. Jones, a drama about the Welsh journalist Gareth Jones, who first publicised in the Western world the existence of the Soviet famine of 1932–1933. The Polish/British/Ukrainian coproduction was shot on location in Poland, the Ukraine and Scotland in February-June 2018. The film is produced by Film Produkcja (Poland), Mandants (Poland), Crab Apple Films (UK), Orka Studio and Film UA (Ukraine) with the support of PFI, the Krakow Festival Office and the Ukrainian State Film Agency. Gareth Jones will premiere in the Competition of the 69th Berlinale IFF and will be released in Polish cinemas in 2019, with WestEnd Films managing the international sales.

My Name Is Sara, a Polish/American coproduction directed by Steven Oritt, wrapped shooting in 2018. This drama following a teenage Jewish orphan who escapes the Nazis and finds refuge in a small village, is a Polish/American coproduction between Watchout Studio and Sara's Story. This is the first production fully financed in the USA but produced on every stage in Poland.

Jacek Borcuch shot Dolce Fina Giornata aka Volterra, with the famous Polish actress Krystyna Janda, in Tuscany in March-April 2018. The film follows a fictional Nobel Prize winning Polish poet played by Krystyna Janda, who leads a quiet life in a small town in Tuscany. Polish Women Of Mafia by Patryk Vegacompany No Sugar Films is producing in coproduction with Tank Production, Motion Group and Aeroplan. The film will premiere at the Sundance IFF in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition and it will be released by NEXT FILM in Polish cinemas on 10 May 2019.

Jan Komasa shot his new drama Corpus Christi, a Script Pro winning project about a convict pretending to be a priest. The film is produced by Aurum Film in coproduction with Canal+ and WFS Walter Film Studio. The Polish distributor is Kino Świat.

In the summer of 2018 Daria Woszek wrapped shooting on her debut feature Marygoround, a black drama comedy about an agnostic collector of Virgin Mary statues, produced by Jutrzenka Studio.

The box office hit director Patryk Vega produced two new crime films – a sequel to Women of Mafia, following the gang of Polish women who get involved with a Columbian drug cartel, and Plagues of Breslau, about a female police officer who has to catch a brutal serial killer. Both films were shot in 2018 and produced via Vega’s own company Vega Investments. The director announced that he purchased production rights to the Pitbull franchise and plans to release the new part in November 2021.

In the summer of 2018 Ryszard Zatorski shot There Is No Sin in Bad Luck / Pech to nie grzech, an independent romantic comedy produced by Figaro Film. The film opened domestically on 25 December 2018 with 190,000 admissions in the first week.

My Name is Sara by Steven Oritt, fot. Robert PalkaA new production company NEM Corp was established in 2018 by Ewa Puszczyńska, the producer of Pawel Pawlowski’s Cold War (Opus Film) and the Oscar winning Ida (Opus Film), together with Klaudia Śmieja, the producer of Agnieszka Holland’s Gareth Jones, and Jan Naszewski of New Europe Film Sales.

DISTRIBUTION

The leading distributors of mainstream cinema on the Polish market are Kino Świat, SPI International Polska, NEXT FILM and Monolith Films. The art house market is dominated by Gutek Film and Against Gravity. In 2018 a new distribution company Velvet Spoon was launched on the Polish market with plans to release quality genre cinema.

The biggest Polish distribution success in 2018 was Cold War by Paweł Pawlikowski, awarded top prizes including best director at Cannes Film Festival and five awards at the European Film Awards, including the European Film award. The film was also nominated for the 2019 Academy Awards in the Best Director, Best Foreign Language Film and Best Cinematography categories, and it also holds four nominations for the 2019 BAFTA Awards.

Cold War is a Polish/British/French coproduction from Opus Film, Apocalypso Film and MK Production, distributed by Kino Świat. It opened in Poland on 8 June 2018 and racked up over 940,000 admissions. The film was sold into distribution in several international territories 7 Emotions by Marek Koterskiincluding North America (USA, Canada), Europe (UK, France, Benelux, Germany, Italy, Greece, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Scandinavia, Turkey), Asia (China, Japan, South Korea), Australia and New Zealand. Amazon is the US distributor.

The year 2018 was great for Polish cinema abroad, especially in the UK, where Wojtek Smarzowski’s The Clergy had over 1 m admissions during the opening weekend, distributed by Phoenix Films. The film was also sold in the USA, Canada, Germany, Austria, Holland and Norway. The Clergy opened in Polish cinemas on 28 September 2018 distributed by Kino Świat and has racked up over 5 m admissions to date, becoming the first ever Polish film to reach that number of admissions so quickly.

Another title of interest for the UK audience was Patryk Vega’s crime comedy Women of Mafia. The film was also a major success in Poland with over 2 m admissions. In the UK, where it opened on 2 March 2018 distributed by Odeon, it had a box office of 692,479 EUR during the first month, ranking 6th in the overall UK box office top ten for March 2018. Its worldwide box office to date is 11.5 m EUR.

Pitbull. The Last Dog directed by Wladyslaw Pasikowski and produced by Ent One, debuted in the UK in the 11th place, bringing in over 330,000 EUR by the end of April 2018. The romantic comedy Fake Fiancée / Narzeczony na niby, directed by Bartosz Prokopowicz and produced by TFP in coproduction with Telewizja Polsat and Cyfrowy Polsat, debuted at number 15 in the UK, bringing in 80,000 EUR on its opening weekend. It earned almost 5 m EUR in five weeks in the Polish top 20, when it was released mid-January 2018.

The leading VOD platform in Poland is CDA.pl with its Premium section. In November 2018 CDA.pl  had 3.11 m users, 30 m views and over 155,000 active subscribers. The platform has been developed since 2016 and the subscription is approximately 4.6 EUR / 19.90 PLN.

Planet Single 2 by Sam AkinaNetflix, which has been active on the Polish market since 2016, released its first locally produced Polish series in 2018. The 8-episode show 1983 was directed by Agnieszka Holland, Kasia Adamik, Olga Chajdas and Agnieszka Smoczyńska, and it was produced by The Kennedy/Marshall Company and Poland’s The House Media Company.. The series premiered internationally on Netflix on 31 November 2018.

In the spring of 2018, HBO launched an HBO GO subscription to all Internet users, separate from a TV cable subscription. HBO continued its engagement in local content production and introduced an original crime series Blinded by The Lights directed by Krzysztof Skonieczny and produced by House Media Company. The 8-episode series became the most popular TV series on HBO in Poland, surpassing Westworld and Game of Thrones, and it ranked 3rd in the top of the most watched HBO productions in the CEE region.

Leading TV broadcasters continued to develop their own VOD platforms. TVP introduced digitally restored hit series from the past, TVN teamed up with nc+ and Ipla, a Cyfrowy Polsat service, introducing a greater number of channels that can be watched live on VOD, and the WP Pilot video service introduced Kino Polska TV channels into its VOD offer in June of 2018.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Poland has over a thousand cinemas, 80% operated by big multiplex cinema chains. The leading companies are Cinema City with over 30 multiplex cinemas, 380 screens and 110,000 seats, Helios with 42 cinemas and 49,000 seats, and Multikino with 48 cinemas and 70,000Pitbull. The Last Dog by Władysław Pasikowski, photo: Maciej Hachlica, copyright: Ent One Investments 2 seats. Additionally, there are more than 600 one-screen cinemas.

In 2018 the British cinema chain Vue International, working in Poland under the brand name Multikino, bought Polish Cinema3D. The chain had 11 cinemas in Poland, that were turned into Multikino units. Vue International also plans to invest in three cinemas with 20 screens in Warsaw and Nowy Targ.

In 2018 Polish cinema saw another record breaking year with an all-time best result of 59.7 m total admissions and four domestic titles in the general box office top 10. Admissions for domestic films surpassed 19.8 m and domestic films grossed 58,2 m EUR / 249,1 m PLN , which is another record for the Polish market. Total box office surpassed 263 m EUR. According to a special report commissioned by Filmweb.pl from Milward Brown in 2018, the average Polish cinema viewer is 21-41 years old and goes to the cinema at least once a month. The average cinema ticket price in Poland is 4.39 EUR / 18.8 PLN.

 

Polish films also dominated the overall top ten 2018 with Wojtek Smarzowski's The Clergy (Profil Film Jacek Rzehak) topping the charts with 5,183,080 admissions, followed by Women of Mafia (Showmax) directed by Patryk Vega (2,037,202), Planet Single 2 (Gigant Films) by Sam Akina (1,685,864), Squadron 303 (Film Media) by Denis Delić (1,516,443) and international blockbusters The Incredibles 2 (1,446,260), Wonder (1,376,894), Fifty Shades Freed (1,364,357), Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (1,338,859), The Grinch (1,297,688) and Bohemian Rhapsody (1,227,207). 

Polish top 10 includes seven films with more than 1 m admissions: The Clergy (5,183,080 admissions), Women of Mafia (2,037,202), Planet Single 2 (1,685,864), Squadron 303 (1,516,443), Pretend Fiancée (TFP) by Bartosz Prokopowicz (1,127,083), Pitbull. The Last Dog (Ent Productions) by Władysław Pasikowski (1,014,213), followed by Cold War (Opus Film) by Paweł Pawlikowski (931,339), 7 Emotions (WFDiF) by Marek Koterski (853,931) and Love Is Everything (Akson Studio) by Michał Kwieciński (617,152).

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

Tax on Love by Bartłomiej IgnaciukUp to 45-50 films are produced annually with an average budget of approximately 930,000–1.1 m EUR / 4- 4.5 m PLN.

The Polish Film Institute is the largest source of funding with additional funds coming from the television, a well-developed network of regional film funds, as well as private sources. The most frequent coproduction partners are Germany, France and the Czech Republic, with growing involvement of the Scandinavian countries including Sweden and Denmark.

In 2018 the Polish Government approved the long-awaited bill offering a 30% cash rebate on qualifying film production expenses. The Polish Film Institute will have a 46 m EUR / 200 m PLN budget to refund partial costs of film production in Poland. Ten percent of the budget will be allotted for animated films and animated series. Submissions and the final reports, which will be the base for refunding, must be evaluated within 28 days each, which will make Poland competitive on the international market.

The new Polish law allows up to 30% of the production budget to be refunded once the applicant fulfills the necessary conditions. Polish producers, coproducers and servicing companies are now able to apply for a partial reimbursement of qualifying production costs spent in Poland. The refund will come after the company has signed a special contract with the Polish Film Institute, finished the production, spent the money, paid all necessary taxes in Poland and submitted all the required documents.

In 2018 the Polish Film Institute introduced a new grant category that will support micro-budget productions directed by film school graduates and other debut filmmakers. The "First film" priority grant has a maximum budget of 162,581 EUR / 700,000 PLN for each film. The projects will be produced in cooperation with a national TV broadcaster, which will act as a coproducer with rights to the film.

Poland has a well-developed network of regional film funds with 12 active funds: Łódź FF, Gdynia FF, Silesia FF, Lower Silesia FF, Poznań FF, Podkarpackie FF, Krakow FF, Białystok FF, West Pomerania FF, Lublin FF, Mazovia FF and Warmia and Mazury Regional Film Fund.1983 by Agnieszka Holland, Kasia Adamik, Olga Chajdas and Agnieszka Smoczyńska, photo: Netflix

The Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP) has over 1,700 members. The SFP is involved in the organisation of film events including festivals and major markets. Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association, which operates within the structure of the SFP, produces short films and debut features made by young filmmakers. Polish producers are members of the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce (KIPA) established in November 2000 to protect “the economic and legal interests of the Polish audiovisual sector.” The Polish market also has a very active network of film commissions located in the Lower Silesia, Małopolska, Mazovia, Silesia and Wielkopolska regions and the cities of Łódź and Poznań.

In 2018 Film Commission Poland, which was created in 2012, became a part of the Polish Film Institute and it was delegated to promote Polish cinema abroad.

By the end of 2018, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage announced plans to merge public film production institutions WFDIF, KADR Film Studio, TOR Film Studio, ZEBRA Film Studio and KRONIKA Film Studio into one major film production center in 2019. This will allow the creation of a company with 23.2 m EUR / 100 m PLN of annual revenue.

Blinded By Lights by Krzysztof Skonieczny, photo: HBO PolandTV

Public and private broadcasters are an integral part of the Polish film industry as producers and commissioners of locally produced content.

The leading TV channels in Poland are public TVP holdings with flagship channel TVP1 with 9.73% and TVP2 with 8.16% market share in the second quarter of 2018 (according to the National Broadcasting Chamber), followed by Polsat with 10.23% market share and TVN with 9.38% market share.

The market share of the “big four” (TVP 1 and 2, Polsat and TVN) dropped from 38.24% in 2017 to 37.5 % in 2018. The takeover of Scripps Networks Interactive by Discovery made a huge shift in the power dynamics on the Polish TV market, which will become visible in 2019, as the TVN and Discovery portfolio will hold over 20% of the market share.

In 2018 SPI International’s subsidiary Kino Polska TV took full control over Cable Television Networks & Partners by acquiring all its shares for 2.4 m EUR / 10 m PLN. Cable Television Networks & Partners operates the terrestrial channel Zoom TV holding 0.4% of the market share. The company announced its plans to transform Zoom TV into a brand that will supplement the film offer in the group’s portfolio from both Kino Polska and FilmBox.

Roads To Freedom by Maciej MigasTVP continued to be the biggest source of funds for filmmakers. The Polish public broadcaster launched a special competition for documentaries celebrating the 100th anniversary of Polish independence and chose 13 projects that went into production in 2018. All projects are produced by regional branches of TVP with a planned total budget of 236,529 EUR / 1 m PLN.

In 2018 TVP also produced new original war drama series, continuing a successful trend from the recent years. The costume drama series Century of the Guilty is based on the bestselling series of novels written by Ałbena Grabowska and follows a Polish family living near Warsaw from the break of WWI to contemporary times. The series is directed by Piotr Trzaskalski. Endemol Shine is the executive producer and the budget of 230,152 EUR / 1 m PLN per episode makes it one of the most expensive TVP projects to date.

Also in 2018 TVP produced the 13-episode war drama series Roads to Freedom, directed by Maciej Migas, which follows the lives of three sisters who open a weekly magazine towards the end of WWI. The show was created by Stanisław Krzemiński, co-creator of the TVP hit series The Vicarage and The Londoners.

In 2018 Sony Pictures Television Networks Central Europe commissioned the first season of the original crime series Signs from ATM Group, following the successful Ultraviolet series (produced by Opus Film), which was commissioned by Sony for AXN and eventually purchased by Netflix in 2018.

By taking over TVN, Discovery expanded the private broadcaster’s involvement in local content productions, with TVN announcing its plans to produce and coproduce five new films and a mini-series in 2018. The Coldest Game directed by Łukasz Kośmicki and starring Bill Pullman, is an international coproduction produced by Watchout Studio in coproduction with TVN S.A, Next Film and ITI Neovision S.A..

 The Coldest Game by Łukasz Kośmicki, photo: WatchoutAll the Luck directed by box office hit director Tomasz Konecki (Letters to Santa 3, TVN) is a romantic comedy produced by TVN and planned to be released by Next Film on 8 March 2019.

Leszek Dawid’s Broad Peak, the real story of the Polish mountaineer Maciej Berbeka, is produced by East Studio in coproduction with TVN and Canal+..

Hater. Suicide Room, the sequel to Jan Komasa's box office hit drama Suicide Room (2011, KADR Film Studio), is also produced by TVN. The Christmas-themed rom-com Love Is Everything / Miłość jest wszystkim directed by Michał Kwieciński, a coproduction from Akson Studio and TVN, was released in Poland on 23 November 2018 distributed by Kino Świat. The film had over 1 m admissions.

Kinga Dębska’s mini-series Six, also produced by TVN, started shooting in Krakow on 25 September 2018.

CONTACTS:

POLISH FILM INSTITUTE
Krakowskie Przedmieście 21/23
00-071 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: +48 22 42 10 130
Fax: (22) 42 10 241
www.pisf.pl
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POLISH FILMMAKERS ASSOCIATION
Legions by Dariusz Gajewski, photo: Kino ŚwiatKrakowskie Przedmieście 7
00-068 Warsaw, Poland
Phone.: (48) 22 556 54 40 / 50, (48) 22 845 51 32
Fax: (48) 22 845 39 08
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www.sfp.org.pl

FILM COMMISSION POLAND
Krakowskie Przedmieście 21/23
00-071 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: (+48) 22 421 05 94
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www.filmcommissionpoland.pl

FILM COMMISSIONS:

WROCŁAW FILM COMMISSION
50-020 Wrocław, Piłsudskiego 64A, Poland
Phone: +48 71 793 79 72, +48 601 384 194
Fax: +48 71 79 400 88
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www.odra-film.wroc.pl

ŁÓDŹ FILM COMMISSION
90-926 Łódź, Piotrkowska 102, Poland
Phone: +48 42 638 55 46
Fax: (+48) 42 638 40 89
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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www.lodzfilmcommission.pl

Piłsudski by Michał Rosa, photo: Jarosław Sosiński / SF KADRKRAKOW FILM COMMISSION
31-513 Kraków, Olszańska 7, Poland
Phone: +48 12 424 96 61, +48 501 051 605
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www.film-commission.pl

MAZOVIA WARSAW FILM COMMISSION
00-139 Warsaw, Elektoralna 12, Poland
Phone: +48 22 586 42 58
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www.mwfc.pl

POZNAN FILM COMMISSION
61-767 Poznan, Masztalarska 8, Poland
Phone: +48 61 8528833 ext. 35
Fax: +48 61 8528835
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.poznanfilmcommission.pl

SILESIA FILM COMMISSION
40-008 Katowice, Górnicza 5, Poland
Phone: +48 698 353 147
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Report by Katarzyna Grynienko (2019)
Sources: the Polish Film Institute, the National Broadcasting Chamber


MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Polish cinema had a strong and challenging year in 2017, with record-breaking box office results, the celebration of 70 years of Polish animation, international success of feature and documentary films, worldwide distribution for domestic titles, as well as new international coproduction agreements and crucial changes within the Polish Film Institute.

PRODUCTION

Werewolf by Adrian Panek, photo: Balapolis / Łukasz BąkIn 2017 Poland produced over 45 feature films, most of them supported by the Polish Film Institute.

One of the major Polish coproductions shot in 2017 was the new drama by Oscar-winning Polish director Paweł Pawlikowski Cold War / Zimna wojna, recently acquired by Amazon Studios. Pawlikowski told FNE that the film tells the story of two young people and their difficult love in the 50s-60s. Cold War is a British/Polish/French coproduction between Apocalypso Pictures, Opus Film and MK Productions.

Wojciech Smarzowski shot his new crime drama about the Catholic Church reform in Poland under the working title 3 in August 2017. The film is produced by Profil Film Jacek Rzehak.

Adrian Panek shot his sophomore film Werewolf in July-November 2017. This Polish/Dutch/German coproduction follows eight children freed from the Gross-Rosen concentration camp in 1945. The film is a coproduction between Balapolis (Balapolis), House of Netherhorror and Twenty Twenty Vision Filmproduktion.

In autumn 2017 Jan Jakub Kolski started working on his new drama, the Polish/Czech coproduction Pardon, and resumed work on 15 January 2018. The story is set in 1946 and follows a married couple travelling through Poland with a casket containing the body of their 26-year-old son. The film is produced by Centrala and the director's company Wytwórnia Doświadczalna in coproduction with the Czech company Mimesis Film.

Also in 2017 the master of the Polish action cinema Władysław Pasikowski took on directing the third part of the Pitbull crime trilogy after Patryk Vega decided not to helm the last installment of his hit project. Shooting for Pitbull. The Last Dog took place in Warsaw in October 2017. The film is produced by Ent One Investments.

Pitbull. The Last Dog by Władysław Pasikowski, photo Maciej Hachlica, copyright Ent One InvestmentsOscar nominated Bartosz Konopka wrapped The Mute, a Polish/Belgian coproduction set in the Middle Ages, when two men come to a pagan land - one to bring Christianity, the other to find his way of living. The film is produced by Otter Films in coproduction with Odra Film and Earlybirds Films. New Europe Film Sales is handling the sales and Kino Świat will release the film domestically.

Also in 2017 the acclaimed director Krzysztof Zanussi shot his new feature film Ether, that follows a military doctor at the beginning of the 20th century as he is experimenting with science in order to get power over people. TOR Film Production is producing. The film was shot in Poland, the Ukraine and Hungary in August-December 2017.

In 2017 acclaimed writer/director Andrzej Jakimowski finished his new film Once in November / Pewnego razu w listopadzie, a drama inspired by the political climate in Poland. The film was produced by Zjednoczenie Artystów i Rzemieślników and was domestically released by Kino Świat on 3 November 2017 with 11,176 admissions to date.

Poland celebrated 70 years of animation with special spothlights at the Toulouse Cartoon Forum and MIPCON 2017 in Cannes, showcasing the newest animated projects, resulting in several promising international projects, like Polish Animoon Studio’s and Chinese Animex Animation’s coproduction of the second season of the Polish animated hit series Hug Me. This is the first animated coproduction between the two countries.

Hug Me seriesDISTRIBUTION

The leading distributors of mainstream cinema on the Polish market are Kino Świat, SPI International Polska and Monolith Films.

The art house market is dominated by Gutek Film and Against Gravity.

The new SVOD platform Showmax was launched in Poland on 15 February 2017 with 172,000 subscribers, which is double than what Netflix had on the Polish market on the same day. Showmax offers international film and TV series as well as investment in local content including new episodes of the Polish hit show Ear of the President / Ucho Prezesa, created by Robert Górski and Kabaret Moralnego Niepokoju. The series became an instant hit with over 27 m viewers when its four episodes were first aired on Youtube. Showmax had also teamed up with Polish box office hit directors Patryk Vega and Wojciech Smarzowski, who directed short thrillers that were the focus point of the launch campaign.

Netflix commissioned the first locally produced series in Poland, directed by Agnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik. The show will be produced by The Kennedy/Marshall Company and Polish The House Media Company. The title of the series has not been revealed yet. The international premiere is planned for 2018.

In 2017 Netlix also teamed up with Poland’s Platige Image and is currently in development with a new English-language series based on The Witcher saga by Andrzej Sapkowski. Platige Image, which sold the adaption rights to Netflix, will coproduce with Polish filmmaker Tomasz Bagiński directing at least one episode in each season of the show. Platige Image signed a contract with Netflix covering the production of the first and potential upcoming seasons.

Spoor by Agnieszka HollandPopular Polish VOD portals include Ipla, Player (previously TVN Player) and Vod TVP, providing programmes from public broadcasters.

In 2017 TVP launched an international streaming service for TVP Polonia, its international channel for Polish-speaking audiences from abroad. Streaming is available at polonia.tvp.pl. TVP also plans to introduce a VOD service for mobile devices and a stream for Smart TV users.

The leading Polish VOD service from Onet.pl launched O!Dokument, a new platform offering high quality Polish documentaries awarded at international film festivals. The project launched in February 2017 and is supported by the Polish Film Institute.

It was a strong year for Polish features, with Spoor / Pokot by Agnieszka Holland having its international premiere in the competition of the 67th Berlinale IFF, where it was awarded the Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize. The film went into regular distribution in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and Norway, and was chosen as Poland’s 2017 Academy Awards bid. Beta Cinema sold it to several territories including China, Turkey, Cyprus, former Yugoslavia, Spain and Andorra.

Piotr Domalewski’s debut feature Silent Night won the top Golden Lion Prize at the 42nd Gdynia Film Festival (18-23 September 2017) with broad critical acclaim. The film was produced by Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association with a budget of 700,000 EUR. The project was supported by the Polish Film Institute with 233,547 EUR / 1 m PLN and also by the Warmia and Mazury Film Fund.

Silent Night by Piotr DomalewskiLoving Vincent, a fully painted animation feature about Van Gogh, directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman, became one of the most internationally recognised and broadly distributed Polish productions in 2017. The film won the European Film Award for the Best European Animated Feature Film 2017 and was sold to over 130 territories including France, China, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Greece, Portugal, Japan, Thailand, Colombia, India, Russia and Brazil.

It was also another great year for Polish documentaries, with EFA winning Communion by Anna Zamecka becoming one of the most recognised titles of the year. The documentary produced by Otter Films, Wajda Studio and HBO Europe, with the support of the Polish Film Institute, won over 20 international awards including the Critics’ Week Award at Locarno 2016, best documentary at Warsaw Film Festival 2016 , Young Eyes Award at DOK Leipzig 2016 and Silver Eye Award at Jihlava IDFF 2016.

Andrzej Wajda's latest production Afterimage continued to generate major interest abroad. In 2017 the film was theatrically released in Canada, France, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, USA and Japan.

Polish box office hits made a big splash on the UK market in 2017. Michalina Wisłocka’s biopic Art of Loving was released in the UK and Ireland by Odeon on 31 March 2017 and made 84,583 EUR on the British market. In October 2017 the Polish box office success Botox, directed by Patryk Vega and distributed by Phoenix Productions, opened at number five in the UK, cashing in 1,133,353 EUR. Polish box office nr 1, TVN's romantic comedy Letters to Santa 3 by Tomasz Konecki, hit the top 10 at the UK box office with 450,655 EUR gross in its first weekend. The film was released by Phoenix Productions in 253 British cinemas on 24 November 2017.

Successful Polish films and coproductions from 2016 continued their journey abroad. Agnus Dei (Aeroplan), Anne Fontaine’s French/Polish/Belgian coproduction, was released by Thimfilm GMBH in Austria on 16 June 2017. The film became one of the most popular Polish productions abroad with distribution in Canada, Spain, Japan, Brasil, Mexico, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Columbia, UK, USA an Australia. Film Distribution is handling the sales.

Loving Vincent by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman11 Minutes by Jerzy Skolimowski was released by Zootrope Films in Portuguese cinemas on 19 April 2017. The film was also in regular distribution in the UK, Portugal and Japan, and is also available on iTunes and Netflix.

Ira Carpelan’s and Jakub Wronski’s animated film Moomins and the Winter Wonderland opened on 500 Scandinavian screens on 1 December 2017 and also in France, Japan and Poland on 22 December 2017. The film based on the iconic series created by Tove Jansson is a Polish/Finnish coproduction between Animoon and Filmkompanie. The film is available worldwide in 23 language versions.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Poland has over a thousand cinemas, 80% operated by big multiplex cinema chains. The leading companies are Cinema City with over 30 multiplex cinemas, 380 screens and 110,000 seats, Helios with 42 cinemas and 49,000 seats, and Multikino with 33 cinemas and 60,000 seats.

Additionally, there are more than 600 one-screen cinemas.

In 2017 Polish cinema saw another record breaking year with an all-time best result of 56 m total admissions and two domestic titles topping the overall box office. Total gross was 254.6 m EUR.

Communion by Anna ZameckaAdmissions increased by almost 10% compared to 2016, when admissions were 51 m. The romantic comedy Letters to Santa 3, directed by Tomasz Konecki and produced by TVN, topped the 2017 box office with record-breaking 2.98 m admissions. The TVN series has been on top of the Polish box office for years. Letters to Santa directed by Mitja Okorn had 2.5 m admissions in 2011 and Letters to Santa 2 directed by Maciej Dejczar had 2.5 m admissions in 2015.

TVN's hit is followed by Botox, directed by Patryk Vega and produced by Ent One, with 2.31 m admissions in 2017. This dark medical thriller had 711,906 admissions during the opening weekend, becoming the best domestic premiere in 2017 and the second best domestic premiere in the last 30 years. It also reached the number four spot in Ireland on its opening weekend, with 100,000 EUR and the number five spot in the UK overall box office with nearly 890,000 EUR (which includes the Irish results).

The overall Polish 2017 box office also includes: Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Despicable Me 3, The Art of Loving directed by Maria Sadowska (Watchout Productions, 1.8 m admissions), Sing, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Fifty Shades Darker, Smurfs: The Lost Village and The Fate of the Furious.

The average price of a cinema ticket is 4.2 EUR / 18.6 PLN.

In 2017 the Polish Film Institute received 18.3 m EUR / 78 m PLN from the European Union for the digitalisation and reconstruction of Polish cinema. Polish films are set to be totally digitalised by 2020.

Moomins And The Winter Wonderland by Ira Carpelan and Jakub WronskiGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

Up to 45-50 films are produced annually with an average budget of approximately 930,000–1.1 m EUR / 4- 4.5 m PLN.

The Polish Film Institute is the largest source of funding with additional funds coming from the television, a well-developed network of regional film funds, as well as private sources. The most frequent coproduction partners for Poland are Germany, France and the Czech Republic, with growing involvement of the Scandinavian countries including Sweden and Denmark.

Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński dismissed Magdalena Sroka as the Director of the Polish Film Institute on 9 October 2017 and Radosław Śmigulski was appointed Director of the Polish Film Institute for five years in December 2017.

In 2017 PISF granted approximately 32.2 m EUR / 135 m PLN through the Film Production Operational Programme for script development, project development and production of feature films, documentaries and animated films. Projects implementing the international promotion of Polish cinema received a total of 2.3 m EUR / 9.6 m PLN in funding. In 2017 the Institute set a new operational priority for productions with micro budgets. The 2018 PISF budget is 48.9 m EUR / 204,132,000 PLN with new genre cinema priority to be introduced this year.

Poland still awaits a tax incentives law. Poland has special production agreements with several countries and in 2017 struck new cooperation deals with Lithuania and Vietnam.

The Art of Loving by Maria SadowskaIn 2017 the Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage held a special competition for feature film projects about Polish history. The winning screenwriters received 132,922 EUR / 565,000 PLN as script development and awards.

Poland has a well-developed network of regional film funds with 12 active funds with Warmia and Mazury Regional Film Fund launched in 2017. Other film funds offering production support as coproducers or funders are: Łódź FF, Gdynia FF, Silesia FF, Lower Silesia FF, Poznań FF, Porkaprackie FF, Krakow FF, Białystok FF, West Pomerania FF, Lublin FF and Mazovia FF.

The Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP) has over 1,700 members. The SFP is involved in the organisation of film events including festivals and major markets. Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association, which operates within the structure of the SFP, produces short films and debut features made by young filmmakers. Polish producers are members of the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce (KIPA) established in November 2000 in order to protect “the economic and legal interests of the Polish audiovisual sector.” In 2017 the SFP introduced a new grant for cinema distributors.

In 2017 Munk Studio and CANAL+ announced their plans to launch a new 60 Minutes programme to support debut filmmakers with a budget of 237,000 EUR / 1 m PLN for each 60-minute film. The films will be produced both for cinema and TV distribution.

The Polish market has also a very active network of film commissions located in the Lower Silesia, Małopolska, Mazovia, Silesia and Wielkopolska regions and the cities of Łódź and Poznań.

Film Commission Poland was created in order to centralise all these activities as the first source of information on organising production in Poland. Film Commission Poland offers an interactive portal with an online catalogue of locations and Polish film professionals available at http://filmcommissionpoland.pl.

On 1 June 2017 the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage Piotr Gliński merged the two leading film institutions, the Polish National Film Archive and the National Audiovisual Institute, into one unit named the National Film Archive - Audiovisual Institute.

Letters To Santa 3 by Tomasz Konecki, photo: Kino ŚwiatTV

Public and private broadcasters are an integral part of the Polish film industry as producers and commissioners of locally produced content.

The leading TV channels in Poland are public TVP holdings with flagship channel TVP1 with 11.3% market share in the second quarter of 2017 (according to the National Broadcasting Chamber), followed by Polsat with 10.31% market share and TVN with 10% market share.

TVP continues to be the biggest source of funds for filmmakers. In 2017 TVP and CDRTV China’s TV Chengdu Radio & Television went into coproduction of an eight-episode documentary series about Polish and Chinese economic relations.

In 2017 TVP undertook a major project The Crown of Kings, a costume TV series directed by Wojciech Pacyna about the life of Casimir III the Great. The show is a local attempt to tap into the costume drama soap opera genre, which became very popular in Poland thanks to the Turkish production The Magnificent Century: Kösem, a big hit for TVP in 2016. The Crown of Kings premiered on 1 January 2018 with a strong average of 3 m viewers per episode.

Maciej Stuhr in Teacher / BelferThis year TVP also launched an EU co-financed project that will digitalise its 800 archive productions in the course of the next three years. The budget of the project is almost 19 m EUR / 81 m PLN. The digitalisation is planned for 36 months with 836 unique titles restored from analogue archives to 4K sound and image format. Feature films, documentaries, TV series and TV theatre plays will be restored by a team of 79 Polish specialists.

TVN is still strongly engaged in film production (for example, box office hit Letters to Santa 3) and invests in producing domestic content for TV. As its new original series Belle Epoque hit a record of 2.9 m viewers during the premiere of the first episode, TVN decided to invest in the format, to produce a second season and to sell it abroad.

One of the key players in Polish film production is HBO Polska, a channel focused on supporting original cinema and programming. The second season of locally produced Polish drama The Pack / Wataha, directed by Kasia Adamik and Jan P. Matuszyński, had a day-and-date premiere across HBO Europe on 15 October 2017.

In 2017 CANAL+ produced the second season of its hit original series Teacher / Belfer, with TVN as executive producer. Belfer was the first production after the station's return to production of local programming. The series aired between 2 October and 27 November 2016, with the first episode gathering an average of 267,000 viewers and the final episode 460,000 viewers.

In 2017 CANAL+ also commissioned two new original crime series directed by Maciej Pieprzyca and Leszek Dawid. Opus Film and Telemark are producing.

Polish private broadcaster Polsat introduced a new TV format in cooperation with Ikea Retail, which commissioned and sponsored the first Polish product placement mini-series, House Full of Changes / Dom pełen zmian directed by Kristoffer Russ.

CONTACTS:

POLISH FILM INSTITUTE
Krakowskie Przedmieście 21/23
00-071 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: +48 22 42 10 130
The Pack / Wataha by Kasia Adamik and Jan P. MatuszyńskiFax: (22) 42 10 241
www.pisf.pl
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POLISH FILMMAKERS ASSOCIATION
Krakowskie Przedmieście 7
00-068 Warsaw, Poland
Phone.: (48) 22 556 54 40 / 50, (48) 22 845 51 32
Fax: (48) 22 845 39 08
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.sfp.org.pl

FILM COMMISSION POLAND
Chełmska 21 bud 4/56
00-724 Warsaw, Poland
Phone: (+48) 693 477 607
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcommissionpoland.pl

FILM COMMISSIONS

WROCŁAW FILM COMMISSION
50-020 Wrocław, Piłsudskiego 64A, Poland
Phone: +48 71 793 79 72, +48 601 384 194
Fax: +48 71 79 400 88
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.odra-film.wroc.pl

ŁÓDŹ FILM COMMISSION
90-926 Łódź, Piotrkowska 102, Poland
Phone: +48 42 638 55 46
Fax: (+48) 42 638 40 89
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.lodzfilmcommission.pl

KRAKOW FILM COMMISSION
31-513 Kraków, Olszańska 7, Poland
Phone: +48 12 424 96 61, +48 501 051 605
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.film-commission.pl

MAZOVIA WARSAW FILM COMMISSION
00-139 Warsaw, Elektoralna 12, Poland
Phone: +48 22 586 42 58
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mwfc.pl

House Full of Changes by Kristoffer Rus - ikea miniseriesPOZNAN FILM COMMISSION
61-767 Poznan, Masztalarska 8, Poland
Phone: +48 61 8528833 ext. 35
Fax: +48 61 8528835
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.poznanfilmcommission.pl

SILESIA FILM COMMISSION
40-008 Katowice, Górnicza 5, Poland
Phone: +48 698 353 147
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Report by Katarzyna Grynienko (2018)
Sources: the Polish Film Institute, the National Broadcasting Chamber