25-06-2012

Czech Film Fund Gets Emergency Cash Infusion

By Michal Prochazka
PRAGUE: The Czech Republic Ministry of Finance has confirmed it will give 50 milion CZK (2 million euro) to the State Fund for Support and Development of Czech Cinema, which has been struggling from a lack of funds. The money will be in the form of a loan to overcome a temporary gap in film financing due to the enactment of two government directives.

"We are waiting for an official letter to confirm the verbal agreement between the two ministeries, but the deal between both ministers. Miroslav Kalousek and Alena Hanáková, was completed," said Czech Ministry of Culture spokesman Jan Vondryska.

Czech filmmakers losts their primare source of funding in November 2011, when public broadcaster Czech Television (ČT, www.ceskatelevize.cz) was no longer able to sell advertising. The cinema fund was subsided by Czech TV advertising money. At the same time, a new Film Act directing funds to come from commercial TV stations was passed in autumn 2011, but will not take effect until 2013, thus creating a gap year for funding.

"It is going to be a loan that the Fund will pay back later when recovers from this breakdown," added the Ministry spokesman. The situation reached a crisis point in May, when only 10 million CZK remained in the fund. Filmmakers were then given a symbolic 1 CZK, as a promise of support when money materialized. of the local Film Fond became difficult already in May when the money has almost dried out. Now there is like 10 millions CZK left till the end of year as the other sources of financement are not suffiecent.