Polish Film Institute to Spend 26.5 m EUR on COVID-19 Aid for Cinema Industry


    WARSAW: The Polish Film Institute will start accepting applications for their next batch of aid for producers, distributors, and studio/small cinemas on 1 February 2021. The funds will be transferred to the beneficiaries after the Institute receives funds from the COVID-19 Counteracting Fund via the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

    “The aid programmes assume the opening of cinemas as soon as possible. In return, cinemas can count on quite substantial support,” Radosław Śmigulski, the Director of the Polish Film Institute, said in an official statement.

    The aim of the aid priorities is the survival of the film industry during the pandemic by continuing to work on film sets, distributing completed productions and their screenings, and maintaining constant readiness of cinemas during their forced closure by the government due to COVID-19. Producers, distributors, and entities running studio cinemas and small cinemas (micro-entrepreneurs) can apply for support.

    New aid priorities include loans to producers to cover additional costs caused by COVID-19, like a worker becoming sick or other COVID-19 related incident. The estimated budget is up to 8.8 m EUR / 40 m PLN. There is a subsidy for distributors to cover the costs of "P&A" related to the distribution of the film in cinemas during the COVID-19 pandemic, and an obligation for distributors to transfer part of the subsidy to producers for a "covid fee". The estimated budget for this is up to 8.8 m EUR / PLN 40 m. The aid also covers co-financing for entities running studio cinemas and small cinemas (micro-entrepreneurs) where Polish films are shown. The expected budget is also up to EUR 8.8 m / PLN 40 m.

    The studio cinemas can count on monthly subsidies for each screen they own, with the obligation to open within 7 days of lifting sanitary restrictions and maintaining at least 50 percent of Polish repertoire. “We want to support the distribution of Polish films at the same time,” said the Director of the Polish Film Institute.