24-04-2020

Slovak Film Industry Finds New Paths to Combat COVID-19

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Kapitulska Street in Bratislava's Old Town Kapitulska Street in Bratislava's Old Town

BRATISLAVA: Film incentives and online screenings are the newest measures taken by the Slovak film industry in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. The Slovak Film Commision is highlighting the country’s impressively low rate of COVID-19 infections and calling on film professionals to register for the 33% cash rebate now available, rather than wait for the re-opening of the borders. Slovakia increased its cash rebate as of 1 January 2020, up from the previous 20%. In another move, the Slovak distributor Filmtopia has begun online distribution.

„Thanks to strict, nation-wide measures, which have been taken to avoid the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Slovakia is considered to be one of the safest countries with low-risk levels during the pandemic. We believe that thanks to a good response to the new rules and to good health care in Slovakia, we will be able to continue controlling the virus and thus getting back to normal sooner than expected,“ Zuzana Bieliková, the head of the Slovak Film Commission, said in a letter addressed to film professionals.

The incentives programme is running without interruption and Film Commission encourages producers to continue registering upcoming projects as the Slovak Audiovisual Fund continues to accept the applications. The cash rebate is paid without any delays.

Slovak Film Commission logoThe Slovak Audiovisual Fund does not foresee the lowering of the cash rebate in the near future, a position which was also confirmed in the programme statement of the country’s new government. That statement emphasised the need to continue attracting foreign film investors to film in Slovakia. Location managers have already transitioned to offering online location scouting.

Slovak audiences will also benefit from new actions. On 22 April 2020 the Slovak distribution company Filmtopia started the new project „Filmtopia online at your home“ to offer a varied selection of quality films online. Twice each week two new titles will be added to the film collection, including art films, classics, art documentaries, experimental films and Slovak films. The first two titles in the selection, which were originally supposed to have their Slovak premiere at the Febiofest festival in March, are the Oscar nominated documentary Honeyland directed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, and Solo directed by Artemio Benki, whose death was announced one week ago.