FNE VISEGRAD FORUM: Country Focus Slovakia 2009

    Slovakia made a giant step forward in 2009 with the adoption of the Euro as its national currency and long awaited audiovisual legislation that established a new Audiovisual Fund.

    The results are already apparent even though the new Fund headed by Martin Smatlak will only start giving grants in 2010.

    The small country is already overtaking its larger Czech neighbour in terms of international coproductions and film funding infrastructure. The adoption of the Euro and the insurance it brings against currency losses when raising financing in Euros has already caused several film companies such as Poland's Apple Film (www.applefilm.pl) to consider opening daughter companies in Bratislava.

    Under the new legislation funding for the audiovisual industry is expected to almost double compared to previous years under the Ministry of Culture with around 240 m SK in 2010. The budget for film funding in 2009 was approximately 112m SK.

    The renaissance of Slovak film was already underway in 2009 with 12 coproductions with Slovak participation produced including this year's box office hit Janosik. A True Story, directed by Agnieszka Holland and produced by Apple Film (www.applefilm.pl) as the best example of Polish-Slovak-Czech-Hungarian co production. There were 15 Slovak feature films produced in 2009 inlcuding 4 feature length docs.

    The Slovak box office also experienced a very good year. During the first seven months there were 2.35 million admissions compared with 1.75 million for the same period in 2008, a 34% increase, according to the Slovak Union of Distributors (www.ufd.sk). Soul at Peace directed by Vladimir Balko and produced by Forza Production House (www.forza.sk), which premiered in January and had 115,000 admissions.

    For detailed information about the new Slovak audiovisual law and an exclusive interview with Natasa Slavikova, Director General of the Audiovisual Department of the Slovak Ministry of Culture ..... Read More