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16 new feature films will compete for the Golden Reel Award at the 41st Hungarian Film Week running between February 2 -8 in Budapest. The competition of Magyar cinematography's traditional showcase offers the world premieres of 13 full-length features among them 5 directorial debuts

Kaunas International Film Festival's commercial made it to the December issue of the cult magazine shots published in the UK and read by advertising professionals all over the world. The video produced by a Lithuanian advertising agency Not Perfect Y&R and production house Dansu was published as a model creative work.
Zrinka Cvitesic, Croatian SHOOTING STAR 2010, will be seen in Competition at the upcoming Berlin International Film Festival. The young actress stars as Luna in the Bosnian/Herzegovian located drama On the Path (Na Putu), directed by the Berlinale Golden Bear winner Jasmila Zbanić.

From December 12 to January 3, Doc Alliance Films will offer FREE STREAMING of over 60 SHORT FILMS. To commemorate the 15th anniversary of Visions du Réel, the festival has asked select filmmakers for the gift of images, in the form of cinematic HAIKUS. Each short film in the HAIKU series is comprised of "three shots to contemplate reality and to capture, in the manner of Japanese poems, the unforeseeable, fleeting, and eternity of a moment, to be discovered at the beginning of each projection."

NEW FILMS ON THE PORTAL: THE FINAL PICKS OF 2009

Doc Alliance Films is pleased to acquire SIX DOCS this month, the final selection of this year. The films include two from Peter Mettler - Balifilm is a mystical exploration of an extraordinary culture and Picture of Light ventures to Canada's arctic in search of the Northern Lights. Alexandru Solomon's Great Communist Robbery attempts to restore the truth about an infamous bank heist in communist Romania, and Three Men and a Fish Pond by Latvian filmmakers, Maris Maskalans and Laila Pakalniņa, is a meditation on the physical and spiritual understanding of the world. The Korea/Bolivia co-production, Daughter of Chorolque by Park Mi-Sun, follows the lives of three female miners against the mesmerizing backdrop of Bolivia, and Alix Didrich's short film, Portrait of a Wedding Day (detail) examines the transition from a fleeting pose to an immortal image of happiness.

All of the following films will be available to stream or download on http://www.docalliances.com/ by the end of the month. Select titles are available now. Please check out RECENTLY ADDED films to watch the newest additions to Doc Alliance Films.


DOC ALLIANCE

The New Deal for Feature Documentaries

Doc Alliance is a partnership which emerged as a result of the co-operative effort of five key European documentary film festivals - CPH:DOX Copenhagen, DOK Leipzig, IDFF Jihlava, Planete Doc Review Warsaw and VISIONS DU REEL Nyon. The aim of the Doc Alliance initiative is to support the diversity of feature documentaries. Doc Alliance was born with the awareness that new initiatives are needed to promote remarkable films to a general market that is less permeable to their circulation and commercialisation and to approach various audiences in every conceivable manner, ranging from cinema, television, DVD to VOD, and other networks. Its objective is to create an inventive and dynamic distribution platform for filmmakers and producers by offering attractive alternatives, debates, choices and perspectives.

While the global financial crisis is affecting film production, 2009 is shaping up to be a record year for Polish distribution, with over 31.5 m admissions to date.
In 2008 total admissions were 34.1 m, with a significant increase in December.The effects of the crisis on film production are expected to be felt in 2010.

"Undoubtedly there has been a decrease of funds for film production from private entities." Anna Godzisz, the official spokesperson for the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) told FNE.

Polish public broadcaster Telewizja Polska S.A. (http://www.tvp.pl/) has reduced its film production budget drastically from a planned 27m PLN to about 5m PLN.

In 2009 as producers faced budget problems, as PISF can only finance up to 50% of the production (maximum of 6 million PLN for coproduction projects). PISF has by increasing the average amount of its grants per production. The average grant for a feature film in 2009 was 2.6 m PLN, while in 2008 it was 2.1 million PLN.

The Czech Republic has seen big budget foreign productions mostly dry up in 2009 following a long decline. In 2003, Hollywood and European filmmakers spent more than 5 bilion crowns in the Czech Republic. In 2008, the amount of the foreign investments dropped to only CZK 700 million as Hollywood production move to Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and even the Ukraine driven away by the Czech Republic's lack of tax incentives.

In numerous European countries and American states, Hollywood filmmakers can expect a rebate of up to 20% of every euro spent in that territory.

"We love the Czech Republic for its exteriors and its filmmakers. But the problem of tax incentives becomes more and more important for every big Hollywood production, including Narnia," Mark Johnson, executive producer of The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, said to FNE last year. Walt Disney´s $200 million smash hit by director Andrew Adamson, shot and produced in New Zealand, Slovenia, and the Czech Republic in 2007-2008, was one of the last big budget Hollywood productions shot in Czech Republic. The third part of the Narnia series is not coming back to Czech Republic.

In late October, the Czech approved a proposal for a tax incentive system in 2010, with a rebate of up to 20% of the amount spent in the country. The Czech Ministry of Culture (ww.mkcr.cz) has budgeted 400 million CZK for rebates in 2010 which is awaiting final approval and could go into effect as soon as January 2010.

In 2009 the Slovak film industry saw one of its most relevant transitions: the creation of an independent audiovisual funding body.

On November 5, 2008, Act 516/2008 Coll. on the Audiovisual Fund and the Amendment of Certain Acts was adopted, which went into effect on January 1, 2009.

In practical terms, it meant that the six-year-old Audiovisual programme at the Ministry of Culture which granted the film subsidies was ending. " The Ministry of Culture will be from now on just one of the supporters. It takes hands off the new fund, since the fund will be an independent institution," said Anton Škreko, the director of Audiovisual programme at the Ministry of Culture.

During the year-long transition phase, the grant system has functioned under different conditions - the nine member grant commission assessed projects from only single round over two sessions, meaning that in 2008 it assessed projects from two rounds in four sessions.

Nataša Slavikova, the general director at the department of Media, Audiovision and Copyright states that 4,179,450 Euro was granted this year to 104 projects out of 170 that applied for the grants. In 2008, 4,271,626 Euro was granted. From January 1, 2010 the subsidies will be granted by the Audiovisual Fund.

The two largest grants went to the films Visible World (410,000 Euro), and Cherrie Boy (380 000 Euro), both produced by JMB Film and TV production (http://www.jmbfilm.sk/).

The new Audiovisual Fund has six committees officially announced on November 25.

The Audiovisual Fund accepts applications beginning November 30, 2009. Deadlines are 15.12.2009, 1.3.2010 and 1.9.2010.

The website http://www.avf.sk/ is under construction. Information can be found at the website of the Ministry of Culture, http://www.filmneweurope.com/www.culture.gov.sk.

While commercial Slovak television, led by CME's Markiza TV, has seen a dramatic downturn in advertising revenues due to the global economic crisis, the Slovak film industry has so far been unaffected.

Subsidies from Audiovisual programme at the Ministry of Culture were comparable to 2008 (4.3 million Euro in 2008 and 4.2 million Euro in 2008). Banks have been cautious in extending credit generally. Zuzana Mistrikova, executive vice-president of the Slovak Film Academy told FNE, "Except for Bathory, banks are not lending money to film producers at all."

Alexandra Strelkova, director of the National Film Centre, told FNE, "Bank credits for film companies are not standard in the Slovak film industry."

However Mistrikova sees the influence of the financial crisis looming in 2010. "The first contributions from television broadcasters, cable operators, cinema entrepreneurs and film distributors to the new AudioVisual Fund will be in 2010. Revenue from TV advertising has decreased because of the financial crisis so their contributions to the fund will not probably reach the levels expected a year ago," Mistrikova said.

Slovaks have cut back their spending generally in 2009 but surprisingly the Slovak box office 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 (http://www.ufd.sk/). Among the box office hits was the Slovak film Soul at Peace, which premiered in January and had 115,000 admissions.

The so called "Bathory effect" caused an increased interest in Slovak films that result in notably higher attendance than in the past.

Contact information:

UFD SR
tel.: +421 (0)2 4914 0030 - 36, fax: +421 (0)2 4445 0651, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Ing. Ivan Sollár (chairman)

http://www.aic.sk/

http://www.sfta.sk/

Audiovisual Fund:

http://www.culture.gov.sk/sekcie/audiovizualny-fond2