fne corona 2

 

Multimedia Polska, a leading Polish provider of “triple play” packages of TV, voice and broadband internet service, has acquired 15 cable TV networks in northern Poland for 40.9 million zloties (€10.7 million).

Slovenia’s Ministry of Culture says it is striving to mend divisions over the Slovenian Film Fund, which has been mired in controversy for months leading to the resignation or dismissal of three subsequent directors.

Children of Glory, directed by Kristina Goda, has opened the Bangkok International Film Festival (www.bangkokfilm.org). The 2006 film saw 425,489 admissions in its native country of Hungary.

The 22nd James Bond movie, which is currently untitled, will not be filmed in the Czech Republic like its predecessor. The 2006 Casino Royale was filmed at Barrandov Studios (www.barrandov.com) and on location in Prague.

The Father by Kristina Grozeva and Petar ValchanovMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

SOFIA: Public support for film was finally unlocked in 2019 and the Bulgarian National Film Center resumed its regular activities. This became possible after the harmonisation of the Film Industry Act with the Communication on State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works (2013/C 332/01), the Commission Regulation No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 and the Commission Regulation No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013. Most of the nearly 90 agreements signed between the national institution and producers with closed budgets by the end of 2018 started to take effect and a considerable number of films were shot.

In October 2019 Bulgaria’s Parliament ratified the revised Council of Europe Convention on Cinematographic Co-production adopted on 29 June 2016 and opened for signature on 30 January 2017.  

In order to further update the Film Industry Act, various working groups were appointed to propose urgent redefinitions of some of its rules of action. A group of experts was also set up to draft the law on a possible implementation of cash tax incentives for producers shooting in Bulgaria. The consultations lasted longer than expected, therefore the possible adoption of the legal changes was postponed for 2020.

Sister by Sveta TsotsorkovaAfter prolonged court proceedings and a guilty verdict, the Director General of the Bulgarian National Television (BNT), Konstantin Kamenarov, was forced to vacate his post. On 5 July 2019 Bulgaria’s Council for Electronic Media elected the former politician and journalist Emil Koshlukov as Director General of the BNT.

On 31 October 2019 the director Milko Lazarov was elected President of the Union of Bulgarian Filmmakers. He inherited the post from Ivan Pavlov, who had led Bulgaria’s largest film organisation for 12 years.

The directorial duo Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov won the Crystal Globe for Best Film at the 54th Karlovy Vary IFF with their Bulgarian/Greek coproduction The Father (Abraxas, Graal). The film was also awarded Best Film at the 37th Golden Rose Film Festival and took four other national prizes.

Svetla Tsotsorkova’s second feature Sister (Omega film) grabbed the main prize for Best Film at the 29th FilmFestival Cottbus.

Mina Mileva’s and Vesela Kazakova’s Bulgarian/UK/French feature debut Cat In the Wall (Activist 38, Glasshead, Ici et Là Productions) was selected for the main competition of the 72nd Locarno FF, where it was warmly received by the audience. It also got the Best Debut Award at the Varna Golden Rose FF. 

Nadejda Koseva’s debut feature film Irina, produced by Art Fest, was nominated for the European Discovery – Prix FIPRESCI at the 32nd European Film Awards.  

PRODUCTION

Nineteen feature films were produced in 2019, of which nine were supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center,, while 10 were privately financed.

Five of the supported films were made with minority financial participation from other countries. Three debut films were produced with public support. 

The Bulgarian National Television backed Bad Girl, the directorial debut of famous actor and star Marian Valev. Other films in which the BNT participated as coproducer were Lachezar Avramov’s A Picture with Yuki, produced by Bulgaria’s Chouchkov Brothers in cooperation with Japan’s WA Entertainment, and Mina Mileva’s and Vesela Kazakova’s Cat In the Wall.

Irina by Nadejda KosevaA total of 24 short films were made in 2019, of which five were supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center, six by the Plovdiv 2019 Foundation, three by the New Bulgarian University, two by the National Culture Fund of Bulgaria, two by the American Foundation for Bulgaria, one by the Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Germany and one by the Chung-Ang University in South Korea.

In September and October 2019, in the Black Sea village of Krapets, Dragomir Sholev shot his third feature film Fish Bone, about a camping owner, who finds a dead dolphin on the beach and meets the authorities’ refusal to take on the case. The film is a coproduction between Bulgaria’s Klas film and Romania’s HiFilm Productions, and it was supported by Eurimages.

Scriptwriter/director Ivan Cherkelov completed the shooting of his family drama Don’t Go into Quarrel with the Bathroom Staff in the town of Lovech. The film produced by Nak-Zak Vision combines generational crises and personal memories of his own grandfather.

The director of Holiday Makers (Urban Media) Ivailo Penchev returned to the Black Sea shore for the shooting of his new comedy As For The Last (Urban Media), involving a bunch of popular local actors.  

In a rude and austere landscape actor/director/screenwriter Ivaylo Hristov shot his drama Fear (Pro Film), dealing with illegal migration and ensuing moral dilemmas in a small border village, while his younger colleague, actor Valery Yordanov, completed the shooting of his long awaited coming-of-age drama Call Me Shakespeare (Chouchkov Brothers).  

Also in the deep countryside Ivan Pavlov shot his Spring Equinox (Art 47), while Stanimir Trifonov chose the Danube town of Russe for the shooting of his emotional period drama Bobby the Blessed (Incoms Project).

Mostly known for his privately financed low budget films, Georgy Kostov worked on his The Rest Is Ashes (Korund X) dedicated to Atanas Burov, a cult Bulgarian banker and philanthropist of the last century.

The number of lower budget films shot in 2019 was also high. Among them were: Dimitar Petkov’s 1979 (ARS Studio), Petrinel Gochev’s A Bulgarian Ship Sinks (Gala Film), Vasil Barkov’s The End of the River (Magic Mount), Konstantin Burov’s Farewell, Johnny (Doli Media). Mostly known as a distributor of European and Bulgarian films, A Plus Films produced Andrey Andonov’s Yatagan, a funny black comedy on the sometimes fake terrorism combating in Eastern Europe.

Petya of My Petya directed by Alexander Kossev (BOF Pictures), Ashes over Sun by Bo Kalinov (Invictus), Dustcatcher by Pavel G. Vesnakov (Moviemento), Waterfall CEO directed by Svetoslav Draganov and produced by Bulgaria’s Cineaste Maudit Production in coproduction with Romania’s Parada Film, as well as Dante's Heaven by Dimitar Radev (PremierStudio) were among the debut films shot in 2019. Over 10 short films and five minority coproductions were also shot in 2019. 

Waterfall CEO director Svetoslav Draganov and DoP Vesselin Hristov; credit: Ivan AndreevThe 24th Golden Rhyton Festival, which had been cancelled in 2018, resumed and screened 19 animated and 57 documentary films, representing the most significant part of two-years’ production. The Golden Rhyton for best documentary went to Pawn Sacrifice by scriptwriter/director Assen Vladimirov (ProFilm), while the award for best animated film went to Andrey Tsvetkov’s A Tree of Iron (TF & P). Emil Spahiyski’s An Icarus from Kocherinovo (Contrast Films) became best documentary debut and Dalibor Rajninger’s The Last Day (Compote Collective) was awarded best animated debut. Boya Harizanova received the best documentary director award for her A Feeling of Revulsion (Incoms Project), while Pencho Kunchev was awarded best cartoon designer for Roses in the Night (Nu Boyana Film).

Eleven foreign films were partly or entirely shot in Bulgaria in 2019, among which there were: Patrick Hughes’s action comedy The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard (Millennium Media, Campbell Grobman Films), the popular American TV series Absentia: Season 3 and Pandora, Alessio Jim Della Valle’s thriller American Night, Todor Chapkanov’s family drama A Picture Perfect Royal Christmas (Free Dolphin Productions), Tanya Wexler’s action film Jolt (Millennium Films), David Sandberg’s martial arts comedy Kung Fu 2 (B-Reel Film, Laser Unicors, Argent Pictures). As usual, most of them were serviced either by Nu Boyana Film Studios or by the Bulgarian Unified Film Organization (BUFO).

DISTRIBUTION

According to the NFC, a total of 279 films were theatrically released in 2019: 115 from the USA, 114  European films, 39 domestic and 11 films from other countries. Total admissions were 4,801,045, of which American films had 3,994,054 admissions, European films had 344,196 admissions and domestic films had 437,181 admissions.

In 2019 Forum Film Bulgaria followed by Alexandra Group remained the country’s leading distribution companies. The companies had seven and two titles, respectively, in the top ten, which this time included only American titles.

Niki Iliev’s privately financed feature film Reunion (Silver Light Pictures, Euro Dialog, Indie Films), which was released by bTV Studios, the distribution branch of the private TV channel bTV, became the most watched domestic film, followed by Yana Titova’s A Dose of Happiness, which bTV Studios not only released but also coproduced together with NoBlink Studio.

The third most watched Bulgarian film is Kamen Donev’s satirical comedy Cozy, which was produced by himself and released by Lenta, the distribution branch of the private TV channel Nova (which also released Martin Makariev’s privately financed Wildlings, produced by Production House, Silver Noise.

Reunion by Niki IlievAPlus Films chose to release Marian Valev’s Bad Girl, which became the 5th most watched Bulgarian film.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The number of officially registered theatres in 2019 was 68, of which 67 are already digitalised. The number of screens was 220, with a great number equipped for 3D screenings.

In 2019 total admissions were 4,801,045 and total box office was 23,895,950 EUR. In 2018 the admissions were 4,900,408 and the total box office was 23,537,851 EUR. As the decrease in admissions was 2.03% and the increase in box office was 1.52%, it is obvious that no radical changes in the market took place.

American films had 3,994,054 admissions and 19,993,965 EUR gross, while European titles had 344,196 admissions and 1,508,456 EUR gross.

With 39 Bulgarian titles (including re-releases and holdovers) the number of films released was slightly higher than in 2018, when their number was 30.

In 2019 domestic films had 437,181 admissions and 1.8 m EUR gross. In 2018 they had 388,066 admissions and 1.6 m EUR gross. Admissions to domestic films increased by 12.66% and the box office increased by 12.50%.

Niki Iliev’s Reunion became Bulgaria’s domestic box office topper with 88,374 admissions and 395,168 EUR gross. Yana Titova’s A Dose of Happiness ranked 2nd with 86,663 admissions and 350, 241 EUR gross, followed by Kamen Donev’s Cozy with 74,995 admissions and 343,684 EUR gross, and Martin Makariev’s Wildlings with 60,486 admissions and 282,978 EUR gross. None of these films was supported by any public fund.    

Marian Valev’s Bad Girl is 5th with 40,372 admissions and 172,293 EUR gross.   

Bad Girl by Marian ValevStephan Komandarev’s Rounds is 6th with 16,357 admissions and 63,364 EUR gross (released by Purple Rain Film Distribution), followed by Milko Lazarov’s Bulgarian/German/French coproduction Aga (Red Carpet, 42Film, Arizona Films Productions) with 11,875 admissions and 30,698 EUR gross (released by Red Carpet). Stanislav Donchev’s Letters From Antarctica, produced by Dynamic Arts and released by Lenta, ranked 8th with 9,239 admissions and 44,139 EUR gross, followed by Lachezar Avramov’s debut A Picture With Yuki (released by Purple Rain) with 7,896 admissions and 15,065 EUR gross.

Matey Genchev’s Run, produced by GMAX film and released by Dema Film, and Maxim Genchev’s The Runaway Smartphone, produced and released by Amrita Art, ranked 10th and 11th respectively, with 7,148 admissions and 20,980 EUR gross, and 4,532 admissions and 15,693 EUR gross, respectively.

Nikolay Vasilev’s documentary Theo´s Formula, produced by Screening Emotions and released by the Sofia FF, had 4,526 admissions and 10,972 EUR gross, while Nadejda Koseva’s debut feature Irina, produced and released by Art Fest, had 4,356 admissions and 10,758 EUR gross.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

In 2019 the legal frame remained as the one adopted by Bulgaria’s Parliament on 6 March 2018, which brought the film state aid schemes in line with the European Commission’s Communication on State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works (2013/C 332/01).

In comparison with 2018, public funding for the film industry was increased by around 750,000 EUR and thus amounted to 7,515,991 EUR / 14.7 m BGN. Eighty-five percent of the sum was allocated to all types of film production, including minority coproductions. The rest of the money was allocated to local theatrical distribution of Bulgarian films, including minority coproductions (5 %), festivals (5 %) and exhibition of films (5 %).

According to Jana Karaivanova, the Executive Director of the Bulgarian National Film Center, although it was decided that the 2020 budget for film will stay unchanged “after the amendment of the Film Industry Act, the government would assure additional money for the national film production and for the cash tax incentives”.

Letters from Antarctica by Stanislav DonchevTV

In 2019, especially in its second half, the major concern of the newly elected Director General Emil Koshlukov became the financial state of the Bulgarian National Television. On 12 September 2019, Koshlukov presented an alarming report at the country’s Parliament, stating that the financial deficit of the broadcaster for 2019 was at least 22 m EUR and that the prospects for 2020 show another deficit of 15 m EUR. He warned that if the amounts and the way of financing from the state remains the same in 2020, the national broadcaster could actually go bankrupt.

In order to deal with the situation, Koshlukov cut a number of iconic shows, which upset certain sections of the audience. With the argument that the number of employees working full time is 1,360, he also dismissed several emblematic journalists and bureaucrats. Another aim was to reduce to a minimum the amount of TV productions backed by the BNT but conceived and created by independent producers. The cut of the documentary portraits series of prominent Bulgarian intellectuals, entitled Smart Village, met with several critical reactions.

In April 2019 the Swedish MTG completed the sale of Nova Broadcasting Group (Nova) to the Bulgarian Advance Media Group, owned by the businessmen Kiril Domuschiev and Georgi Domuschiev. The cash value of the deal for the largest commercial media group comprising seven TV channels and several online businesses was announced as 185 m EUR.

CONTACTS:

BULGARIAN NATIONAL FILM CENTER
Executive Director: Jana Karaivanova
2 A, Dondukov Blvd., 7th floor
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 9150 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfc.bg

UNION OF BULGARIAN FILMMAKERS
Chairman: Milko Lazarov
67, Dondukov Blvd.
1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 946 10 68
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmmakersbg.org

The Runaway Smartphone by Maxim GenchevMINISTRY OF CULTURE
Minister of Culture: Boil Banov
17, Stamboliiski Blvd.
1040 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 940 09 00 (switchboard)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mc.government.bg

BULGARIAN NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Director: Antonia Kovacheva
36, Gurko Str.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 987 02 96
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.bnf.bg

BULGARIAN NATIONAL TELEVISION
General Director: Emil Koshlukov
29, San Stefano Str.
1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 814 22 14
Phone.: + 359 2 944 49 99 (switchboard)
www.bnt.bg

Report by Pavlina Jeleva (2020)
Source: the Bulgarian National Film Center


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Aga by Milko LazarovThe year 2018 turned out to be extremely complex for the Bulgarian film industrу. Public support for film was blocked and the Bulgarian National Film Center was forbidden to allot financing. The restrictive measure was applied because the country had failed to adjust its film and audiovisual legislation to the European requirements within the official deadline of 12 December 2017.

It became imperative that the state institutions catch up on their delay by amending the Film Industry Act and putting it in line with the Communication on State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works (2013/C 332/01), the Commission Regulation No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 and the Commission Regulation No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013.

In October 2018 Sofia hosted the 152nd meeting of the Eurimages Board of Management.

Milko Lazarov’s Ága closed the Official Competition (Out of Competition) of the 68th Berlinale and afterwards received 21 prestigious awards all over the world.

Two Bulgarian production companies got involved as minority coproducers in two prestigious Romanian films. Agitprop coproduced Adina Pintilie’s Golden Bear winner Touch Me Not, while Klas Film was a coproducer of the 53rd Karlovy Vary IFF’s Crystal Globe winner “I Do Not Care If We Go Down In History As Barbarians” by Radu Jude.

PRODUCTION

Seventeen feature films were produced in 2018, of which 12 were supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center and five were privately financed.

Three of the supported films were made with minority financial participation from other countries. The debut films were five in number and they were all supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center. 

The Bulgarian National Television backed the production of 8’19”, a six part omnibus film directed by Peter Valchanov, Lubomir Mladenov, Theodor Ushev, Nadejda Koseva, Vladimir Lyutskanov and Kristina Grozeva, and took part as a minor coproducer in Milko Lazarov’s Aga and18% Gray by Victor Chouchkov, photo: Chouchkov Brothers in Victor Bojinov’s Heights.

A total of 21 short films were made in 2018, of which seven were supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center.

In late autumn of 2018 Stefan Komandarev shot the bigger part of his urban nightly sequel Rounds aka Patrol Cars in Sofia. Each episode was filmed in a single hand-held shot, without editing cuts. Rounds is coproduced by Bulgaria’s Argo Film, Serbia’s Film Pro and French outfits Deuxième Ligne Films and EZ films. The film is supported by Eurimages and will be sold by Beta Cinema.

Victor Chouchkov completed shooting on his international drama 18% Gray, based on Zachary Karabashliev’s bestseller. Filming took place in the UK, Belgium and Germany. The film is a coproduction between Bulgaria’s Chouchkov Brothers, Germany’s Ostlicht Filmproduktion, Serbia’s Cinnamon Films, Belgium’s Raised by Wolves and Macedonia’s Sektor Film Skopje.

Acclaimed director Ivan Nichev shot Could You Kill aka Old Men, an alarming drama on sharp contemporary topics like poverty, unemployment, terrorism and illegal immigration. Cinemascop is producing with the support of the Bulgarian National Film Center.

Famous for his successful animated films, director Anri Koulev shot his period drama Once Upon a Time There Was a War, reminding military conflicts in the Balkans from 1885, with British star Ben Cross in the cast. The director is producing through Koulev Film Production in cooperation with the BNT. The Bulgarian NFC is supporting.    

Known for her internationally acclaimed Monkeys in Winter (2006, Bulgaria’s Proventus Film House and Germany’s Tatfilm), Milena Andonova completed the shooting on her sophomore film The Shepherd in 2018. The period drama is about St. Ivan Rilski, the patron saint of the Bulgarian people. Proventus Film House is producing in cooperation with the BNT and the Sofia based Nu Boyana Film Studios.

In 2018 Milko Lazarov’s Ága, coproduced by Bulgaria’s Red Carpet, Germany’s 42 film and France’s Arizona Productions, closed the Official Competition (Out of Competition) of the 68th Berlinale and went on to receive 21 prestigious awards all over the world, including best film Irina by Nadejda Kosevaat the 37th Fajr IFF, the 24th Sarajevo IFF and the 36th Golden Rose NFF.

The 36th Golden Rose NFF also gave its best debut prize to Nadejda Koseva’s Irina, produced by Art Fest. The film, and especially its lead actress Martina Apostolova, impressed international film festivals such as the 36th Warsaw FF, the 28th Cottbus FF, the 16th Tirana IFF (best film) and others. 

In 2018 RFF International involved Bulgaria as minority coproducer in Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree, next to France’s Memento Films, Germany’s Detailfilm, Macedonia’s Sisters And Brother Mitevski, Sweden’s Film i Väs, The Chimney Pot and Turkey’s Zeynofilm.

Tonislav Hristov’s Finnish/Danish/Bulgarian long documentary The Magic Life of V was selected to compete in the 2019 Sundance FF and the 69th Berlinale’s Generation section, while Petar Krumov’s short film Shame was nominated for the European Film Academy Awards

The 24th Golden Rhyton Festival for documentary and animated films was to take place in December 2018, but just before its start the event was canceled. According to the official statement of the Bulgarian NFC “the number of films that applied is insufficient and makes it impossible to reach the level of the recent years and to compose strong competition programmes“.

Despite the fact that a significant part of the documentary and animated film production from 2018 could not get enough visibility, several titles received positive recognition. Boris Missirkov’s and Georgi Bogdanov’s Palace For the People (Agitprop) won the Dok Buster Award The Wild Pear Tree by Nuri Bilge Ceylan2018 for the audience's favourite at Doc Leipzig 2018.

Stefan Ivanov’s A New Life, coproduced by Bulgaria’s Geopoly Film and Canada’s Les Ivanov productions, was well received in Canada, where many Bulgarians had found their second home country. Gospodin Nedelchev’s The Citizen Sis (Dido Film), on the Czech war correspondent Vladimir Sis, and Ralitza Dimitrova’s A Saga For Wasted Opportunities (B Plus Film), on national feelings 100 years after the signing the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine, were among the successful documentaries in 2018.

Ten foreign films were partly or entirely shot in Bulgaria in 2018, most of them serviced by Bulgaria’s leading film production studios -  Nu Boyana Film Studios, including The Outpost (Ghost House Pictures, Millennium Media) directed by Rod Lurie, and Rambo 5 (Millennium Media) directed by Adrian Grunberg. The first one recreates violent war scenes in Afghanistan, while the second involves Hollywood star Sylvester Stallone in the role of John Rambo for the fifth time.

Launched as the first part of a trilogy, the Indian fantasy Brahmāstra (Dharma Productions) directed by Ayan Mukerji largely used the Nu Boyana sets.

DISTRIBUTION

According to the NFC, a total of 289 films were theatrically released in 2018: 111 from the USA, 138  European films, 30 domestic and 10 films from other countries. Total admissions were 4,900,408, of which American films had 3,852,296 admissions, European films 532,802 admissions and domestic films had 388,006 admissions.

In 2018 the country’s leading distribution companies were again Forum Film Bulgaria and Alexandra Group, with around 75 percent of the market. In 2018 they had respectively five and four American titles in the top ten. The privately financed Bulgarian feature film Attraction (Spirit Production House), released by Lenta (the distribution branch of the private TV channel Nova TV), ranked 8th in the top ten.

bTV Studios (the distribution branch of the private TV channel bTV) showed good results with two other independent Bulgarian films: Dimitar Gochev’s Revolution X (Di – Dreams) and Niki Iliev’s All She Wrote (Euro Dialogue Productions).

A+Films successfully reached the audience with Yassen Grigorov’s Lilly The Little Fish (TFA – The Flying Agency) and kept its traditional interest in distributing European and domestic films.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Attraction by Martin MakarievIn 2018, the number of officially registered screens was 219, with 178 equipped for 3D screenings.

In 2018 total admissions were 4,900,408 and total box office was 23.5 m EUR. Compared to 5,566,585 admissions and the total box office of 25.9 m EUR in 2017, there is a decrease by 11.97 percent and 9.11 percent, respectively.

American films had 3,852,296 admissions and 19,118,053 gross, while European titles had 532,802 admissions and 2,555,649 EUR gross.

With 30 Bulgarian titles (including re-releases and holdovers) the number of released films stood nearly the same as in 2017.

The admissions for domestic films were 388,006 and the box office was 1.6 m EUR gross in 2018. Compared to 2017, when the admissions were 512,521 and the box office was 2.1 m EUR gross, there is a decrease by 24.29 percent and by 23.80 percent, respectively.

Martin Makariev’s Attraction (Spirit Production House) became Bulgaria’s domestic box office topper with 112,934 admissions and 444,184 EUR gross. Dimitar Gochev’s Revolution X (Di – Dreams) ranked second with 54,575 admissions and 230,470 EUR gross, followed by Niki Iliev’s All She Wrote (Euro Dialogue Productions) with 41,836 admissions and 178,283 EUR gross. 

Stephan Komandarev’s Directions (produced by Argo Film and distributed by Purple Rain Film Distribution) ranked 4th with 37,623 admissions and 160,697 EUR gross, followed by Stanislav Todorov – Rogi’s low budget Bubblegum, produced by Dynamic Arts and distributed by Lenta, with 39,195 admissions and 156,835 EUR gross.

Two films focusing on younger audiences - Maria Veselinova’s debut feature Smart Christmas, produced by Juli Maruli Entertaiment and released by Lenta, and Yassen Grigorov’s Lilly The Little Fish (TFA – The Flying Agency), had 37,576 admissions and 153.638 EUR gross, and 35,095 admissions and 138,795 EUR gross respectively. The rest of the domestic films attracted less than 1,000 viewers each.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATIONAll She Wrote by Niki Iliev

The procedure of bringing the existing film state aid schemes in line with the European Commission’s Communication on State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works (2013/C 332/01) started on 6 March 2018, when Bulgaria’s Parliament adopted three important amendments to the Film Industry Act. The first one terminated the requirement for Bulgarian citizenship of the authors applying for state support. The second one fixed at 75% the lowest percentage of the allocated funds to be spent in Bulgaria. The third one submitted the definition of a “difficult film”, a film whose only version is in Bulgarian language and its budget is not higher than the average budget of the previous year.

The adjustment process was completed on 5 December 2018, when Bulgaria’s Parliament adopted the definitive amendments to the Film Industry Act. Only after this date did it become possible for the Bulgarian National Film Center to sign agreements with producers having already closed the budgets of their films. According to Jana Karaivanova, Executive Director of the Bulgarian National Film Center, by the very end of the year “the institution signed 90 agreements and unblocked over 2.2 m EUR”. 

It was specifically indicated that public financing for film will be implemented through three main schemes in the future. Two of them are for the support of production and distribution. The third one is for the support of festivals and meets the European Commission's requirement for the de minimis state aid.

In October 2018 Sofia hosted the 152nd meeting of the Eurimages Board of Management. A group of experts analysed the facts and figures characterising the gender equality situation in the country’s audiovisual sector.  

In 2018 Bulgaria also signed cooperation agreements with Romania, Macedonia and Kosovo.

The Bulgarian National Film Center and Nu Boyana signed a cooperation agreement on joint activities in the development and the stimulation of the production, distribution, display and promotion of Bulgarian films.

TV

Lilly The Little Fish by Yassen GrigorovIn June 2018 HBO acquired broadcast rights for 19 Bulgarian films (16 feature films and three documentaries) produced after 1989. The deal was part of HBO’s newly expanded distribution policy in the HBO Adria region, which gives subscribers from Bulgaria, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina access to the catalogue of the TV channel.

The Bulgarian film package was launched on 1 July 2018 with Victor Bojinov’s box office topper Heights, a the Bulgarian/Macedonian coproduction between Bulfilm and Dream Factory..

Two major TV series financed by the Bulgarian National Television were shot in 2018 and creative filmmakers with original artistic approach were invited to direct. Peter Valchanov and Kristina Grozeva directed The Blue Birds Island, based on Alexander Sekulov’s novel The Island, an adventure series filled with funny summer vacation stories (executive producer Red Carpet), while Pavel G. Vesnakov directed Father’s Day, a series inspired by real stories of divorcing parents who fought to remain an equally important part in their children’s lives (executive producer Agitprop).

CONTACTS:

BULGARIAN NATIONAL FILM CENTER
Executive Director: Jana Karaivanova
2 A, Dondukov Blvd., 7th floor
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 9150 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfc.bg

UNION OF BULGARIAN FILMMAKERSSmart Christmas by Maria Veselinova
Chairman: Ivan Pavlov
67, Dondukov Blvd.
1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 946 10 68
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmmakersbg.org

MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Minister of Culture: Boil Banov
17, Stamboliiski Blvd.
1040 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 940 09 00 (switchboard)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mc.government.bg

BULGARIAN NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Director: Antonia Kovacheva
36, Gurko Str.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 987 02 96
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.bnf.bg

BULGARIAN NATIONAL TELEVISION
General Director: Konstantin Kamenarov
29, San Stefano Str.
1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 814 22 14
Phone.: + 359 2 944 49 99 (switchboard)
www.bnt.bg

Report by Pavlina Jeleva (2019)
Source: the Bulgarian National Film Centre


 MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Directions by Stephan KomandarevThe year 2017 started with the appointment of a caretaker government by the Bulgarian president, General Rumen Radev, designated to act in a limited time. Centre-right GERB party won the parliamentary elections and in May 2017 Boyko Borisov became Prime Minister for the third time since 2009.

On 31 December 2017 European Commission’s monitoring of the aid scheme approved until 31 December 2017 expired. In order to bring the state film aid scheme in line with the European Commission Communication on State Aid for Films and Other Audiovisual Works (2013/C 332/01), Bulgaria’s Council of Ministers adopted a draft of an amended Film Industry Act. As the changes were not officially adopted before the start of 2018, state subsidies for film will be allotted only after the completion of all legal procedures.

In September 2017 Konstantin Kamenarov took over the position of Director General of the Bulgarian National Television from Vyara Ankova, who headed the public broadcaster since 2010.Three Quarters by Ilian Metev

Two months later actress/producer Jana Karaivanova was appointed as Executive Director of the Bulgarian National Film Center. Kamen Balkanski, who had been running the national institution during the last two years, became Deputy Director.

The year 2017 was also marked by the most spectacular return of the audience's interest in national cinema since 2010. One after another, several new Bulgarian feature films became box office hits throughout the year. The highest grossing title turned out to be Victor Bojinov’s historical drama Heights (coproduced by Bulgaria’s Bulfilm and Macedonia’s Dream Factory). Admissions to domestic films almost tripled in Bulgaria from 176,395 in 2016 to 512,521 in 2017, while domestic films cashed in over 2 m EUR in 2017 compared to 612,000 EUR in 2016.

Total admissions increased by 2.49 percent and total box office by 5.7 percent compared to 2016.

In 2017 Stefan Komandarev’s Directions, coproduced by Bulgaria’s Argo Film, Germany’s Aktis Film Production and Macedonia’s Sector Film, was applauded in Cannes in the Un Certain Regard official competition. Ilian Metev’s feature debut 3/4 (Three Quarters), coproduced by Bulgaria’s Chaconna Films and Germany’s Sutor Kolonko, grabbed the Golden Leopard in the Cineasti Del Presente international competition of the 70th Locarno Film Festival. Ralitza Petrova’s Godless (coproduced by Bulgaria’s Klas Film, Denmark’s’ Snow Globe and France’s Alcatraz Films and Film Factory) was nominated for the European Film Academy’s European Discovery 2017 – Prix FIPRESCI. Tonislav Hristov’s Finnish/German/Bulgarian long documentary The Good Postman won the European Film Academy’s Documentary Award – Prix Arte.

Voevoda by Zornitsa SophiaPRODUCTION

Twenty one feature films were produced in 2017, of which 16 were supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center. Five of the supported films were made with minority financial participation from other countries. There were six debut films (five supported and one privately financed) and three low budget films. The Bulgarian National Television coproduced three feature films. Bulgaria also took part as a minor coproducer in six other feature film coproductions and in two short film productions.

A total of 39 short films were made in 2017, of which six were supported by the Bulgarian National Film Center.

Some domestic feature films were shot in the country, but also abroad.

12A by Magdalena RalchevaIn the spring of 2017 Milko Lazarov completed the shooting of his sophomore film Aga aka Nanook in the Sakha (Yakutia) Republic within the Russian Federation. The aesthetically ambitious film is coproduced by Bulgaria’s Red Carpet, Germany’s 42Film and France’s Arizona Films. The Bulgarian National Television and ZDF/Arte are also involved in the production.

Victor Chouchkov began shooting his international project 18% Gray, based on Zachary Karabashliev’s bestseller. Shooting will continue in the UK, Belgium and Germany in 2018. The film is a coproduction between Bulgaria’s Chouchkov Brothers, Germany’s Ostlicht Filmproduktion and Serbia’s Cinnamon Films. The Bulgarian National Television is the national coproducer.

Kostadin Bonev, whose The Sinking of Sozopol (Borough Film) was awarded at numerous international film festivals, wrapped the shooting of his fourth feature film The Wolves Come Out, produced through his company Trivium Films. The cultural club of the town of Yambol became the main location for a story taking place in a small provincial theatre.

Irena Ivanova in Godless by Ralitza PetrovaKnown for her internationally acclaimed 2006 Monkeys in Winter (Proventus Film House Bulgaria and Tatfilm Germany), Milena Andonova partially shot her sophomore film The Shepherd in 2017. The period drama is about St. Ivan Rilski, the patron saint of the Bulgarian people. Proventus Film House is producing in cooperation with the BNT.

Nadejda Koseva, who became famous for her critically acclaimed short film Omlette, completed the two-step shooting of her debut feature The Deal. Focusing on surrogate motherhood, the low budget film is produced by Art Fest.

Martin Makariev’s Attraction, coproduced by Indifilm, Spirit Production and Nova Broadcasting Group, and Niki Iliev’s Knock out or All She Wrote, coproduced by Euro Dialog Productions and Nu Boyana, were the main privately financed films shot in 2017. The first one relies on the attractiveness and choreographic abilities of the actress Yana Marinova, the second on the American actor Gary Dourdan’s participation in a story partially shot in New York.

Youlia Kantcheva’s In the Mirror, Maria Averina’s From Cremona to Cremona, Tzvetan Dragnev’s Village People, Kostadin Bonev’s Uprooting, Adela Peeva’s Long Live Bulgaria, were among the most acclaimed documentaries in 2017. Animation also showed good health with films like Travelling Country by Vessela Dantcheva and Ivan Bogdanov, Restart by Gospodin Nedelchev, 20 Kicks by Dilyan Elenkov, No Way by Ivan Stoyanovich, and others.Alexander Aleksiev and Stoyan Doichev in Heights by Victor Bojinov

Bulgaria’s leading film production studios, Nu Boyana Film Studios serviced or got involved in the production of 18 films. Four of them were American productions and four were non-American films with partial American funding. The company also serviced four European and six Bulgarian coproductions. Neil Marshal’s Hellboy (Millennium Films) starring Milla Jovovich, David Harbour, Ian McShane and Sasha Lane; Ariel Vromen’s The Angel (Netflix) starring Marwan Kenzari and Toby Kebbell, and Eric Bress’s Ghosts of War (Miscellaneous Entertainment) starring Brenton Thwaites, became the new ‘business cards’ of the company.

DISTRIBUTION

According to the NFC, a total of 291 films (including re-releases and holdovers) were theatrically released in 2017: 126 from the US, 116 European films, 28 domestic and 21 films from other countries. Total admissions were 5,566, 585, of which American films had 4,585,414 admissions, European films 432,890 admissions and domestic films had 512,521 admissions.

Godless by Ralitza PetrovaForum Film Bulgaria and Alexandra Group remained the country’s leading distributors, like in the previous years. In 2017 they had seven and two American titles in the top ten, respectively.

Thanks to an exceptional advertising campaign lasting for more than a year, the distributor A+Films made a huge breakthrough with Victor Bojinov’s historical drama Heights (coproduced by Bulgaria’s Bulfilm and Macedonia’s Dream Factory). In only two months the title broke into the domestic top ten.

Also due to the long term marketing campaign Nova Helps Bulgarian Films, the distribution branch of the private TV channel Nova TV, Lenta, successfully released several Bulgarian titles and actively contributed to the nearly threefold increase of the national share.  

By the very end of 2017 the Bulgarian National Center gave a green light to the 23rd edition of the country’s main non-feature film national festival Golden Rhyton, cancelled in 2016. Over 90 documentaries and animated films displayed the crop of two years, of which 63 participated in the documentary and animated films’ competitions. The jury decided to encourage a bigger number of filmmakers by doubling the honors. As a result, more films were awarded, part of them ex-aequo. Among them were Tonislav Hristov’s The Good Postman (coproduced by Finland’s Making Movies OY, Germany’s Еlemag Pictures and Bulgaria’s Soul Food), awarded best documentary, Anri Koulev’s All So Much Hogwash, awarded best animated film, and Catherine Bernstein’s and Assen Vladimirov’s The Bookseller (coproduced by Bulgaria’s Pro Film and France’s Les Films de l’Aqueduc) and Nikolay Todorov’s 72 minutes animated political satire Made in Brachycera (produced by ET Club No Nikolay Todorov), both winning the ex-aequo Special Jury Award. 

Sex Academy, Men by Georgi KostovEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

In 2017, the number of officially registered screens was 216. Practically all screens in the country are digitalised.

Total admissions increased by 2.49 percent and total box office by 5.7 percent. In 2017 total admissions were 5,566,585 and total box office was 25.9 m EUR, compared to 5,431 028 admissions and 24.5 m EUR total gross in 2016.

With 28 Bulgarian films (including re-releases and holdovers) the number of films released significantly increased in comparison with the two previous years, when it was 16 and 17 respectively.

Admissions to domestic films almost tripled from 176,395 in 2016 to 512,521 in 2017, while the domestic films cashed in over 2 m EUR in 2017 compared to 612,000 EUR in 2016.

Broken Road by Katerina Goranova and Asen BlatechkyThe encouraging results were due mostly to Victor Bojinov’s Heights, which ranked first with 130,470 admissions and 546,160 EUR gross. Katerina Goranova’s and Asen Blatechky’s spectacular action debut Broken Road (Cinequanone) came second with 98,822 admissions and 406,331 EUR gross, followed by Zornitsa Sophia's Voevoda  (MQ Pictures Ltd ) with 87,604 admissions and 345,761 EUR gross. The last two films were distributed by Lenta.

Magdalena Ralcheva’s relatively small and privately financed teenage comedy 12A, produced by 12А Ltd and released by A+Films, surprisingly ranked fourth with 57,593 admissions and 226,736 EUR gross. Ilian Djevelekov’s Omnipresent (Miramar Film), which won the main award at the 35th Golden Rose NFF, came fifth with 45,782 admissions and 195,188 EUR gross.

After Omnipresent, Lenta also released Stanislav Todorov–Rogi’s debut feature Bubblegum (Dynamic Arts), which attracted 44,773 viewers and had 190,760 EUR gross.

Omnipresent by Ilian DjevelekovThree other privately financed films ranked seventh, eighth and ninth: Georgi Kostov’s Sex Academy – Men, produced and released by Media Production with 10,038 admissions and 38,754 EUR gross; Todor Anastasov’s Damascena, produced and released by Damascena Film Company, with 8,655 admissions and 31,101 EUR gross, and Andrey Andonov’s NoOne (Egregore Films), released by A+Films, with 4,391 admissions and 15,538 EUR gross. The 10th place was taken by Radoslav Spassov’s The Singing Shoes with 4,004 admissions and 13,812 EUR gross.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

In 2017, the Bulgarian National Film Center provided the main funding for film production and the Bulgarian National Television contributed with pre-sales to the budget of some national films, already supported by the NFC.

The Singing Shoes by Radoslav SpassovIn 2017, the National Palace of Culture, which registered in 2015 at the NFC as a film production company, continued to support selected Bulgarian films by offering for free Hall 1 to Galin Stoev’s debut feature The Infinite Garden. The film opened the 31st edition of the Cinemania Film Panorama.

In accordance with the Film Industry Act adopted in 2003, Bulgaria’s main institution’s annual support is calculated based on the total average budget of seven feature films, 14 long documentaries and 160 minutes of animated films.

Similarly to the two previous years, in 2017 the NFC’s annual state support for film was 7,370,272 EUR, while the amount for production, distribution and exhibition was nearly 7 m EUR.

As no legal changes were made, the two-tier system was kept in 2017: a project can receive the approval of the NFC expert selection committee, but the NFC funding becomes usable only when the producer of the film has 100% of the budget in place.

Based on this rule, in 2017 the NFC approved financial support for 11 feature films, six with budgets over 300,000 EUR, three with budgets below 300,000 EUR, two debut features and seven short films. Eleven projects received development support.

The Infinite Garden by Galin Stoev, Credit: AgitpropNine films were approved in the documentary section, two of which were debuts. Seven projects were selected for development support. In the animated films section seven films of up to 24 minutes and two films of up to 60 minutes were approved for support.

The Film Industry Act also requires that up to 20% from the NFC’s annual budget is allotted to Bulgarian minority coproductions. In 2017 seven coproductions were approved for financial support: four feature films, two documentaries and one animated film.

Over 240,000 EUR were allotted for domestic distribution of Bulgarian and European films in 2017, and nearly 200,000 EUR were dedicated to the support of local film festivals and international promotion of Bulgarian cinema.

TV

Bulgarian National Television is still the only TV channel obliged by the law to support independent producers with 10% of its total budget. In 2017 the annual amount did not differ a lot from the usual one, around 3 m EUR.

No One by Andrey AndonovOn the other hand, the activity in the private audiovisual sector increased.

The private TV channel bTV backed the shooting of 170 episodes of Dear Heirs, taking place in an artificially built village. Some of them were directed by Todor Chapkanov and Niki Iliev. The broadcast of the series started on 15 January 2018.

In cooperation with Global Films, the other main private TV channel Nova TV backed the shooting of Policemen from the End of Town, the first Bulgarian police comedy based on the Spanish hit series Los hombres de Paco. Nova TV also backed the detective series The Devil's Throat (in cooperation with Dream Team Films). The first six episodes were entirely shot in the picturesque surroundings of the town of Smolyan.

 

CONTACTS:

BULGARIAN NATIONAL FILM CENTER
Executive Director: Jana Karaivanova
2 A, Dondukov Blvd., 7th floor
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 9150 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfc.bg

UNION OF BULGARIAN FILMMAKERS
Chairman: Ivan Pavlov
67, Dondukov Blvd.
1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 946 10 68
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmmakersbg.org

Radina Kardjilova in 12A by Magdalena Ralcheva MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Minister of Culture: Boil Banov
17, Stamboliiski Blvd.
1040 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 940 09 00 (switchboard)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mc.government.bg

BULGARIAN NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Director: Antonia Kovacheva
36, Gurko Str.
1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 987 02 96
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.bnf.bg

BULGARIAN NATIONAL TELEVISION
General Director: Konstantin Kamenarov
29, San Stefano Str.
1504 Sofia, Bulgaria
Phone: + 359 2 814 22 14
Phone.: + 359 2 944 49 99 (switchboard)
www.bnt.bg

Report by Pavlina Jeleva (2018)
Source: the Bulgarian National Film Centre

 

Smuggling Hendrix by Marios PiperidesMARKET ANALYSIS 2018

The Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus made great efforts in 2018 to expand the country’s activities in various aspects concerning the cinema, including film production, film education and providing incentives for foreign productions.

The biggest achievement is the Council of Ministers’ approval of a Scheme for a whole range of new incentives to attract international productions to the island and to boost its own small film industry. Incentives for local and international productions include a cash rebate and tax credits of up to 35%, tax discounts on investments made on equipment and infrastructure and other incentives. The scheme is run by CIPA (Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency).

Cypriot films won important awards at various international festivals abroad: Smuggling Hendrix by Marios Piperidis won the 1st Best Foreign Film Award at the Tribeca International Film Festival 2018, Sunrise in Kimmeria by Simon Farmakas won the 1st Best Newcomer Award at the 17th Debut Film Festival in St. Petersburg and Pause by Tonia Mishiali screened in competition of the Karlovy Vary IFF 2018 and won the Emerging Greek Directors' competition at the 4th Greek Film Festival - Hellas Filmbox in Berlin.

In 2018 the country hosted a number of international and national feature and short film festivals, the largest being Cyprus Film Days and the International Shor Film Festival of Cyprus (ISFFC).

PRODUCTION

Four feature films started shooting in 2018 and all of them are supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture: Brothers directed by Gianna Americanou and produced by Filmblades LtdThe Man with Answers directed by Stelios Kammits and produced by Felony Films, and The Siege on Liberty Street directed by Stavros Pamballis and produced by Med Focus, which is a part of Green Olive Films.

Three feature films were completed in 2018: Pause directed by Tonia Mishiali and produced by A.B. Seahorse Film Productions in coproduction with Soul Productions and with the support of  the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, the Greek Film Centre and the SEE Cinema Network; Clementine directed by Longinos Panayi and produced by Roll-Out Vision Services Ltd. in coproduction with Cypriot FilmBlades, with the support of  the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus; and Smuggling Hendrix directed by Marios Piperides and produced by AMP Filmworks, Germany’s Pallas Film and Greece’s Viewmaster Films in coproduction with ZDF/Arte and with the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture of Cyprus, MDM-Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung, Greek Film Center and Eurimages.

In October 2018 the Cyprus News Agency (CAN) reported that the new Cypriot company Screentale has signed an agreement with Robert De Niro’s company Tribeca Enterprises NY. CNA quoted Tribeca saying, “We are in exploratory conversations with Screentale about live entertainment events they are considering creating, to take place in Cyprus.” Tribeca came to Cyprus in November 2018, for meetings there. 

DISTRIBUTION

In general, there are no worldwide distributors specialised in the distribution of domestic films and usually distribution of domestic films is done via the producer within Cyprus. In the case of coproductions, the release of the film in the respective coproducing countries is Sunrise in Kimmeria by Simon Farmakashandled by either the coproducer or a local distributor.  

Smuggling Hendrix, the debut feature by Marios Piperides, became one of the most acclaimed Cypriot films. It was selected for more than 25 international festivals and received several awards including Best International Narrative Feature at the 17th Tribeca Film Festival, New York, Bridging Borders - Honourable Mention Award at the 30th Palm Springs Int. Film Festival, Best First Feature Award at the 8th Québec City Film Festival, International Jury Special Mention at the 59th Thessaloniki International Film Festival, Best Audience Award in the International Competition at the 10th Les Arcs Film Festival, France and Best Audience Award at the 9th Carbonia Film Festival, Italy.

Smuggling Hendrix was picked up by German sales agent The Match Factory.

Pause, directed by Tonia Mishiali, was awarded the FIPRESCI Award for best film and the ERT Award at the 2018 Thessaloniki IFF. The film also received the Film Union of Greece Award at the 2018 Athens Panorama of European Cinema and was screened in the East of the West Competition of the 2018 Karlovy Vary IFF.

Clementine by Longinos Panayi premiered at the Cyprus Film Days International Film Festival, running from 19 to 28 April 2018. Later the film was screened at Pantheon Cinema in Nicosia.

Sunrise in Kimmeria by Simon Farmakas won the Best Cypriot Film award at the Cyprus Film Days International Festival in 2018. The film was produced by FotoCine Studios Ltd.

The 16th Cyprus Film Days International Festival, an annual showcase of international and domestic films, was held in Nicosia and Limassol from 19 to 28 April 2018. Ten films competed in the Glocal Images programme and three in the national competition programme. The domestic films were made with the participation of the Cyprus Cinema Advisory Committee and were funded by the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture through the Funding Programmes Regulation for the Support of Cinematographic Films.

The National Competition programme of the 8th International Short Film Festival of Cyprus showcased 19 films, which were automatically included in the international competition. The festival ran from 13 to 19 October 2018. More than 40 short films were submitted to the national competition programme, a number which was overwhelming compared to previous editions. The festival, which also had an international, student, documentary and music video competitions, is organised by the Cultural Services of the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Rialto Theatre.

The 13th Cyprus International Film Festival Golden Aphrodite ran in Paphos from 23 June to 1 July 2018 with 18 films competing for the Golden Aphrodite in the Feature Film Competition. The festival is organised by the CINE@ART HQ & Programming Office under the auspices of the Municipality of Paphos.

The third Paphos International Film Festival (PIFF), running 22-24 June 2018, screened 19 international short films and 11 student films.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Pause by Tonia MishialiThe main exhibitor in Cyprus is K Cineplex, with two cinemas in Nicosia, one in Larnaca, one in Limassol and one in Paphos.

There is also the Rio Cinema in Limassol. The Pantheon in Nicosia has started to screen some mainstream as well as art house films.

Other small cinemas exist in the countryside and they screen various foreign and Cypriot films. In the main towns there are also various associations that function more like film clubs, generally showing European films, such as the Cinema Friends Society in Nicosia and Larnaca and the Pahos Cinema Society.

GRANTS AND NEW REGULATION

Cinema in Cyprus is governed by the Regulations for the Funding of Programmes to Support Cinematographic Films (2017-2020) under the Ministry of Education and Culture. According to the Regulations, low budget features may be funded by the ministry with up to 70% (in the category of difficult films) of their budget, to a total of 850,000 EUR.

The Ministry provides up to 595,000 EUR or a percentage of up to 70%, whichever is lower.

For high budget films there is no limitation on budget, but priority is given to films with a budget of up to 2,500,000 EUR. The ministry provides up to 850,000 EUR or up to 70%, depending on whichever is lower.

For script development, funding for a fiction film is up to 20,000 EUR, 7,000 EUR for a long documentary, up to 13,500 EUR of funding for a long animated film and up to 4,000 EUR for a short fiction film or short documentary.

The ministry’s funding participation in development is up to 35,000 EUR for a low budget feature, up to 45,000 EUR for a high budget feature and from 15,000 EUR to 35,000 EUR for documentaries and animated films of up to 60 or 90 min.

Continuing its efforts to encourage filmmakers in Cyprus, a country with a population of 850,000, the Ministry announced in 2016 that it would accept applications for a script development grant for low budget feature films and short films. The winners of the grants – amounting to 85,500 EUR for script development for low budget feature films and 239,000 EUR for short film production - which were put in place for the first time since 2013, were approved and contracts were signed in 2017. These include a total of 23 projects, of which 14 are short films.

Clementine by Longinos PanayiThe Cyprus Cinema Guild is extremely active in offering annual seminars and professional training to its members and to the public. Two institutions in Cyprus, the University of Nicosia and the Frederick Institute of Technology, offer programmes that have to do with education in the fields of media and audiovisual communication.

With the introduction of a 35% cash rebate programme in September 2018, Cyprus is poised to join its EU neighbours on the film production scene. Applications for the rebate programme are open to both film and TV projects with a minimum spend of 200,000 EUR and a cap of 1.5 m EUR. The rebate will apply to funds spent in Cyprus and is expected to increase domestic production, minority coproductions and production services on the island.

The incentives package was rolled out at the first Cyprus Film Summit, which was held in Nicosia from 9 to 12 October 2018. The event attracted over 100 producers, investors and other film professionals, who turned up to hear about what the island can offer as a shooting location.

Cypriot film director Tonia Mishiali told FNE: “We have great locations, great weather and film professionals who can be part of these productions. Foreign productions have been coming to Cyprus for years now but the tax incentives are another great reason for more productions to come.”

Mishiali, who is also the artistic director for Cyprus Film Days, added, "I work as a freelance producer/line producer as well and have worked on productions from Egypt, Lebanon and Dubai. As far as I know, productions from Belgium, France, Greece, Russia, Egypt, Lebanon, Israel, the UK, Sweden and many more countries have come here."

Application forms and more information about the scheme can be found on Film in Cyprus.

Approximately 70 international producers among a total of 120 film professionals attended the Cyprus Film Summit (9-12 October 2018). Cyprus Investment Promotion Agency invited producers from Bollywood, Hollywood and Pinewood along with a contingent of international representatives.

TV

There are more than 10 studios located in Cyprus and specialised in TV production. Local TV channels usually produce original comic and drama series, and also local sketches.

Local TV channels are: Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC 1, 2, HD and Sat), Sigma TV, OMEGA (previously called TV One), Ant1, Plus TV, Capital and Alpha TV.


CONTACTS:

Pause by Tonia MishialiREPUBLIC OF CYPRUS – MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE
Cultural Services
27 Ifigenias Street
2007 Strovolos – Nicosia, Cyprus
Phone: +357 22 809 811
Fax: +357 22 809 873
http://filmingincyprus.gov.cy/
http://www.moec.gov.cy/en/

 

Report by Iulia Blaga (2019)
Sources: the Ministry of Education and Culture

MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Rosemarie by Adonis FloridesThe Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus made great efforts in 2017 to expand the country’s activities in various aspects concerning the cinema, including film production, film education and providing incentives for foreign productions. The launch of the new website Filming in Cyprus is part of this effort.

The Ministry of Education and Culture put in place the Regulation for Funding Programmes for the period 2017-2020. The programmes offer an amount of up to 50 percent of the budget for feature films and up to 60 percent for cross-border productions.

The programmes also offer funding of up to 70 percent for difficult feature films, which are to be filmed in one of the two official languages of the Republic of Cyprus or a combination of the two. For feature films with an extremely low budget (lower than 85,000 EUR), the programme offers a funding of 80 percent. Short films may receive up to 80 percent of the funding.

In 2017 the country hosted a number of international and national feature and short film festivals, the largest being Cyprus Film Days and the International Shor Film Festival of Cyprus (ISFFC). More information about festivals in Cyprus can be found on the Filming in Cyprus website.

Domestic films successfully participated in international film festivals all over the globe. Screenings of Cypriot and European cinematographic works are mainly achieved thanks to the support of the Ministry of Education and Culture. The island steadily produces documentaries and short films, and has an active TV production industry.

Happy Birthday directed by Christos GeorgiouPRODUCTION

Even though funding for film production has been reduced in relation to the years before the financial crisis in 2013, the Ministry of Education and Culture reviewed the regulations for its funding programme for the period 2016-2017 to help with the production of 23 projects with a low budget. The programme approved funding for nine feature fiction scripts and for 14 short films.

The feature films financially supported and coproduced by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus, which were completed in 2017 are:  Rosemarie, directed by Adonis Florides and produced by AMP Filmworks, Sunrise in Kimmeria, directed by Simon Farmakas and produced by FotoCine Studios Ltd, Happy Birthday, directed by Christos Georgiou and coproduced by Lychnari Productions Ltd, Viewmaster, Twenty Twenty Films and Manny Films, Clementine, directed by Longios Panayi and produced by Roll Out Vision Services in coproduction with Film Blades Filming Solutions, and the documentary Price of a Daughter, directed by Yelis Shukri and produced by Tetraktys Film Productions.

Sunrise in Kimmeria by Simon FarmakasSmuggling Hendrix, directed by Marios Piperides and produced by AMP Filmworks, Sotiris Christou’s White Small Envelopes, produced by Out of Focus, and Tonia Mishiali’s Pause, produced by A.B. Seahorse, are in final stages of postproduction.

Four films are expected to start shooting in 2018: Brothers, directed by Gianna Americanou and produced by Filmblades Ltd, Life Beneath, directed by Alexia Reuters and produced by Filmblades Ltd, The Man with Answers, directed by Stelios Kammits and produced by Felony Films, and The Siege on Liberty Street, directed by Stavros Pamballis and produced by Med Focus (which is a part of Green Olive Films).

Some of the above-mentioned feature films have European coproducers (Greece, Germany, France) and have been supported by Eurimages and the SEE Cinema Network.

DISTRIBUTION

Two films stood out in the international festival circuit in 2017 – Rosemarie by Adonis Florides and Happy Birthday by Christos Georgiou. Both of them were shown at the 58th Thessaloniki IFF. Rosemarie, which was supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus, received there the prestigious Greek Film Critics Association Award and also won the best film award in the main international competition at the 15th International Cyprus Film Days Festival

The independent short film Antidote, directed by Michael Hapeshis, continued to be screened at festivals in Philadelphia, Helsinki, Stockholm and Leuven in 2017. It was also screened at the Sundance Film Festival.

Boy on the Bridge (which received support from the Ministry of Education and Culture in Cyprus), directed by Petros Charalambous and produced by FilmWorks, continued to be successful in 2017. The film won the Audience Award at the 15th International Cyprus Film Days Festival, and it participated in the 7th Julien Dubuque IFF in the U.S., as well as in the 8th Cinema of the Future Society IFF in Albania, where it won best feature film for children and teenagers. It also won best film at the second Buzz Cee International Film Festival in Buzău, Romania, and best director award at the 15th Russian Amur Autumn Film Festival. The main actor in the film, Konstantinos Farmakas, was awarded best actor at the 11th Greek Film Festival in Australia.

Boy on the Bridge by Petros CharalambousThe documentary Beloved Day, directed by Constantinos Patsalides and produced by Walking Around the World in coproduction with the Ministry of Education and Culture, Filmblades, Atlantis and Roll Out Vision Services, premiered at the Umeo International Film Festival in Sweden. The film has secured an agreement for its global distribution.

In general, there are no worldwide distributors specialised in the distribution of domestic films, and usually distribution of domestic films is done via the producer within Cyprus. In the case of coproductions, the release of the film in the respective coproducing countries is handled by either the coproducer or a local distributor.  

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The main exhibitor in Cyprus is K Cineplex, with two cinemas in Nicosia, one in Larnaca, one is Limassol and one in Paphos.

There is also the Rio cinema in Limassol. The Pantheon in Nicosia has started to screen some mainstream as well as art house films

Other small cinemas in the country are more like film clubs, such as Cinestudio in Nicosia and the Larnaca Cinema Society in Larnaca. These film clubs do not generally show mainstream films.  

GRANTS AND NEW REGULATION

Cinema in Cyprus is governed by the Regulations for the Funding of Programmes to Support Cinematographic Films (2017-2020) under the Ministry of Education and Culture.

According to the Regulations, low budget features may be funded by the ministry with up to 70% (in the category of difficult films) of their budget, to a total of 850,000 EUR.

The Ministry provides up to 595,000 EUR or a percentage of up to 70%, whichever is lower.Price of a Daughter by Yelis Shukri

For high budget films there is no limitation on budget, but priority is given to films with a budget of up to 2,500,000 EUR. The ministry provides up to 850,000 EUR or up to 70 per cent, depending on whichever is lower.

For script development, funding for a fiction film is up to 20,000 EUR, 7,000 EUR for a long documentary, up to 13,500 EUR of funding for a long animated film and up to 4,000 EUR for a short fiction film or short documentary.

The ministry’s funding participation in development is up to 35,000 EUR for a low budget feature, up to 45,000 EUR for a high budget feature and from 15,000 EUR to 35,000 EUR for documentaries and animated films of up to 60 or 90 min.

Continuing its efforts to encourage filmmakers in Cyprus, a country with a population of 850,000, the Ministry announced in 2016 that it would accept applications for a script development grant for low budget feature films and short films. The winners of the grants – amounting to 85,500 EUR for script development for low budget feature films and 239,000 EUR for short film production - which were put in place for the first time since 2013, were approved and contracts were signed in 2017. These include a total of 23 projects, of which 14 are short films.

The ministry provided the means for future or current filmmakers to learn from some of the top professionals in the industry during the Cyprus Film Days and the International Short Film Festival of Cyprus (ISFFC). In 2017 the Cyprus Film Days Festival included a masterclass with cinematographer Phil Meheux BSC and two workshops with director Richard Kwietniowski.

The Cyprus Cinema Guild is also extremely active in offering annual seminars and professional training to its members and to the public. Two institutions in Cyprus, the University of Nicosia and the Frederick Institute of Technology, offer programmes that have to do with education in the fields of the media and audiovisual communication.

TV

There are more than ten studios located in Cyprus and specialised in TV production. Local TV channels usually produce original comic and drama series, and also local sketches.

Smuggling Hendrix by Marios PiperidesLocal TV channels are: Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation (CyBC 1, 2, HD and Sat), Sigma TVTV ONE (previously called Mega One), Ant1, Plus TV, Capital and Alpha TV.

In 2017 the important new domestic series were the comedy La Pasta Pomilori, which was directed by Theodosis Ekonomidis and Antonis Sotiropoulos and broadcast on Ant1, and the period drama Halkina Hronia, directed by Corina Avramidou and Christos Nikolaou and aired on CyBC 1.

There are no local channels broadcasting only films.


CONTACTS:

REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS – MINISTRY OF EDUCATION AND CULTURE
Pause by Tonia MishialiCultural Services
27 Ifigenias Street
2007 Strovolos – Nicosia, Cyprus
Phone: +357 22 809 811
Fax: +357 22 809 873
http://filmingincyprus.gov.cy/
http://www.moec.gov.cy/en/

Report by Maria Gregoriou (2018)
Sources: the Ministry of Education and Culture

 

The Painted Bird by Václav MarhoulMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

PRAGUE: Czech cinema enjoyed domestic and international success with numerous feature films, documentaries and also several short films in 2019. The year was marked by a growing number of coproductions, the so far highest spend of international film crews shooting on Czech locations and exceptional box office results.

The Painted Bird directed by Václav Marhoul was selected as Czech Republic’s candidate for the 92nd edition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the International Feature Film category. The film is the first Czech majority coproduction selected for the main competition of the Venice Film Festival (2019) in 25 years and it was also selected for the Special Presentations section of the 44th Toronto IFF (5-15 September 2019).

Jiří Mádl’s sophomore feature On the Roof won the main prize at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival, Michal Hogenauer’s debut feature A Certain Kind of Silence won the Bronze Pyramid Award at the Cairo IFF and the Slovak/Czech coproduction Let There Be Light by Marko Škop won the main prize at the Almaty FF.

The most successful Czech documentary of 2019 was Forman vs. Forman by Helena Třeštíková, which premiered in the Cannes Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival and was screened afterwards at another 40 festivals.

The animated short film Daughter / Dcera by Daria Kashcheeva won the Cristal for a Graduation Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival as well as the Children’s Jury Prize for Best Student Film. The film has won approximately 40 awards, including the prestigious Student Academy Award for best animated film (International Film Schools category), and it was nominated for the Academy Award in the Animated Short Film category.

Daughter by Daria KashcheevaPRODUCTION

More than 100 Czech feature films and long documentaries were in various stages of production in 2019, including numerous international coproductions. The coproducing countries traditionally included largely represented Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Lithuania, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Russia.

As far as the topics and genres of the feature films are concerned, period films - both from older and more recent Czech history - represent a substantial part of the 2019 production, but films on political and social subjects are made more and more often. Filmmakers of all genres also often touch ecological problems of today´s world. Comedy remains a successful genre in Czech cinemas, as well as films for children, including long animated films.

Beside experienced and renowned directors shooting new films, numerous debut features were also produced in 2019.

Important films were in postproduction or completed in 2019 after several years of production. Among them are the US/Czech/UK coproduction Medieval / Jan Žižka directed by Petr Jákl and produced by WOG FILM; Agnieszka Holland’s Charlatan / Šarlatán produced by Marlene Film Production (CZ) and coproduced by Film and Music Entertainment (IE), Madants (madants.pl, PL), Furia Film (SK), the Czech Television, Barrandov Studio (CZ), the Radio and Television of Slovakia, CertiCon (CZ) and Magiclab (CZ); and Juraj Jakubisko´s Czech/Slovak fantasy coproduction Perinbaba and the Two Worlds / Perinbaba a dva světy, produced by the Czech company J&J Jakubisko Film Europe SE in coproduction with J&J Jakubisko Film Europe Production Slovakia and JOJ TV.

Other important films produced in 2019 include People of Blood / Lidi krve directed by Miroslav Bambušek and produced by Czech FreeSaM in coproduction with Germany’s Jana Cisar Filmproduktion, the Czech Television and Slovakia’s atelier.doc; Brothers / Bratři directed by Tomáš Mašín and produced by Czech FilmBrigade in coproduction with the Czech Television, Germany’s Rohfilm Productions and Slovakia’s PubRes; Nightsiren / Světlonoc directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by Czech moloko film and Perinbaba and the Two Worlds by Juraj JakubiskoSlovak BFilm in coproduction with France’s Senorita Films; I Don´t Like You Anymore / Už tě nemám rád directed by Zdeněk Jiráský and produced by Czech i/o post in coproduction with Romania’s Tangaj Production and Slovenia’s Staragara.

Among feature films produced in 2019 there are also: Havel directed by Slávek Horák and produced by Tvorba Films in coproduction with the Czech Television; Bohdan Sláma´s Shadow Country / Krajina ve stínu, produced by Luminar film in coproduction with the Czech TV; the children film Martin and the Forest Secret / Mazel a tajemství lesa directed by Petr Oukropec and produced by Czech BFilms in coproduction with Poland’s Wajda Studio and Germany‘s Leitwolf Filmproduktion; The Last Race / Poslední závod directed by Tomáš Hodan and produced by Punk Film; the debut feature The Pack / Smečka directed by Tomáš Polenský and produced by Czech 8Heads Productions in coproduction with Latvia’s EgoMedia, Moss &Roy, IS Produkce, Sleepwalker and Magiclab from the Czech Republic; Zátopek directed by David Ondříček and produced by Lucky Man Films; Grand Prix directed by Jan Prušinovský and produced by Offside Men; Bourák directed by Ondřej Trojan and produced by T.H.A.; the Czech/Slovak coproduction Droneman / Modelář directed by Petr Zelenka and produced by Czech 0.7 km films in coproduction with the Czech Television, Hangar Films, Slovakia´s Punkchart Films and Slovenia’s Fabula.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 62 new domestic feature films and documentaries and four long animated films were theatrically released during 2019, compared to 70 in 2018 (of which two were animated films).

The list of comedies successfully distributed in Czech cinemas in 2019 includes Women on the Run / Ženy v běhu directed by Martin Horský, produced by Infinity Prague, coproduced and released by CinemartThe Last Aristocrat / Poslední aristokratka directed by Jiří Vejdělek, produced by Evolution Films in coproduction with CertiCon, the Czech Television, Hangar Films, Innogy, PubRes, and distributed by Falcon, with 436,952 admissions; and LOVEhunt / LOVEní directed by Karel Janák, produced by Bontonfilm Studios and Love Frame, and distributed by Bontonfilm, with 151,595 admissions.   

The Painted Bird by Václav Marhoul was selected as Czech Republic’s candidate for the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best International Feature Film category. The film is the first majority Czech coproduction selected for the Charlatan by Agnieszka Hollandmain competition of the Venice Film Festival (2019) in 25 years and it was also selected for the Special Presentations section of the 44th Toronto IFF (5-15 September 2019).

The film was also screened in London, Warsaw, Tokyo and Chicago, where the jury awarded the work of the cinematographer Vladimír Smutný. The film has already been sold to the USA and Canada. International sales are handled by the French company Celluloid Dreams.


EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The year 2019 was exceptionally successful for Czech cinemas, with total admissions of 18,319,471 and net revenues of 104,060,594 EUR / 2,616,603,639 CZK, with a year-on-year increase of 1,974,988 admissions and 13,826,248 EUR / 347,661,016 CZK.

The average ticket price in 2019 was 5.68 EUR.

There are eight distribution companies in the Czech Republic with a market share of over 1%.

In 2019, Falcon with 35.7% market share replaced CinemArt, which was at the top last year. Its market share in 2019 was 33.7%. Vertical Entertainment (Freeman) ranked third with 13.2%, followed by Bontonfilm with 5% market share.

The most attended film in Czech cinemas was the Czech comedy Women on the Run / Ženy v běhu directed by Martin Horský and distributed by CinemArt, with 1,543,842 admissions and 8,428,122 EUR / 211,925,133 CZK gross.

Women on the Run by Martin HorskýIn 2019 the attendance in multiplexes, counting 247 screens and 42,735 seats, reached a market share of 62.5%. The largest multiplex cinema operators are Cinema City and Cine Star.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The main tool for public support of Czech cinema is the Czech Film Fund. The funding is granted in 10 areas: development, production, distribution, technological development, promotion, publications, education and training, protection, preservation and access to film heritage, festivals and film events and protection of rights to cinematographic works.

The Fund, through its division, the Czech Film Center, represents and promotes Czech cinema and film industry and increases the awareness of Czech film worldwide. It also supports the activities of film offices in the Czech Republic through its division Czech Film Commission, helping Czech and foreign filmmakers to shoot in various regions of the country.

In 2019, the Czech Film Fund issued a total of 29 calls for domestic grants with a total funding of 14,098,809 EUR / 340.5 m CZK, of which 11,169,693 EUR / 267.5 m CZK was earmarked for Czech film development and production of all film genres, including minority coproductions.

Among the important feature films supported in 2019 there are: Brothers / Bratři directed by Tomáš Mašín and produced by FilmBrigade, with 576,923 EUR / 15 m CZK; Nightsiren / Světlonoc directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by Moloko Film, with 384,615 EUR / 10 m CZK; Slovo (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia) directed by Beata Parkanová and produced by LOVE FRAME and Bontofilm Studios in coproduction with KIJORA Film and DNA production, with 326,923 EUR / 8.5 m CZK; Tancuj Matyldo (Czech Republic, Slovakia) directed by Petr Slavík and produced by Nataša Slavíková in coproduction with Virus Film, with 307,629 EUR / 8 m CZK; People of Blood / Lidi krve directed by Miroslav Bambušek and produced by FreeSaM, with 288,461 EUR / 7.5 m CZK, Nobody Likes Me / Nikdo mě nemá rád directed by Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda, and produced by Black Balance, with 269,230 EUR / 7 m CZK; I Don´t Like You Anymore / Už tě nemám rád directed by Zdeněk Jiráský and produced by i/o post, with 192,307 EUR / 5 m CZK; Hrana zlomu directed by Emil Křižka and produced by Bionaut, with 115,384 EUR / 3 m CZK.

Forman vs. Forman by Helena Třeštíková Jakub HejnaThe Czech Film Fund also administrates production incentives for film and TV productions shooting in the Czech Republic. The incentives are granted in the form of a 20% cash rebate on Czech production costs and 66% on the withholding tax on non-resident labour costs paid in the Czech Republic. The incentives are available for feature, animated and documentary films, TV and animation series, including postproduction. Maximum eligible costs are set at 80% of the total budget, there is no cap on the incentive per project or per applicant. The application can be submitted at any time of the year. The Czech Film Fund is currently trying to increase the rebate to 25%. A total of 50 m EUR / 1.3 billion CZK was allocated in the incentive programme in 2019. For eligibility criteria and application process, check the Czech Film Commission’s website.

The incentives allocated in 2019 include the fantasy series The Wheel of Time (6,231,000 EUR / 162 m CZK) directed by Uta Biesewitz, produced by Sony Pictures and Amazon, and serviced by Partnership Pictures, with 69 shooting days in the Czech Republic in 2019 (shooting will continue in 2020 with 150 shooting days in total); the second season of Carnival Row (9.5 m EUR / 247 m CZK), produced by Amazon with Stillking Features servicing (42 days in 2019, 106 in total); the comedy series Miracle Workers (3 m EUR / 78 m CZK), produced by TBS with Stillking Films servicing (44 shooting days); the drama series Shadowplay (4,307,690 EUR / 112 m CZK), produced by ZDF and serviced by Film United, with 90 shooting days; the family film A Boy Called Christmas (2,961,540 EUR / 77 m CZK), produced by Netflix and serviced by Czech Anglo Productions, with 55 shooting days; the adaptation of the bestseller Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof ZOO (2,076,923 EUR / 54 m CZK), a series produced by Amazon and serviced by Wilma Film, with more than 100 shooting days.

Also benefiting from the rebates in 2019 were: the German series produced by Netflix Tribes of Europa (1,615,385 EUR / 42 m CZK), serviced by Mia Film, with 82 shooting days; the UK family series The Letter for the King (2,153,846 EUR / 56 m CZK) produced by Netflix, serviced by Unit and Sofa, with 70 shooting days; the Austrian series Freud (1,480,769 EUR / 38.5 m CZK) directed by Marvin Kren, produced by Netflix and serviced by Mia Film, with 86 shooting days.

Rebates were also given to a broad range of coproductions such as Shadow of my Eyes (692,308 EUR / 18 m CZK) directed by Ole Bornedal and coproduced by Sirena Film, with more than 30 shooting days in 2019; the coproduction series Atlantic Crossing (1,653,846 EUR / 43 m CZK) directed by Alexander Eik and coproduced by Sirena Film, with almost 100 shooting days; the coproduction series Das Boot 2 (2,557,692 EUR / 66,5 m CZK), produced by Bavaria Fiction in coproduction with Stillking Features, Zatopek by David Ondricek, photo: Lucky Man Filmswith 104 shooting days. Production incentives were also used by AGC Studios for the postproduction of the sci-fi film Voyagers (423,076 EUR / 11 m CZK) directed by Neil Burger. The postproduction was made by U Film.

One of the important supporters of Czech film is Innogy, which coproduced several important new films, including Petr Zelenka´s Droneman and David Ondříček´s Zátopek, and which supports the Karlovy Vary IFF, the Czech Critics´ Awards and the Czech Lions.

The Prague Film Fund supports Czech and international films and TV series shot in Prague, where the city plays itself. In 2019 the fund supported, among others, Charlatan by Agnieszka Holland, Zátopek by David Ondříček and the documentary Mucha: The Story of an Artist Who Created Style directed by David Vávra and produced by Punk Film in coproduction with maximfilm (DE), the Czech Television and ARTE.

TV

The major TV companies in the Czech Republic are NOVA group, the Czech Television and PRIMA group.

The Czech Television currently runs six channels: CT1, CT2, CT24, CT sport, CT:D and CT Art.

NOVA group channels include NOVANOVA 2NOVA CinemaNOVA ActionNOVA Gold, NOVA Sport and NOVA Sport 2.

Prima group consists of Prima FamilyPrima COOLPrima LOVEPrima ZOOM, Prima MAX and Prima Comedy and Prima Crime.Shadows Country by Bohdan Sláma, source: Facebook / Krajina ve stínu

Seznam TV is among the fast growing Internet TVs in the Czech Republic, also producing its own original programmes, including popular internet series.

The TV stations make their programmes also available on the Internet, thus reaching a larger audience. TV NOVA has its video library Voyo.cz, Prima group runs PrimaPlay.cz, while the Czech TV offers its programmes via iVysílání.cz.

The most attended VOD portals in the Czech Republic are Stream.cz, HBO Go and Netflix. Specialised documentary VOD service is provided by DAFilms.cz.

The market for TV advertising is dominated by Nova and Prima (90%), while advertising on the Czech Television is limited to the minimum by the law. The television is traditionally the strongest advertising medium in the country.

Television stations play a large role in the production of quality content for local film and TV productions. The Czech TV is a permanent partner of the Czech cinema, with its in-house production sector Film Center, coproducing increasing numbers of feature films. Czech TV is also a coproducer of almost all documentaries released in Czech cinemas.

Old Timers by Ondřej Provazník and Martin DušekAmong the film projects coproduced by the public Czech Television in 2019 are the already mentioned feature films: Old Timers directed by Ondřej Provazník and Martin Dušek, Prague Orgy directed by Irena Pavlásková, Droneman directed by Petr Zelenka, Shadow Country directed by Bohdan Sláma, People of Blood directed by Miroslav Bambušek, Bourák directed by Ondřej Trojan, Zátopek directed by David Ondříček and Grand Prix directed by Jan Prušinovský.

Among important TV projects produced by the public television in 2019 there are: the Czech/Polish coproduction series Princip slasti directed by Dariusz Jabłoński, the miniseries Jak si nepodělat život directed by Tereza Kopáčová and the TV series Sever directed by Robert Sedláček.

Also in 2019, HBO Europe produced the original Czech series Bez vědomí directed by Ivan Zachariáš.

CONTACTS:

CZECH FILM FUND
Veletržní palác, Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7
Phone: +420 224 301 278
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondkinematografie.cz

Charlatan by Agnieszka Holland shooting, photo: Marlene Film Production / Alžběta JungrováCZECH FILM FUND - CZECH FILM CENTER
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcenter.cz

CZECH FILM FUND - CZECH FILM COMMISSION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: 420 778 543 290
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcommission.cz

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Malešická 12, 130 00 Prague 3
Phone: +420 778 522 729
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfa.cz

APA- AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 603 844 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.asociaceproducentu.cz

CREATIVE EUROPE – MEDIA CZECH REPUBLIC
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 209
Fax: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mediadeskcz.eu

CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION ACADEMY
Karlovo nám 285/19, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.cfta.cz

Daughter by Daria KashcheevaINSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM
Štěpánská 611/14, 110 00 Praha 1
Phone: +420 224 214 858
Fax: +420 224 214 858
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.dokweb.net

FITES – CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION UNION
Pod Nuselskými schody 3, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.fites.cz

FILM DISTRIBUTORS’ UNION
nám. Winstona Churchilla 2, 130 00 Prague 3
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.ufd.cz 

PRAGUE FILM FUND
Mariánské náměstí 2/2, 110 00 Praha 1
www.praguefilmfund.eu

ASSOCIATION OF CZECH ANIMATION FILM
Heřmanova 3, Prague
http://en.asaf.cz/

Report by Denisa Strbova (2020)
Sources:  the Czech Film Fund, the Czech Film Center, the Czech Film Commission, the Film Distributor´s Union, the Czech Television


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Jan Palach by Robert SedláčekCzech cinema enjoyed domestic and international successes of both feature films and documentaries in 2018, with the Czech Film Fund effectively supporting the development and production of numerous quality films (including a strikingly high number of debut features), a growing number of coproductions, returning international film crews shooting on Czech locations and exceptional box office results.

PRODUCTION

Film production in the Czech Republic in 2018 was marked by a growing interest of domestic producers in international coproductions including minority coproductions, which enjoyed a significant support from the Czech Film Fund. The range of coproducing countries is getting wider than before, including – next to traditional partner countries - also new partners from the Netherlands, Finland, Norway, France or the USA.

As far as the topics and genres are concerned, period films seemed to prevail in 2018, both from older and more recent Czech history. Numerous domestic comedies are still being made - traditionally a very successful genre in Czech cinemas, as well as films for children, including long animated films. Together with experienced and renowned directors shooting new films, a strikingly high number of debut features was produced in 2018.

Among the most important and at the same time most expensive titles shooting in 2018 there were: the epic period film Medieval / Jan Žižka by Petr Jákl, a US/Czech/UK coproduction produced by WOG FILM, the war dramaThe Painted Bird / Nabarvené ptáče, directed by Václav Marhoul and produced by Silvescreen, (a coproduction between the Czech Republic, the Ukraine, Slovakia) and The Glass Room / Skleněný pokoj by Julius Ševčík produced by IN Film Praha.

Other titles which were shot in 2018 and which deal with important political topics were The Prague Orgy / Pražské orgie by Irena Pavlásková produced by Prague Movie Company,  the Czech/German coproduction National Street / Národní třída directed by Štěpán Altrichter and produced by Negativ, and On the Roof / Na střeše directed by Jiří Mádl and produced by Dawson Productions.

Important coproductions shot in 2018 are the children film My Grandpa Is an Alien by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree Škop, a coproduction between Croatia, Luxembourg, Norway, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, produced by Studio Dim, and the Danish/Czech coproduction In Love and War / I Krig & Kærlighed, directed by Kasper Torsting and produced by Fridthjof Film and Film United.

Agnieszka Holland’s new feature film Charlatan / Šarlatán, produced by Marlene Film Production, started shooting for one week in 2018 with the main shooting set for 2019.The Prague Orgy by Irena Pavlásková

There were numerous big and small foreign productions shooting in the Czech Republic in 2018, including the big budget TV series Wiskey Cavalier and the second season of Knightfall, most of them supported by the film incentives programme.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 70 new domestic features and documentaries were theatrically released during 2018. Numerous important feature films were inspired by events and personalities from the Czech history and literature: the Czech/Slovak drama Jan Palach directed by Robert Sedláček, produced by Cineart TV Prague and distributed by CinemArt (which was nominated for six Czech Critics’ Awards), Toman by Ondřej Trojan, produced by Total HelpArt T.H.A.. (which was released by Falcon in October 2018), the long awaited fairy tale The Magic Quill / Čertí brko directed by Marek Najbrt, produced by Punk Film and distributed by Falcon, and the adaptation of the acclaimed novel Hastrman directed by Ondřej Havelka, produced by První veřejnoprávní, and distributed by CinemArt.

The list of comedies successfully distributed in Czech cinemas in 2018 includes What Men Long For / Po čem muži touží directed by Rudolf  Havlík, produced by Fénix Film in coproduction with Flamesite and distributed by CinemArt, Patrimony / Tátova Volha directed by Jiří Vejdělek, produced by Infinity Prague and distributed by CinemArt, and  Desperate Ladies Act Desperately / Zoufalé ženy dělají zoufalé věcí directed by Filip Renč, produced by Mojo Film and distributed by Bioscop.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The year 2018 was very good for Czech cinemas. The results surpassed even the box office record year 2016. The total admissions reached 16,344, 483, the total box office was 88,595,963 EUR / 2, 268, 942, 623 CZK, compared to 15,233,432 admissions and total box office of 78,814,200 EUR / 2,004,245,131 CZK in 2017.

The average ticket price in 2018 was 5.42 EUR / 138.82 CZK.

My Grandpa is an Alien by Drazen Zarkovic and Marina Andree SkopThere are eight distribution companies in the Czech Republic with a market share of over 1%.

In 2018, CinemArt, the distributor of some major US studios’ productions and also high-profile Czech films, had 40.8% market share and replaced the top distributor of 2017, Falcon, which had 28.1% market share. Vertical Entertainment (Freeman) ranked third with 12.7%, followed by Bontonfilm with 6.2% market share.

The most attended film in Czech cinemas was Bohemian Rhapsody (distributed by CinemArt) with 1,073,638 admissions and 6,466,605 EUR / 165,609,745 CZK gross.

The most attended Czech film in 2018 was the comedy What Men Long For / Po čem muži touží, with 558,988 admissions and 3,226,102 EUR / 82, 620,472 CZK.

In 2018 the market share of multiplexes, counting 256 screens and 44,464 seats, reached 65.88% (attendance). The largest multiplex cinema operators are Cinema City and Cine Star.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The main tool for public support of Czech cinema is the Czech Film Fund. The funding is granted in 10 areas: development, production, distribution, promotion, technological development, publications, education and training, festivals and events, protection, preservation and access to film heritage. The Fund, through its division Czech Film Center, represents and promotes Czech cinema and film industry and increases the awareness of Czech film worldwide. It also supports through its division Czech Film Commission the activities of film offices in the Czech Republic, helping Czech and foreign filmmakers to shoot in various regions of the country.

In 2018, the Czech Film Fund issued a total of 30 calls for domestic grants with a total funding of 14.098,809 EUR / 361 m CZK, of which 11,169,693 EUR / 286 m CZK was earmarked for Czech film development and production of all film genres, including minority coproductionsWhiskey Cavalier ABC series .

Among important feature films supported in 2018 there are: Havel directed by Slávek Horák and produced by TVORBA Films, with 560,603 EUR / 14.5 m CZK, Zátopek directed by David Ondříček and produced by Lucky Men Films, with 579,039 EUR / 15 m CZK, Bourák directed by Ondřej Trojan and produced by Total Help Art T.H.A., with 386,026 EUR / 10 m CZK, Snake Gas / Hadí plyn directed by David Jařab and produced by Cineart TV Prague, with 386,026 EUR / 10 m CZK, Princip Kriegel aneb Muž, který stál v cestě directed by Ivan Fíla and produced by Bio Illusion, with 386,026 EUR / 10 m CZK, Krajina ve stínu directed by Bohdam Sláma and produced by Luminar Film, with 425,285 EUR / 11 m CZK, Admin directed by Olmo Omerzu and produced by endorfilm, with 425,285 EUR / 11 m CZK, Chyby directed by Jan Prušinovský and produced by Offsidemen, with 270,270 EUR / 7 m CZK, and the children and youth film A City Boy and the Forest Secret / Mazel a tajemství lesa directed by Petr Okropec and produced by BFilms, with 289,575 EUR / 7.5 m CZK.

The Czech Film Fund also administrates film incentives for film and TV productions shooting in the Czech Republic. The incentives are granted in the form of a 20% cash rebate on Czech production costs and 66% on the withholding tax on non-resident labour costs paid in the Czech Republic. The incentives are available for feature films, TV and animation series, animated and documentary films. Maximum eligible costs are set at 80% of the total budget. The Czech Film Fund is currently trying to increase the rebate to 25%.

More than 38.9 m EUR / 1 billion CZK were allocated to the incentive programme in 2018.

For eligibility criteria and application process, check the Czech Film Commission’s website.

The amendment to the audiovisual law approved in May 2016 came into effect on 1 January 2017. An improved incentives scheme was introduced, which makes the system more flexible for film productions.

Toman by Ondřej TrojanThe rebates allotted in 2018 include the action series Whiskey Cavalier (8,748, 291 EUR / 224 m CZK) directed by  Peter Atencio, produced by Doozer and Warner Bros. Television and serviced by Stillking Films, with almost 100 shooting days in the Czech Republic; the second season of the historical series Knightfall (5,702,011 EUR / 146 m CZK) directed by Rick Jacobson, produced by A+E Studios, Midnight Radio and The Combine with Stillking Films servicing (90 shooting days); the US/German coproduction Jojo Rabbit (1,390,353 EUR / 35.6 m CZK) directed by Taika Waititi, produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures and serviced by Czech Anglo Productions (40 shooting days); the French biopic Edmond (812,341 EUR / 20.8 m CZK) directed by Alexis Michalik, produced by Légende Films, Ezra, Gaumont (FR), Nexus (BG), Sirena Film, which also serviced in the Czech Republic (41 shooting days); Norwegian Amundsen (523,335 EUR / 13.4 m CZK) directed by Espen Sandberg, produced by Motion Blur (NO), SF Studios (SE) and serviced by Film Kolektiv (22 days), Amazon Studios’ horror series Lore (1,093, 536 EUR / 28 m CZK) by Darnell Martin, Thomas J. Wright, Michael E. Satrazemis and produced by Amazon Studios, Propagate Content, Valhalla Entertainment, serviced by Milk & Honey Pictures.

Also benefiting of the rebates in 2018 were: the German mini-series The Wall (1,132,591 EUR / 29 m CZK) directed by Michael Krumennacher and produced by Gabriela Sperl Produktion, Wiedemann & Berg Television, ZDF Enterprises, with Wilma Film coproducing and servicing; the BBC series World on Fire (2,069, 908 EUR / 53 m CZK); three German TV films for the Der Zurich-Krimi series (488,186 EUR / 12.5 m); the German/Austrian feature film Narziss und Goldmund (585,823 EUR / 15 m CZK) directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, produced by Tempest Film Produktion Und Verleih, Mythos Film Produktions, Lotus-Film and serviced by Mia Film; the US/UK TV mini-series The Little Drummer Girl (410,076 EUR / 10.5 m CZK) directed by Park Chan-wook, produced by AMC Networks, BBC, Endeavor Content, The Ink Factory and serviced by Sirena Film.

Rebates were also given to large scale Czech coproductions such as Agnieszka Holland’s feature film Charlatan / Šarlatán produced by Marlene Film Production -  429,603 EUR / 11 m CZK, and Glass Room / Skleněný pokoj by Julius Ševčík, produced by InFilm - 468,658 EUR / 12 m CZK.

TV

The main TV companies in the Czech Republic are NOVA group, the Czech Television and PRIMA group.

The Czech Television currently runs six channels: CT1, CT2, CT24, CT sport, CT:D and CT Art.The Magic Quill by Marek Najbrt, photo: Punk Film, Marek Novotný

NOVA group channels include NOVANOVA 2NOVA CinemaNOVA ActionNOVA Gold, NOVA Sport and NOVA Sport 2.

Prima group consists of Prima FamilyPrima COOLPrima LOVEPrima ZOOM,  Prima MAX and Prima Comedy and Prima Crime.

TV stations also increased the number of programmes available on the internet, bringing them to a larger audience. TV NOVA has its video library Voyo.cz, Prima group runs PrimaPlay.cz, while the Czech TV offers its programmes via iVysílání.cz.

Hastrman by Ondřej HavelkaThe market for TV advertising is dominated by Nova and Prima (90%), while advertising on the Czech Television is limited to the minimum by the law. The television is traditionally the strongest advertising medium in the country.

Television stations play a large role in the production of quality content for local film and TV productions. The Czech TV has become a permanent partner of Czech cinema, with its in-house production sector Film Center coproducing increasing numbers of feature films. Czech TV is also a coproducer of almost all documentaries released in Czech cinemas.

Among TV projects produced by the public television in 2018 there are: the Czech historical TV miniseries Rašín directed by Jiří Svoboda, A Pilot Tale / Balada o pilotovi by Jan Sebechlebský and the film for children Magician Zito / Kouzelník Žito by Zdeněk Zelenka. Important miniseries dealing with the Czech history are also Jan Hrebejk´s Redl and the 8-part series Lynč directed by Klára Jůzová, Jan Bártek and Harold Apter. The Czech TV coproduced many important feature films including The Magic Quill by Marek Najbrt, Winter Flies by Olmo Omerzu, On the Roof by Jiří Mádl and Toman by Ondřej Trojan.

CONTACTS:

CZECH FILM FUND
Veletržní palác, Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7
Phone: +420 224 301 278
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondkinematografie.cz

CZECH FILM FUND - CZECH FILM CENTER
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcenter.cz

CZECH FILM FUND - CZECH FILM COMMISSION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: 420 778 543 290
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcommission.cz

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVE
Malešická 12, 130 00 Prague 3
Phone: +420 778 522 729
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfa.cz

APA- AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 603 844 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.asociaceproducentu.cz

CREATIVE EUROPE – MEDIA CZECH REPUBLIC
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 209
Fax: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mediadeskcz.eu

Desperate Women Do Desperate Things by Filip RenčCZECH FILM AND TELEVISION ACADEMY
Karlovo nám 285/19, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.cfta.cz

INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM
Štěpánská 611/14, 110 00 Praha 1
Phone: +420 224 214 858
Fax: +420 224 214 858
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.dokweb.net

FITES – CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION UNION
Pod Nuselskými schody 3, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.fites.cz

FILM DISTRIBUTORS’ UNION
nám. Winstona Churchilla 2, 130 00 Prague 3
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.ufd.cz 

PRAGUE FILM FUND
Mariánské náměstí 2/2, 110 00 Praha 1
www.praguefilmfund.eu

ASSOCIATION OF CZECH ANIMATION FILM
Heřmanova 3, Prague
http://en.asaf.cz/

Report by Denisa Strbova (2019)
Sources:  the Czech Film Fund, the Czech Film Center, the Czech Film Commission, the Film Distributor´s Union


 MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Toman by Ondřej TrojanCzech cinema had a good year in 2017, with international success of both feature films and documentaries, a film fund effectively supporting the development and production of numerous quality films, a growing number of coproductions, returning international film crews shooting on Czech locations and excellent box office results.

PRODUCTION

Among the most important titles shooting in 2017 were several period films, including Painted Bird / Nabarvené ptáče, directed by Václav Marhoul and produced by Silvescreen, Jan Palach, directed by Robert Sedláček and produced by Cineart TV Prague, and Toman by Ondřej Trojan, produced by Total HelpArt T.H.A..

The long awaited fairy tale The Magic Quill / Čertí brko, directed by Marek Najbrt and produced by Punk Film, was shot in the summer of 2017.

The romantic fantasy based on the acclaimed novel Hastrman, directed by Ondřej Havelka and produced by První veřejnoprávní,, was shot from July to September 2017.

The comedies filmed in 2017 included Dad´s Volha, directed by Jiří Vejdělek and produced by Infinity Prague, and Desperate Women Do Desperate Things / Zoufalé ženy dělají zoufalé věcí directed by Filip Renč and produced by U.F.O. Pictures..

The Magic Quill by Marek Najbrt, photo: Punk Film, Marek NovotnýThere were also numerous foreign productions shooting in the Czech Republic in 2017. Unique Czech locations, the experience and expertise of the Barrandov Studio, which hosts one of the largest costumes and props rental houses in Europe, are constantly attracting big and small productions.

The year 2017 saw a boom of German TV productions shooting on Czech locations. According to Helena Bezděk Fraňková, the Director of the Czech Film Fund, 14 television films and series spent over 33 m EUR / 850 m CZK in nearly 400 filming days in the Czech Republic. “German television productions have in recent years been our most loyal ‘clients’ and Germany clearly surpasses other countries in terms of the number of foreign projects shooting here”, Helena Bezděk Fraňková said.

The eight-part series Das Boot, directed by Andreas Prochaska and produced by Bavaria Fiction, is the biggest German production shot in the Czech Republic since the introduction of incentives in 2010. Stillking Films provided services. Out of the total budget of 25 m EUR, about 14 m EUR were spent at the Barrandov Studio. 

Der Prag Krimi, photo: Schivago FilmOther German productions shot in the Czech Republic in 2017 were: Der Prag-Krimi, directed by Nicolai Rohde and produced by Schiwago Film GmbH, the Charité series, directed by Anno Saul, produced by UFA Fiction for ARD and serviced by Mia Film, and the two-part thriller Walpurgis Night, directed by Hans Steinbichler, produced by Wiedemann & Berg Television GmbH & Co. KG for ZDF and serviced by Czech Wilma Film.

Other important international productions shot in the Czech Republic in 2017 were: the first season of the Genius series, directed by Ron Howard and produced by Fox 21 Television Studios, Imagine Television, OddLot Entertainment and EUE/Sokolow for the National Geographic channel and with Stillking Films providing services; the postwar drama The Aftermath, directed by James Kent and produced by Fox Searchlight Pictures and Scott Free Productions with Sirena Film servicing; Xavier Dolan’s Death and Life of John F. Donovan, produced by Lyla Films and Sons of Manual and serviced by Film United;; Ben Levin’s The Catcher Was a Spy, produced by PalmStar Media, Animus Films, Serena Films, in association with Windy Hill Pictures, with Czech-Anglo Productions servicing, and the two-part film Maria Theresa directed by Robert Dornheim and produced by Maya Production, MR-Film Gruppe (A) and BETA Film GmbH (A).   

Hastrman by Ondřej HavelkaDISTRIBUTION

A total of 26 domestic feature films, two long animated films and 27 documentaries longer than 60 minutes had their premieres in 2017. Of these, 13 are debuts and 20 are coproductions, including six minority coproductions.

Many important feature films released in 2017 were inspired by events and personalities from the Czech history.

Jan Svěrak´s Barefoot / Po strništi bos, produced by Biograf Jan Svěrák Pictures, became the best attended Czech film in 2017. Jan Svěrák returns to the war childhood of his father, Zdeněk Svěrák, and makes a prequel to another extremely popular film of the Svěráks’ tandem, The Elementary School / Obecná škola (1991, Barrandov Film Studio).

A Prominent Patient /  Masaryk, directed by Julius Ševčík and produced by In Film, premiered in the Berlinale Special section of the 2017 Berlin IFF. This drama, focusing on the controversial figure of the Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Jan Masaryk in the 40´s, was domestically released by Bioscop in the spring of 2017.

Milada, directed by David Mrnka and produced by Loaded Vision Entertainment, was released by Bohemia M.P. in 2017 and is available in numerous language versions on Netflix, which co-funded its production. The film is based on the tragic story of the politician Milada Horáková, who was unjustly sentenced and executed during Stalin's political processes in the 50s.

Little Crusader by Václav KadrnkaThe medieval road movie Little Crusader / Křižáček, directed by Václav Kadrnka and produced by Sirius Films, won the Crystal Globe for best film at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival 2017.

Ice Mother / Bába z ledu, directed by Bohdan Sláma and coproduced by the Czech company Negativ, Slovakia’s Artileria and France’s Why Not Productions, was voted as the Czech Oscar bid in the Foreign Language Film category in 2017. The film was distributed in the Czech Republic by Falcon.

Among the most interesting documentaries in 2017 were Červená by Olga Sommerová and Miroslav Janek´s Universum Brdečka, both produced by Evolution Films and released in cinemas by Aerofilms.

Minority coproductions also had a successful life at festivals. Czech minority coproduction Spoor / Pokot, directed by Agnieszka Holland and produced by TOR Film Production, was awarded the Alfred Bauer Prize for Artistic Contribution at the Berlin IFF 2017.

Cervena by Olga SommerovaLittle Harbor/ Pátá loď, directed by Iveta Grófová and produced by Silverart and endorfilm, won the Crystal Bear for best film of the Children's Jury in the Generation Kplus section of the 2017 Berlin IFF.

Filthy / Špína, directed by Tereza Nvotová and produced by Bfilm and Moloko Film, premiered at the Rotterdam IFF.

There are seven distribution companies in the Czech Republic with a market share of over 1%.

In 2017, Falcon, the distributor of some major US studios’ productions and also high-profile Czech films, had 32.1 % market share and replaced the last year’s top distributor Cinemart, which had 29, 2% market share. Vertical Entertainment (Freeman) ranked third with 16.8%, followed by Bioscoop/AQS with 11.5% market share.

Dads Volha by Jiří Vejdělek, photo: CinemartEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

The year 2017 was very good for Czech cinemas. Although the results slightly decreased compared with 2016, it was still the second best year in the history of the independent Czech cinema market.

Total admissions were 15,233,432 and total box office was 78,814,200 EUR / 2,004,245,131 CZK, compared to 15,621,923 admissions and 79,081,565 EUR / 2,011,044,198 CZK in 2016.

However, there was a considerable drop of over 10 percent in the admissions to domestic titles, which reached only 20 percent of the total admissions in 2017. 

The most attended Czech film in 2017 was Jan Svěrak´s Barefoot / Po strništi bos with 505,282 admissions and 2.55 m EUR / 64,813,015 CZK gross. The film was distributed by Bioscop.

There were three Czech films in the admissions top ten: Barefoot, the comedy River Rascals / Špunti na vodě directed by Jiří Chlumský, produced by Fresh Lobster in coproduction with Fénix Film, Sibira Pro and Fénix Distribution (distributed by Bioscop), and the 2016´s hit Angel of the Lord 2, directed by Jiří Strach, produced by Marlene Film Production and distributed by Falcon .

Barefoot by Jan SvěrakA total of 284 new releases hit Czech cinemas in 2017, of which 56 were Czech titles.

The average ticket price in 2017 was 5.18 EUR / 131.57 CZK (compared to 5.07 EUR / 128.73 CZK in 2016).

Total admissions top ten is topped by the US animation Despicable me 3 directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, with 610,882 admissions and 3.26 m EUR / 82,848,893 CZK gross, followed by Pirates of the Caribbean: Salazar’s Revenge, directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, with 567,665 admissions and 3.25 m EUR / 82, 651,627 CZK gross.

In 2017 the market share of multiplexes, counting 256 screens and 44,464 seats, reached 75.4%. The largest multiplex cinema operators are Cinema City and Cine Star.

Desperate Women Do Desperate Things by Filip RenčGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Czech Film Fund remains the main tool for public support of Czech cinema. The funding is granted in 10 areas: development, production, distribution, promotion, technological development, publications, education and training, festivals and events, protection, preservation and access to film heritage. The fund also supports the activities of film offices in the Czech Republic, helping Czech and foreign filmmakers to shoot in various regions of the country.

In 2017, the Czech Film Fund issued a total of 36 calls for domestic grants with the total funding of 14.6 m EUR / 370 m CZK, of which 11.3 m EUR / 287 m CZK (80%) was earmarked for Czech film development and production of all film genres, including minority coproductions.

The most important films supported in 2017 were: My Sunny Maad, directed by Michaela Pavlátová and produced by Negativ and France’s Sacrebleu Productions (744,000 EUR / 19 m CZK); Šarlatán, directed by Agnieszka Holland and produced by Marlene Film Production (509,000 EUR / 13 m CZK); Opravdoví bratři, directed by Petr Nikolaev and produced by Daniel Severa Production (587,544 EUR / 15 m CZK); Kryštof, directed by Zdeněk Jiráský and produced by Fulfilm (528,790 EUR / 13.5 m CZK) and Jan Palach ,directed by Robert Sedláček and produced by Cineart TV Prague (430,865 EUR / 11 m CZK).

Since the introduction of the new law in 2013, the Czech Film Fund has also administered the Czech incentives scheme. The incentives are granted in the form of a 20% cash rebate on Czech production costs and 66% on the withholding tax on non-resident labor costs paid in the Czech Republic. The incentives are available for feature films, TV and animation series, animated and documentary films. Maximum eligible costs are set at 80% of the total budget.

My Sunny Maad by Michaela PavlátováThe pre-condition of eligibility for the incentive is the minimum volume of the Czech cost:

555,000 EUR / 15 m CZK for a feature, animated or TV film (minimum runtime 70 min.)
74,000 EUR / 2 m CZK for a theatrical documentary (minimum runtime 70 min.)
295,000 EUR / 8 m CZK for a TV episode (minimum runtime 30 min.)
147,500 EUR / 1 m CZK for an animated episode (minimum runtime5 min.)

The amendment to the audiovisual law approved in May 2016 came into effect on 1 January 2017. An improved incentives scheme was introduced, which makes the system more flexible for film productions.

The rebate is no longer subject to a yearly cap. Producers can register the project at any time during the year and immediately receive a registration certificate. Upon receiving the registration certificate, the producer can apply for the allocation of the rebate. The timing of the application is important. Within four months after the application is filed, at least 10 shooting days must be completed in the Czech Republic. Rebates are allotted throughout the year, depending on the beginning of production. For animated films, if shooting in the Czech Republic is longer than 10 days, producers are able to receive their grants in two parts: first upon the completion of the shooting in the Czech Republic and the second part after the completion of all Czech production.

Large amounts of incentives were allotted in 2017 to: Carnival Row (10.3 m EUR /  261 m CZK), directed by Paul McGuigan and Anna Foerster, produced by Legendary Television, Ophelia (1.7 m EUR / 42.6 m CZK), directed by Claire McCarthy and produced by Covert Media (US), Bobker / Kruger Films (US) and Forthcoming Films (UK), both with Stillking Films servicing, and the Czech production Jan Palach (294,000 EUR / 7.5 m CZK), directed by Robert Sedláček and produced by Cineart TV Prague.

The National Film Archive handles both domestic and international sales of films made in Czechoslovakia before 1991 and produced by Barrandov and Zlín film studios (both state owned at the time).

The Czech Film Center is in charge of the promotion of Czech films abroad and is the official national representative of Czech cinema and film industry at key film festivals and markets. The Czech Film Commission is the official film office supporting and promoting audiovisual production in the Czech Republic. Both institutions are a part of the Czech Film Fund.

A Prominent Patient by Július ŠevčíkTV

There are three major TV groups in the Czech Republic, reaching a cumulative market share of approximately 80% in the target group of viewers 15+ in 2017: the public TV Czech Television with a market share of 29.26%, NOVA group with 30.26%, Prima group with 20.76% and Barrandov TV with 8.91%.

TV companies are introducing new channels in order to compensate for the declining audience of flagship stations. The Czech Television currently runs six channels: CT1, CT2, CT24, CT sport, CT:D and CT Art.

NOVA group channels include NOVANOVA 2, NOVA CinemaNOVA Action, NOVA Gold, NOVA Sport and NOVA Sport 2.

Prima group consists of Prima FamilyPrima COOLPrima LOVEPrima ZOOM, new Prima MAX and Prima Comedy.

Milada by David Mrnka, photo: www.loadedvision.comTV stations also increased the number of programmes available on the internet, bringing them to a larger audience. TV NOVA has its video library Voyo.cz, Prima group runs PrimaPlay.cz, while the Czech TV offers its programmes via iVysílání.cz.

The market for TV advertising is dominated by Nova and Prima (90%), while advertising on the Czech Television is limited to a minimum by the law. The television is traditionally the strongest advertising medium in the country.

Television stations play a large role in the production of quality content for local film and TV productions. The Czech TV has become a permanent partner of Czech cinema, with its in-house production sector Film Center coproducing many feature films, including the already mentioned high-profile films Barefoot, Little Crusader, Jan Palach or Garden Store. The Czech TV is also a coproducer of almost all documentaries released in the cinemas.

CONTACTS:

CZECH FILM FUND
Veletržní palác, Dukelských hrdinů 47, 170 00 Prague 7
Little Harbor by Iveta GrofovaPhone: +420 224 301 278
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.fondkinematografie.cz

NATIONAL FILM ARCHIVES
Malešická 12, 130 00 Prague 3
Phone: +420 778 522 729
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nfa.cz

APA- AUDIOVISUAL PRODUCERS’ ASSOCIATION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 603 844 811
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.asociaceproducentu.cz

CREATIVE EUROPE – MEDIA CZECH REPUBLIC
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 209
Fax: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.mediadeskcz.eu

CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION ACADEMY
Karlovo nám 285/19, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.cfta.cz

CZECH FILM CENTER
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: +420 221 105 303
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcenter.cz

CZECH FILM COMMISSION
Národní 28, 110 00 Prague 1
Phone: 420 778 543 290
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmcommission.cz

Spoor by Agnieszka HollandINSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM
Štěpánská 611/14, 110 00 Praha 1
Phone: +420 224 214 858
Fax: +420 224 214 858
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.dokweb.net

FITES – CZECH FILM AND TELEVISION UNION
Pod Nuselskými schody 3, 120 00 Prague 2
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.fites.cz

FILM DISTRIBUTORS’ UNION
nám. Winstona Churchilla 2, 130 00 Prague 3
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , www.ufd.cz 

Report by Denisa Strbova (2018)
Sources:  the Czech Film Fund, the Czech Film Center, the Czech Film Commission, the Film Distributor´s Union

 

Truth and Justice by Tanel ToomMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

TALLINN: The year 2019 turned out to be another record-breaking year for Estonian film industry. Domestic films had more than 847,000 admissions, which is an all-time record. The year’s record-breaker was Truth and Justice, the historical epic directed by Tanel Toom and produced by Ivo Felt from Allfilm.

Truth and Justice was submitted for the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the Best International Feature Film category and made it to the short list. The film topped the Estonian box office with over 267,000 admissions. It was the last feature film produced under the Estonia 100 programme.

Four Estonian films made it to the top ten admissions list.

Christopher Nolan’s Tenet was shot in Tallinn in June 2019. The film benefited from the Film Estonia production incentives scheme.

PRODUCTION

Erna at War by Henrik Ruben Genz, photo: Karl Anders VaiklaSeveral films were shot in Estonia in 2019, and most of them were produced with the support of the Estonian Film Institute.

The Danish/Belgian/Estonian war drama Erna at War / Erna läheb sõtta directed by Henrik Ruben Genz and produced by Danish Nimbus Films in coproduction with Belgian Entre Chien & Loup and Estonia’s Nafta Films, was shot in Tartu in August 2019.

Tartu was also the shooting location for the spy-thriller O-2 directed by Margus Paju and produced by Finnish Solar Film and Estonia’s Nafta Films.

On the Water / Vee peal directed by Peeter Simm and produced by Filmivabrik started shooting in February 2019 and continued throughout the summer of 2019.

The Finnish/Estonian coproduction Helene directed by Antti Jokinen and produced by Cinematic Finland and Estonia’s Stellar Film, started filming in Haapsalu in February 2019 and continued throughout the spring of 2019.

Talve, a film based on a renowned Estonian novel, was also shot during the summer of 2019. The film is directed by Ergo Kuld and coproduced by Kassikuld, Taska Film and Apollo Film Productions.

Priit Pääsuke’s youth comedy Kids of the Night / Öölapsed started shooting at the end of July 2019. The film is produced by Alexandra Film.

The Latvian/Estonian coproduction Christmas in the Jungle / Ziemassvētki džungļos started shooting in Indonesia in September 2019. The director of the film is the acclaimed Estonian documentarist and filmmaker Jaak Kilmi. The film is produced by Latvian Christmas In The Jungle by Jaak Kilmi, photo: Andrejs StrokinsLocomotive Productions in coproduction with Estonian Stellar Film.

Two long animated features were in production in 2019. Old Man Cartoon Movie / Vanamehe film directed by Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa, and produced by BOP! animation, wrapped production in the first half of 2019 and premiered domestically in September 2019.

The children’s animation Raggie / Sipsik directed by Meelis Arulepp and Karsten Kiilerich, and produced by A Film Estonia in coproduction with Danish A.Film Production, will premiere in February 2020.

Christopher Nolan’s action thriller Tenet was shot in Tallinn in June 2019. Tenet, which will premiere in the summer of 2020, is supported by Estonian Film Institute’s Film Estonia production incentives.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 427 films were distributed in cinemas in 2019, with 313 new and 114 old releases. The number of Estonian films distributed was 57, out of which 29 were new and 28 old releases.

The overall top ten includes four domestic releases and is dominated by Truth and Justice directed by Tanel Toom and distributed by Berlin-based Films Boutique.

On the Water by Peeter SimmThe other Estonian films in the top ten are Class Reunion 3 / Klassikokkutulek 3 directed by René Vilbre, produced by Taska Film and distributed by Forum Cinemas, Ott Tänak: The Movie directed by Tarvo Mölder and produced by Sterotek, and Old Man Cartoon Movie / Vanamehe multikas directed by Mikk Mägi and Oskar Lehemaa, produced by BOP! animation and Apollo Film Productions, and distributed by Apollo Film Productions.

Lotte and The Lost Dragon / Lotte ja kadunud lohed directed by Janno Põlma and Heiki Ernits, and produced by Eesti Joonisfilm, was just outside the top ten with 76,745 admissions. The film premiered internationally at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

In 2019, the total number of tickets sold for all distributed films was 3,685,522.

Domestic films gained over 847,600 admissions in 2019, adding up to a record 23% of the market share. In 2018, domestic films racked up over 647,600 admissions and held 17.8% of the market share.

In 2019 the total gross increased to 21,798,820, from over 20.6 m in 2018.

The market share of Estonian films was 23 percent and the box office 22.3 per cent.

Kids of the Night by Priit Pääsuke, credit: Alexandra FilmThe average cost of a ticket was 5.91 EUR and the yearly average of cinema visits 2.78. In 2018, the numbers were 5.7 euros and 2.75 per capita.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATIONS

In 2019, the Estonian Film Institute provided production and postproduction grants for the following feature films: Erik Stoneheart / Erik Kivisüda directed by Ilmar Raag and produced by Amrion, Goodbye, Soviet Union / Hüvasti, NSVL directed by Lauri Randla and produced by Exitfilm (Estonia) in coproduction with Bufo (Finland), Dead Woman / Surnud naine directed by Kadri Kõusaar and produced by Estonia’s Meteoriit, French Les Films d'Antoine, Polish Serce sp z.o.o, Chech Republic’s Sirena Film, O-2 directed by Margus Paju and produced by Nafta Films and Finnish Solar Film, On the Water / Vee peal directed by Peeter Simm and produced by Filmivabrik, Container / Konteriner directed by Arun Tamm and produced by Allfilm, Kratt directed by Rasmus Mervoo and produced by Tallifornia, Kalev directed by Ove Musting and produced by Allfilm and Latvian Ego Media.

Six minority coproductions received funding from the Estonian Film Institute in 2019: Henrik Ruben Genz’s war drama Erna at War / Erna läheb sõtta, produced by Danish Nimbus Film in coproduction with Belgian Entre Chien et Loup and Estonia’s Nafta Films, Latvian/Estonian coproduction Christmas in the Jungle / Jõulud džunglis, produced by Latvian Locomotive Productions in coproduction with Estonian Stellar Film, Compartment No. 6 / Kupee nr 6 directed by Juho Kuosmanen, produced by Finnish Aamu Company, German Achtung Panda Media, Russia’s CTB Film Company and Estonia’s Amrion, Finnish/Irish/Estonian documentary Tukdam directed by Donagh Coleman and produced by Finland’s Making Movies in coproduction with Irish Wildfire Films and Estonian Allfilm, Danish/Estonian documentary Freedom Is Just Another Word / Vabadus on sõnakõlks directed by Jon Bang Carlsen and produced by Danish Final Cut for Real in coproduction with Allfilm, Canadian/Estonian coproduction Government Digital / E-riik directed by Chris Mullington and produced by Title Entertainment in coproduction with Estonia’s Traumfabrik.

The Film Estonia cash rebate programme supported eight projects with the amount of 5.9 m EUR in 2019. 

Among supported projects were Warner Bros.’ feature Tenet directed by Christopher Nolan and serviced by Estonia’s Allfilm, which received 4.6 m EUR, the animated films Bibi Blocksberg (Denmark) directed by Karsten Kiilerich and Aina Järvine, and serviced Ott Tänak: The Movie by Tarvo Mölderby A Film Estonia, and Alya in Terraland (UAE) directed by Priit Tender and serviced by Nukufilm, which received together 90,983 EUR, the Finnish feature film Renovation directed by Taneli Mustonen and serviced by Estonia’s Baron Noir (272,812 EUR), Helene directed by Antti Jokinen and coproduced by Estonia’s Stellar Film (372,072 EUR) and the Danish feature Erna at War directed by Henrik Ruben Genz, serviced by Nafta Films (333,910 EUR).

TV

There are three main TV broadcasters in Estonia. The Estonian Public Broadcasting, which operates ETVETV2, and the Russian-language ETV+. The two leading commercial broadcasters are Kanal2 and Viasat-owned TV3.

CONTACTS:

ESTONIAN FILM INSTITUTE
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 627 60 60
Fax: +372 627 60 61
www.filmi.ee
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CULTURAL ENDOWMENT OF ESTONIA
Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148
Lotte and the Lost Dragons by Janno Põldma and Heiki ErnitsPhone: +372 699 9150
www.kulka.ee
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ESTONIAN ANIMATION UNION
Roo 9, Tallinn 10611
Phone: +372 646 4299
Fax: +372 646 4299
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Contact: Rao Heidmets

ESTONIAN DOCUMENTARY GUILD
Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
www.dokfilm.ee
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ESTONIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4068
www.kinoliit.ee
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Contact: Kadri Vaas

ESTONIAN NATIONAL PRODUCERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 5825 8962
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Contact: Aet Laigu

ESTONIAN FILM INDUSTRY CLUSTER
Phone +372 5343 6863
www.filmestonia.eu
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Contact: Karin Reinberg-Šestakov

ESTONIAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS ESC
www.esc.edicypages.com/et

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS OF ESTONIA
Uus 5, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4517
Fax: +372 646 4516
www.enliit.ee
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THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF FILM JOURNALISTS
Narva mnt 11e, Tallinn 10151
On the Water by Peeter SimmPhone: +372 669 8210
Fax: +372 669 8154
www.filmikriitik.ee
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Contact: Andrei Liimets

THE UNION OF ESTONIAN FILM CLUBS
Vikerlase 13-62, Tallinn 13616
Phone: +372 632 4662; +372 55 46042
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Contact: Raivo Olmet

ESTONIAN FILM MUSEUM
Pirita road 56, 10127 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6 968 600; +372 5620 8875
http://www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/en/filmmuseum
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Contact: Maria Mang

ESTONIAN FILM DATABASE
Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6015982
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www.efis.ee/en 

ESTONIAN FILM ARCHIVES
Ristiku 84, Tallinn 10318
Phone: +372 693 8613
www.filmi.arhiiv.ee/index.php?lang=eng
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Report by Aurelia Aasa (2020)
Sources: the Estonian Film Institute, the Cultural Endowment of Estonia


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Class Reunion 2 by Rene Vilbre, photo: Vaata FilmiEstonian films had a breakthrough year in 2018. Domestic films had more than 647,600 admissions, which is an all-time record. In 2017 Estonian films had 282,421 admissions. The success of 2018 is mostly due to the Estonian Republic 100 film programme. Two record-breakers, The Little Comrade / Seltsimees laps directed by Moonika Siimets and produced by Amrion, and Phantom Owl Forest / Eia jõulud Tondikakul directed by Anu Aun and coproduced by Luxfilm and Kinosaurus Film, were both part of the programme.

However, the most popular Estonian film was Class Reunion 2: A Wedding and a Funeral / Klassikokkutulek 2: Pulmad ja matused directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska Film, with more than 146,000 admissions.

PRODUCTION

The last films from the Estonian 100 programme wrapped production in 2018 and premiered at the beginning of 2019. One of them, Lotte and the Lost Dragons / Lote un pazudušie Pūķi by Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits, will have its international premiere in the Generation 14plus section of the 2019 Berlin International Film Festival. Lotte and the Lost Dragons, the only animated film in the Estonia 100 programme and the third instalment of Estonia’s animated franchise, is produced by Eesti Joonisfilm. The film reached the domestic screens on 2Lotte and the Lost Dragons by Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits January 2019 with 45,946 admissions in the first two weeks.

Truth and Justice / Tõde ja õigus, directed by Tanel Toom and produced by Allfilm, wrapped filming in August 2018, with the domestic premiere set for February 2019.

The Estonian production company Kopli Kinokompanii is in production with Sandra Gets a Job / Sandra saab tööd by Kaupo Kruusiauk, which will have its premiere later in 2019, and is the producer of The Real Life of Johannes Pääsuke by Hardi Volmer, which premiered on 10 January 2019.

Class Reunion 3: Godfathers / Klassikokkutulek 3: Ristiisad directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska film, started shooting in June 2018. The premiere is set for January 2019.

Several international productions are currently in various stages of production.

The Little Comrade by Moonika SiimetsScandinavian Silence / Skandinaavia vaikus by Martti Helde, which started shooting in 2016, is still in production. The film is an Estonian/French/Belgian coproduction between Three Brothers, ARP Selection and Media International. The domestic premiere is scheduled for March 2019.

Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway is a sci-fi thriller directed by Miguel Llanso set to be completed in 2019. The film is a Spanish/Estonian coproduction between Lanzadera Films and Alasti Kino.

The Estonian/Polish coproduction Rain by Janno Jürgens will be completed in 2019. The film is an Estonian/Polish coproduction between Alasti Kino and Furia Film.

The Finnish/Estonian coproduction Maria’s Paradise / Marian Paratiisi by Zaida Bergroth will also be completed in 2019. The film is produced by Elokuvayhtio Komeetta (Finland), Stellar Film (Estonia) and Kaiho Republic (Finland).

Peeter Rebane started shooting his debut feature Firebird in September 2018. The film is produced by UK’s The Factory and No Reservation Entertainment, and it was supported by the Estonian Film Institute through the cash rebate programme.

The independent road movie Chasing Unicorns directed by Rain Rannu and produced by Tallifornia, will premiere in September 2019.

The Last Ones / Viimased directed by Veiko Õunpuu and produced by Estonia’s Homeless Bob Production and Finland’s Bufo, is currently in postproduction. The project was selected for the Work in Progress section at Les Arcs IFF in December 2018.Truth and Justice by Tanel Toom

The Estonian/Finnish coproduction Goodbye Soviet Union / Nägemiseni NSVL by Lauri Randla is a coming-of-age story set during the collapse of the Soviet Union. The film is produced by Exitfilm (Estonia) and Bufo (Finland) with the premiere set for 2020.

DISTRIBUTION

Nearly 300 films were distributed in Estonia in 2018. The average ticket price was 5.67 EUR, representing a 2.5 percent increase from 2017. A total of 24 Estonian films premiered in 2018 including 14 feature films and 10 documentaries. Additionally, three short-film collections made it to the cinemas.

Four Estonian films made it to the top ten. Class Reunion 2: A Wedding and a Funeral directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska Film, was the most-watched film in 2018 with over 146,500 admissions. Phantom Owl Forest directed by Anu Aun and produced by Kinosaurus Film, which ranked 3rd, premiered in December 2018 and gained more than 110,000 admissions within a month.

The Little Comrade directed by Moonika Siimets and produced by Amrion, ranked 4th with over 116,000 admissions. The Fourth Sister. Under the Clouds directed by Toomas Kirss and produced by Kartulid ja Apelsinid OÜ ranked 10th with over 66,500 admissions.

The Real Life of Johannes Pääsuke by Hardi Volmer, photo: Heikki LeisThe second edition of the Estonian Film & Television Awards was held in March 2018. November directed by Rainer Sarnet and produced by Homless Bob Production, received eight awards, including best film and best director. Sulev Keedus won best screenplay for The Manslayer / The Virgin / The Shadow produced by F-Seitse (Estonia) and Era Film (Lithuania), Tõnu Kark won best actor for Green Cats directed by Andres Puustusmaa and produced by Leo Production, while Martin Männik won best editor for Terje Toomistu’s documentary Soviet Hippies produced by Kultusfilm.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

There were more than 3.6 m admissions altogether, which is an all-time record, resulting in 2.75 admissions per capita. Total box office reached over 20.6 m EUR.

Domestic films racked up over 647,600 admissions, adding up to a record 17.8% of the market share. It is twice as much as in 2017. Estonian films got 16.25 % of the box office. The most successful Estonian film was Class Reunion 2: A Wedding and a Funeral by Rene Vilbre with over 146,500 admissions and over 858, 990 EUR gross.

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The Estonian Film Institute’s budget for grants and film industry was 7,882,135 EUR in 2018. That includes the budget for the Estonia’s cash rebate system FilmEstonia. Estonian Cultural Endowment supported the film industry with 2,032,631 EUR.

In 2018, the Estonian Film Institute provided production and postproduction grants for the following feature films: The Last Ones directed by Veiko Õunpuu and produced by Homeless Bob Production and Finland’s Bufo, Erik Stoneheart directed by Ilmar Raag and produced by Amrion, Class Reunion 3: Godfathers directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska film, Goodbye Soviet Union directed by Lauri Randla and produced by Estonia’s Exitfilm and Finland’s Bufo, Dead Woman directed by Kadri Kõusaar and produced by Meteoriit, Chasing Unicorns directed by Rain Rannu and produced by Tallifornia, Grown-ups directed by Priit Pääsuke and produced by Alexandra Film, On the Water directed by Peeter Simm and produced by Filmivabrik and O-2 directed by Margus Paju and produced by Nafta Films.Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway by Miguel Llansó

Six minority coproductions received funding from the Estonian Film Institute in 2018: Gateway 6 directed by Tanel Toom and coproduced by Allfilm, Maria’s Paradise directed by Zaida Bergroth and coproduced by Stellar Film; Undergods directed by Chino Moya and coproduced by Homeless Bob Productions, On the Way to Heaven directed by Carl Olssen and coproduced by Allfilm, Quicksand directed by Margot Schaap and coproduced by Homeless Bob Productions and Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway directed by Miguel Llanso and coproduced by Alasti Kino.

In 2018, the budget of Estonia’s cash rebate programme FilmEstonia reached over 2 m EUR. It is an increase of more than 50% compared to 2017. FilmEstonia supports feature films, documentaries, high-end TV dramas and animated films, and it offers up to 30% support for international coproductions.

The Film Estonia cash rebate programme supported five projects with the amount of 772,336 EUR in 2018. Maria’s Paradise directed by Zaida Bergroth, which was coproduced with Estonia’s Stellar Film, received 219,995 EUR, the acclaimed Finnish TV series All the Sins directed by Mika Ronkainen worked on postproduction with Taska Film and received 27,750 EUR, the UK-based feature film Firebird directed by Peeter Rebane received 447,375 EUR and the Danish animated films Checkered Ninja and Bibi Blocksberg worked with A Film Estonia and received 77,216 EUR.

In 2018, Enterprise Estonia supported two audio-visual projects with a total of 4,293,420 EUR, to be spent within three years. The VR-centre set in the historic Noblessner quarter received 2,390,300 EUR and the Interactive WOW! Center in Kuressaare, which will also have a 4D Rain by Janno Jürgenscinema, received 1,903,120 EUR.

TV

There are three main TV broadcasters in Estonia. The Estonian Public Broadcasting, which operates ETV, ETV2, and the Russian-language ETV+. The two leading commercial broadcasters are Kanal2 and Viasat-owned TV3.

The 10-part TV drama series The Bank / Pank, produced by Itamambuca, aired in 2018. This 1.5 m EUR production received 781,000 EUR from the Estonian Film Institute. The Bank was sold to MHz Networks to air in North America in October 2018.

CONTACTS:

ESTONIAN FILM INSTITUTE
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 627 60 60
Fax: +372 627 60 61
www.filmi.ee
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CULTURAL ENDOWMENT OF ESTONIA
Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148
Phone: +372 699 9150
www.kulka.ee
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ESTONIAN ANIMATION UNION
Roo 9, Tallinn 10611
Phone: +372 646 4299
Fax: +372 646 4299
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Contact: Rao Heidmets

ESTONIAN DOCUMENTARY GUILD
Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
www.dokfilm.ee
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ESTONIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4068
www.kinoliit.ee
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Contact: Kadri Vaas

ESTONIAN NATIONAL PRODUCERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 5825 8962
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Contact: Aet Laigu

ESTONIAN FILM INDUSTRY CLUSTER
Phone +372 5343 6863
www.filmestonia.eu
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Contact: Karin Reinberg-Šestakov

ESTONIAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS ESCFirebird by Peeter Rebane, credit: The Factory
www.esc.edicypages.com/et

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS OF ESTONIA
Uus 5, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4517
Fax: +372 646 4516
www.enliit.ee
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THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF FILM JOURNALISTS
Narva mnt 11e, Tallinn 10151
Phone: +372 669 8210
Fax: +372 669 8154
www.filmikriitik.ee
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Contact: Andrei Liimets

THE UNION OF ESTONIAN FILM CLUBS
Vikerlase 13-62, Tallinn 13616
Phone: +372 632 4662; +372 55 46042
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Contact: Raivo Olmet

ESTONIAN FILM MUSEUM
Pirita road 56, 10127 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6 968 600; +372 5620 8875
http://www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/en/filmmuseum
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Contact: Maria Mang

ESTONIAN FILM DATABASE
Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6015982
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www.efis.ee/en 

ESTONIAN FILM ARCHIVES
Ristiku 84, Tallinn 10318
Phone: +372 693 8613
www.filmi.arhiiv.ee/index.php?lang=eng
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Report by Aurelia Aasa (2019)
Sources: Estonian Film Institute, Cultural Endowment of Estonia


MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

The Dissidents by Jaak KilmiEstonian cinema had a successful year in 2017 and continued to break records. Total admissions reached an all-time high of 3.51 m, a 6.3 percentage-point increase from 2016. Another record is 2.67 admissions per capita. Total box office reached a record of 19.39 m EUR, with 9.1 percentage points more than in 2016.

Domestic films had 282,421 admissions, adding up to an 8% market share. The Dissidents, directed by Jaak Kilmi and produced by Taska Film, topped the box office with 85,306 admissions and over 480,000 EUR gross.

Enterprise Estonia, the country’s industry development agency, supported two creative industry initiatives with a total of 522,063 EUR to be spent over the next two years.

PRODUCTION

In 2017 major production of feature films for the centennial film programme Estonian Republic 100 took place. Most of the premiere dates are already scheduled.The Little Comrade by Moonika Siimets

The Little Comrade, directed by Moonika Siimets and produced by Amrion, was shot in August 2016-June 2017 and is set to be released on 15 March 2018.

The Riddle of Jaan Niemand, directed by Kaur Kokk and produced by Homeless Bob Production, was shot in March-June 2017 and will premiere on 5 October 2018.

Truth and Justice, directed by Tanel Toom and produced by Allfilm, started filming in April 2017 and will wrap in August 2019, with the domestic premiere scheduled for 2019.

Lotte and the Lost Dragons, the third instalment of Estonia’s most famous animated franchise and the only animated feature in the centennial film programme, directed by Janno Põldma and Heiki Ernits and produced by Eesti Joonisfilm, will wrap production in early 2018. The film will reach the screens in 2019.

Take It or Leave It, directed by Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo and produced by Allfilm, will finish production in January 2018. The release is planned for September 2018.

The Riddle of Jaan Niemand by Kaur KokkThe last Estonian Republic 100 film to enter production is Eia's Christmas at Phantom Owl Farm, directed by Anu Aun and produced by Luxfilm and Kinosaurus Film. Principal photography is due to begin in January 2018 with the premiere set for December 2018.

Other films wrapped production in 2017.

Estonian minority coproduction Scary Mother, directed by Georgian Ana Urushadze and coproduced by Allfilm, has already collected nine awards at international film festivals since its premiere in August 2017.

The Finnish/Estonian/Swedish coproduction The Eternal Road, directed by AJ Annila and coproduced by Taska Film, received the first ever FilmEstonia cash rebate support and premiered in August 2017 in Finland and December 2017 in Estonia. The film was in the Official Selection of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

The Confession aka The Monk by Academy Award nominated director Zaza Urushadze, an Estonian/Georgian coproduction produced by Allfilm, was finished and premiered in 2017.

The Estonian/Russian coproduction Green Cats, directed by Andres Puustusmaa and produced by Leo Production, was finished in 2017 with the premiere set for 12 January 2018.

Scary Mother by Ana UrushadzeThe Swan, directed by Ása Helga Hjörleifsdótir, is a coproduction between Iceland, Germany and Estonia (Kopli Kinokompanii), set to hit Estonian cinemas in January 2018.

Class Reunion 2: Wedding and Funeral, the sequel to the 2016 film still holding the box office record in Estonia, directed by René Vilbre and produced by Taska Film, was also finished in 2017 with the premiere scheduled for 13 February 2018.

Portugal, directed by Lauri Lagle and produced by Allfilm, which won the First Look main award along with postproduction support in Locarno, will be domestically released on 5 April 2018.

The Estonian/French/Belgian coproduction Fire Lily, directed by Maria Avdjuško and produced by Meteoriit, will open in May 2018. The film, starring the Hollywood-based Estonian-born actor Johann Urb, was shot in November-December 2017.

Morten and the Spider Queen, a long animated film directed by Kaspar Jancis and coproduced by Estonia’s Nukufilm, Ireland’s Telegael, Belgium’s GRID VFX and UK’s Calon, finished production at the end of July 2017 and it set to open in 2018. Its English version will be voiced by Ciaran Hinds and Brendan Gleeson among others.

Morten and the Spider Queen by Kaspar JancisMihkel, directed by Ari Alexander Magnusson and coproduced by Iceland’s True North and Estonia’s Amrion, was shot in Estonia for five days in May-June 2017, after an Icelandic shooting in the autumn of 2016. The film is set to premiere on 24 August 2018.

Rain, a debut feature directed by Janno Jürgens and produced by Alasti Kino, was shot over several periods from August 2017 to February 2018, and will premiere in late 2018.

 

Truth and Justice by Tanel ToomThe Last Ones, directed by Veiko Õunpuu and produced by Estonia’s Homeless Bob Production and Finland’s Bufo, was shot in August-November 2017 and will premiere in 2019.

The recipients of the FilmEstonia cash rebate grants in 2017 are: the animated series Bibi Blocksberg, directed by Aina Järvine and produced by A Film Eesti, the TV series Bordertown, directed by Miikko Oikkonen, Jyri Kähönen, Juuso Syrjä and produced by Amrion, and the long animated film Checked Ninja, directed by Anders Matthesen, Thorbjørn Christoffersen and produced by A Film Eesti.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 355 films were distributed in Estonia in 2017. The average ticket price was 5.53 EUR, a 2.3 percentage point increase year on year from 2016. The largest number of titles, 179, originated from Europe. The US came second with 111 films.

Swingers by Andrejs EkisA total of 21 Estonian Films premiered in cinemas through 2017 and two of them made it to the top ten. The Dissidents, directed by Jaak Kilmi and produced by Taska Film, ranked 2nd, while Swingers, directed by Andrejs Ekis and produced by Platforma Film, ranked 7th.

In March 2017, the first ever Estonian Film & Television Awards ceremony was held with The Days That Confused by Triin Ruumet, produced by Kinosaurus Film, bringing home the majority of the film awards, six in total, including Best Film and Best Director. Livia Ulman and Andris Feldmanis won Best Screenplay for Pretenders by Vallo Toomla, produced by Amrion, Jaagup Roomet won Best Production Design for The Polar Boy by Anu Aun, produced by Luxfilm, and Tiina Mälberg won Best Film Actress for Mother by Kadri Kõusaar, produced by Meteoriit.

The Days That Confused by Triin RuumetEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Total admissions reached an all-time high of 3,510,932, a six percent increase from 2016. Another record is 2.67 admissions per capita. Total box office reached a record of 19,399,483 EUR, 9.1 percent more than in 2016.

Rain by Janno JürgensDomestic films had 282,421 admissions, adding up to an 8% market share. The most successful Estonian film was The Dissidents, which made box office No 1 with 85,306 admissions and over 480,000 EUR gross.

The distribution market was dominated by ACME Films with 36% and Estonian Theatrical Distribution with 30% of market share. Forum Cinemas in the third place had 22% of the market share.

 

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

In 2016, the annual state support for film industry was 9,877,146 EUR with 7,025,151 EUR from the Estonian Film Institute, 2,141,995 EUR from the Cultural Endowment, and 710,000 EUR from the Ministry of Culture.

In 2017, the Estonian Film Institute provided production and postproduction grants for the following feature films and minority coproductions: The Dissidents directed by Jaak Kilmi; The Man Who Looks Like Me, directed by Katrin Maimik and Andres Maimik and produced by Kuukulgur Film; The Last Ones directed by Veiko Õunpuu; Mihkel directed by Ari Alexander Magnusson; Man Wanted, directed by Irida Zhonga and produced by Nukufilm; The Man Who Surprised Everyone, a Russian/French/Estonian coproduction coproduced by Homeless Bob Production, directed by Natalya Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov; Rain directed by Janno Jürgens; Sandra Gets a Job, directed by Kaupo Kruusiauk and produced by Kopli Kinokompanii; Class Reunion 2: Wedding and Funeral directed by René Vilbre; Green Cats directed by Andres Puustusmaa, and Fire Lily directed by Maria Avdjuško.

In 2017, the budget of Estonia’s cash rebate system FilmEstonia, targeted at foreign feature and quality TV productions, reached 1 m EUR. Estonia’s cash rebate allows for reimbursement of up to 30% of locally incurred costs. The system imposes a 1 m EUR minimum budget threshold for feature films and 2 m EUR for animated films, as well as minimum requirements for local spend (200,000 EUR for feature films, 100,000 EUR for animated films).The Eternal Road by AJ Annila

Estonia’s cash rebate system supported three projects with the amount of 118,279 EUR in 2017.

In 2017, Enterprise Estonia, the country’s industry development agency, supported two audiovisual infrastructure initiatives with a total of 522,063.90 EUR, to be spent within three years.

Creative industries development centre Creative Gate received 300,000 EUR to create an international platform as a gateway for film and audiovisual industry in collaboration with creative and service sector partners. The central export marketing channel of Creative Gate is the annual Industry@Tallinn, a part of the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival.

Storytek Accelerator (which received 222,063.90 EUR) brings together deep audiovisual sector knowledge, technology and funding with a selection of hand-picked tech entrepreneurs and content creators. Storytek helps creatives, producers and early stage companies to develop business, fast track their content projects, products and services to the global markets and access finances during a challenging 10-week programme held twice a year in Tallinn, Estonia.

The new building of the Estonian Film Museum was opened in October 2017.

On 27-28 November 2017, the Estonian EU Presidency Conference Pictured Futures: Connecting Content, Tech & Policy in Audiovisual Europe was organised by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with Estonian Film Institute, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and the European Commission. The event was co-financed by the European Commission and Enterprise Estonia

The Confession by Zaza UrushadzeTV

There are three main TV broadcasters in Estonia. The Estonian Public Broadcasting operates three channels: the flagship ETV, the culturally oriented ETV2 and the recently launched Russian-language ETV+, that is yet to capture a sizeable audience of Estonia’s Russian-speaking minority. The two leading commercial broadcasters are Kanal2 and Viasat-owned TV3, both of which also beam a host of niche channels.

The 10-part TV drama series The Bank / Pank, which won a production grant from the centennial film and TV programme, started production and is planned to air in the autumn season of 2018. Itamambuca is producing on a more than 1.5 m EUR budget - more than 10 times the regular Estonian TV series.

CONTACTS:

ESTONIAN FILM INSTITUTE
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 627 60 60
Fax: +372 627 60 61
www.filmi.ee
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The Riddle of Jaan Niemand by Kaur KokkCULTURAL ENDOWMENT OF ESTONIA
Suur-Karja 23, Tallinn 10148
Phone: +372 699 9150
www.kulka.ee
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ESTONIAN ANIMATION UNION
Roo 9, Tallinn 10611
Phone: +372 646 4299
Fax: +372 646 4299
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Contact: Rao Heidmets

ESTONIAN DOCUMENTARY GUILD
Vilmsi 53g, 10147 Tallinn
www.dokfilm.ee
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ESTONIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4068
www.kinoliit.ee
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Contact: Kadri Vaas

ESTONIAN NATIONAL PRODUCERS UNION
Uus 3, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 5825 8962
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Contact: Aet Laigu

ESTONIAN FILM INDUSTRY CLUSTER
Phone +372 5343 6863
www.filmestonia.eu
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Contact: Karin Reinberg-Šestakov

ESTONIAN SOCIETY OF CINEMATOGRAPHERS ESC
www.esc.edicypages.com/et

THE ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL ACTORS OF ESTONIA
Uus 5, Tallinn 10111
Phone: +372 646 4517
Fax: +372 646 4516
www.enliit.ee
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THE ESTONIAN ASSOCIATION OF FILM JOURNALISTS
Narva mnt 11e, Tallinn 10151
Phone: +372 669 8210
Fax: +372 669 8154
www.filmikriitik.ee
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Contact: Andrei Liimets

THE UNION OF ESTONIAN FILM CLUBS
Vikerlase 13-62, Tallinn 13616
Phone: +372 632 4662; +372 55 46042
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Contact: Raivo Olmet

ESTONIAN FILM MUSEUMThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Pirita road 56, 10127 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6 968 600; +372 5620 8875
http://www.ajaloomuuseum.ee/en/filmmuseum
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Contact: Maria Mang

ESTONIAN FILM DATABASE
Koidu 17-1, 10137 Tallinn
Phone: +372 6015982
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www.efis.ee/en 

ESTONIAN FILM ARCHIVES
Ristiku 84, Tallinn 10318
Phone: +372 693 8613
www.filmi.arhiiv.ee/index.php?lang=eng
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Report by Leana Jalukse (2018)
Sources: Estonian Film Institute, Cultural Endowment of Estonia, Estonian Ministry of Culture

 

Blizzard of Souls by Dzintars DreibergsMARKET ANALYSIS 2019

RIGA: The Latvian film Blizzard of Souls directed by Dzintars Dreibergs broke box-office records existing since the early 1990s, showing the continuing demand for local films, that was significantly boosted by the Latvian centenary film programme, which peaked in 2018.

Two domestic productions made it to the the Top Ten box-office list. The most popular domestic film was Blizzard of Souls / Dvēseļu putenis, a historical drama directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and produced by Kultfilma, with 226,984 admissions (8.33 % of total 2019 admissions). The independent production Class Reunion / Klases salidojums directed by Andrejs Ēķis and produced by Platforma was number 7 on the list, reaching 80,967 admissions.

The last films of the Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary programme were released in 2019: the feature film 1906 directed by Gatis Šmits and produced by Studio Tanka, and the long animated film Jacob, Mimmi, and the Talking Dogs / Jēkabs, Mimi un runājošie suņi directed by Edmunds Jansons and produced by Atomart.  

PRODUCTION

Class Reunion by Andrejs EkisA total of 17 feature fiction films, 10 animated films and 16 documentaries were in production in 2019, with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia.

Among the feature fiction films in production there were: The Year before the War / Gads pirms kara directed by Dāvis Sīmanis and produced by Latvia’s Locomotive in coproduction with Lithuania’s Studio Uljana Kim and Czech Produkce Radim Prochazka, In the Mirror / Spogulī directed by Laila Pakalniņa and produced by Hargla in coproduction with Lithuania’s Just a Moment, The Pit / Bedre directed by Dace Pūce and produced by Marana Productions, Christmas in the Jungle / Ziemassvētki Džungļos directed by Jaak Kilmi and produced by Locomotive.

Among the documentaries in production there were: The Peasants / Zemnieki directed by Ivars Seleckis and produced by Mistrus Media, and The Fire Circle / Uguns aplis directed by Signe Birkova and produced by VFS Films.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 320 films were distributed in 2019, including 54 domestic films, 117 European non-national productions, 130 films produced in the USA, and 19 films from other territories.

The leading distribution companies in the country are regional Baltic distributors: Forum CinemasLatvian Theatrical DistributionAcme Film, Garsu Pasaulio irasai and BestFilm.

1906 by Gatis ŠmitsRegional distribution in areas without permanent cinemas is handled by Kinopunkts, which screens films in more than 100 places. The project is sustained by the National Film Centre and the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Small cinema initiatives focusing on the distribution of independent and art house films, such as Kino Bize and Kino Spektrs, which emerged in 2014 and 2015, continued their activity in 2019.

The Internet platform Filmas.lv, the biggest Latvian film database, launched in 2015, provides a catalogue of 2,740 films going back to the 1920s. Two hundred films are available free of charge for viewing on any device in Latvia. Special events had been organised to make the films available internationally for a limited period of time, due to copyright restrictions. The project is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia in cooperation with the Culture Information Systems Centre.

Commercial platforms ShortcutLMT straume, Helio and Viaplay offer film streamings, including domestic premieres.

Nova Lituania by the Lithuanian director Karolis Kaupinis and produced by Lithuanian M-films, won the best feature film award at the 6th Riga International Film Festival (17-27 October 2019).

The best national fiction film award announced during the Lielais Kristaps National Film Festival (7-12 November 2019) went to Oleg / Oļegs directed by Juris Kursietis and produced by Tasse Film (Latvia) in coproduction with Iota Productions (Belgium), In Script (Lithuania) and Arizona Production (France).

The annual analogue and experimental film festival Process took place from 20-24 March 2019, and actors’ film festival Baltijas Pērle took place from 21-27 September 2019.

Oleg by Juris KursietisEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Latvia had 34 screening places in 2019, out of which 20 are cinemas (including five multiplexes, one of them with 4 screens) with 81 screens, from which 72 are digital screens (36 3D screens), throughout the country.

A new multiplex cinema Apollo Kino opened in Riga in 2019. It has nine screens with a total of 1,146 seats, and the first IMAX hall in Latvia.

Total admissions were 2,723,422 and total gross was 14,962,678 EUR in 2019, compared to 2,523,600 total admissions and 13,293,972 EUR total gross in 2018.

Out of the total, 548,938 were admissions to domestic films, 356,645 admissions to European non-national productions, 1,765,099 admissions to US-produced films, and 52,740 admissions to films from other countries.

Admissions to domestic films in 2019 (548,938) were only slightly lower than in 2018, when the number was 556,832.

Domestic films continued to have an important market share in the distribution in 2019 - 20.16 % (2,504,132 gross). In 2018 it was – 22.07%, in 2017 only 7.84%.

A total of 54 national films were screened in 2019 and two of them made it to the admissions top ten.

Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs by Edmunds JansonsThe most successful film was Blizzard of Souls directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and produced by Kultfilma, with 226,984 admissions, followed by five animated films such as The Lion King (109,821 admissions), How to Tame Your Dragon 3 (101,182 admissions) and The Secret Life of Pets 2 (95,487 admissions), as well as Joker (86,599 admissions), Avengers: Endgame (72,596 admissions) and Once Upon a Time …in Hollywood (51,675 admissions).

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The National Film Centre is the main film institution in Latvia. It serves as the primary source of funding for local films. The grants contest is held annually, although separate tenders regarding different stages of project development, or specific thematic programmes, are announced throughout the year.

Total state support for the industry in 2019 was 6 397 379 EUR, including 5 462 576 EUR from the National Film Centre and 934 803 EUR from the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Through the production financing grant schemes (annual production grants and a special programme for National identity films) in 2019, the National Film Centre supported the production of new domestic projects, four animated films, seven documentaries and six feature films, with a total amount of 1 610 401 EUR.

Four projects received funding through minority coproduction grants: one documentary and three feature films, for the total amount of 300,000 EUR.

In 2019, the total financing for the production of national films, including minority coproductions, in the amount of 3,64, 276 EUR, was granted to a total of 33 films: 14 feature films, eight animated films and 11 documentaries.

The Year Before the War by Dāvis Sīmanis, photo: Gatis Indrēvics, FACEBOOKIn 2019 a total of 679,903 EUR was distributed for servicing seven projects with production companies from the Netherlands, Hungary, Finland, Russia, Germany, Sweden and South Korea.

In 2019 one Latvian minority coproduction received funding from Eurimages in the amount of 48,000 EUR – the Lithuanian feature film, musical drama Songs for a Fox directed by Kristijonas Vildžiūnas and produced by Lithuania’s Studio Uljana Kim in coproduction with Latvia’s Locomotive.

In 2019 the Riga Film Fund, which offers a cash rebate of up to 20% of all production costs, approved co-financing agreements for a total amount of 484,110 EUR, supporting four minority coproductions.

A new rule was implemented in the financing legislation: in the case of grants for domestic films, at least 80% from the applicable expenses have to be spent in Latvia.

Latvia has a range of diverse filmmaking locations, including medieval architecture, Art Nouveau architecture and 19th century wooden architecture, therefore urban as well as natural locations in Latvia are able to double for many European locations.

Latvia is also home to The Cinevilla Film Studio, located 50 km from the national capital of Riga and providing opportunities for shooting, as well as its own hotel.

The Latvian Film Producers Association with its approximately 30 members represents the most important film production companies in Latvia. The Latvian Filmmakers Union, which was established in 1962, also represents local filmmakers. An important role in the region is played by the Films Service Producers Association, whose members include, among others, the Latvian Film Angels Studio, the Baltic Pines film studio and Ego Media. These studios have vast experience in handling foreign productions shooting in Latvia.

TV

Christmas In The Jungle by Jaak Kilmi, photo: Andrejs StrokinsThe leading broadcaster in Latvia until the second half of 2019 was the commercial channel TV3 along with the LNT channel. LNT was taken over by TV3, that combined previously separately operating news departments and rebranded LNT. TV3 belongs to the company All Media Baltics, which underwent rebranding and is now called TV3 Group.

The public broadcaster LTV is funded by the state and through advertising revenues. The Latvian Television organises an annual documentary film project The Code of Latvia / Latvijas kods focusing on stories about contemporary life in Latvia. The project is implemented in cooperation and with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Culture Capital Foundation. New episodes are presented every year in November as a part of Latvian Independence Day celebrations.

In 2019 LTV produced and broadcast a 12 episode series for the centenary of Latvia - The Red Forest / Sarkanais mežs directed by Normunds Pucis and Armands Zvirbulis, a historical story taking place at the end of the 1940s.  

CONTACTS:

NATIONAL FILM CENTRE OF LATVIA 
Peitavas 10, Riga, Latvia, LV-1050
Phone: +371 7358878
Fax: +371 7358877
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.nkc.lv
Director: Dita Rietuma


RIGA FILM FUND
Phone: +371 6703 7659
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.filmriga.lv

CULTURE CAPITAL FOUNDATION 
Class Reunion by Andrejs EkisPhone: +371 6750 3177
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.kkf.lv

LATVIAN FILM PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION 
President: Aija Berzina
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Mobile: +371 26466014

LATVIAN FILMMAKERS UNION 
Chairman: Ieva Romanova
Elizabetes Str.49, Riga
LV-1010, Latvia
Mobile: +371 29696874
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FILM SERVICE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION OF LATVIA
Kr. Valdemara 33-10, Riga, LV-1010, Latvia
Phone: +371 67331921
Mobile: +371 25666698
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.filmservice.lv


MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Phone: +371 6707 8137
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
www.km.gov.lv

Report by Zane Balčus (2020)
Sources: Film Riga, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Riga Film Fund, the Latvian Television


MARKET ANALYSIS 2018

Homo Novus by Anna VidulejaLatvia’s film programme for the country’s centenary, which was celebrated in 2018, has led to an unheard of box office success and has shown an unprecedented rise in local box office, marking the local share of up to almost 19% of the market compared to 5.7% previously.

Domestic productions took half of the top ten in 2018 and the GBO for local productions grew to 2.5 million EUR (from 764,000 EUR in 2017).

Intensive distribution of domestic films was due to the special programme “Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary”, consisting of 16 feature films, of which 11 had their premiere in 2018.

The most popular film was Homo Novus, a historical comedy directed by Anna Viduleja and produced by Film Angels Productions, with 91,109 admissions. The independent production and debut feature The Foundation of Criminal Exellence / Kriminālās ekselences fonds, directed by Oskars Rupenheits and produced by COMETE Films, OrderOrder and Jura Podnieka Studija, gained the biggest revenue – 460,000 EUR, with 81,899 admissions.The Foundation of Criminal Excellence by Oskars Rupenheits

PRODUCTION

The support for domestic film production fell after the end of the Centennial programme.

Seventeen feature films, 10 animated films and 16 documentaries were in production in 2018.

Oleg by Juris KursietisThe action drama Blizzard of Souls / Dvēseļu putenis directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and produced by KultFilma, one of the most expensive productions of all times, was shot in 2018 and will be released in November 2019.

Juris Kursietis’ drama Oleg / Oļegs produced by Tasse, was also shot in 2018 and is set for release in September 2019.

The last two films of the “Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary” programme will be released in 2019. The long animated film Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs / Jēkabs, Mimmi un runājošie suņi, directed by Edmunds Jansons and produced by Atom Art, will be released by Forumcinemas in February 2019, while Gatis Šmit’s historical drama 1906 produced by studio Tanka will be released by Acme in March 2019.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 310 films were distributed in 2018, including 34 domestic films.

The leading distribution companies in the country are regional Baltic distributors: Forum Cinemas, Latvian Theatrical Distribution, Acme Film and Topfilm Baltic.

Local distribution is handled by Kinopunkts, which screens films in more than 100 places outside traditional cinemas. The project is sustained by the National Film Centre and the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs by Edmunds Jansons

Small cinema initiatives focusing on the distribution of independent and art house films, such as Kino Bize and Kino Spektrs, which emerged in 2014 and 2015, continued their activity.

The Internet platform Filmas, the biggest Latvian film database launched in 2015, provides a catalogue of 2,658 films going back to the 1920s. Approximately 120 films are free of charge but for the time being only on Latvian devices, due to distribution rights. The project is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia in cooperation with the Riga Film Museum and the Culture Information Systems Centre.

Commercial platforms Shortcut, Helio and Viaplay offer film streamings, including domestic premieres.

Core of the World, directed by the Russian director Natalia Meshchaninova and coproduced by Lithuania’s Just A Moment, won the best feature film award at the 4th Riga International Film Festival (7-17 October 2018).

Core of the World by Natalia MeshchaninovaThe national award announced during the Lielais Kristaps National Film Festival went to Bille directed by Ināra Kolmane and produced by Film Studio Deviņi, in coproduction with Czech Masterfilm and Lithuanian Studija 2.

The annual short film festival 2 Annas took place from 26 November to 2 December 2018.

EXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Latvia had 25 cinemas in 2018 (including four multiplexes) with 62 screens (25 3D screens) and 60 digital screens throughout the country.

Domestic films had a significant rise in admissions, adding up to almost 18,85% market share, which is unprecedented, compared to 7,83% in 2017.

A total of 34 films had their premiere in 2018 and five of them made it to the admissions top 10.In the Dusk by Šarūnas Bartas

The most successful films through October 2018 are Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (94,231 admissions), Homo Novus directed by Anna Viduleja and produced by Film Angels Productions (91,109), The Pagan King / Nameja gredzens directed by Aigars Grauba and produced by Platforma Filma (83,140), The Foundation of Criminal Excellence / Kriminālās ekselences fonds directed by Oskars Rupenheits (81,899), Grinch (80,544), Bohemian Rhapsody (72,751), Bille directed by Ināra Kolmane and produced by Film Studio Deviņi in coproduction with Czech Masterfilm and Lithuanian Studija 2 (62,992), Johny English Strikes Again (47,449), Paradise ’89 / Paradīze ’89 directed by Madara Dišlere, produced by Tasse Film and coproduced with Bastei Media (57,386), Fifty Shades Freed (57,340).

Admissions for domestic films reached 560,257 in 2018, compared to 194,083 in 2017.

The Pagan King by Aigars GraubaGRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The National Film Centre is the main film institution in Latvia. It serves as the primary source of funding for local films. The grants contest is held annually, although separate tenders regarding different stages of project development are announced throughout the year.

Total state support for the industry in 2018 was 6,192,637 EUR, including 5,455,699 EUR from the National Film Centre and 736,938 EUR from the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Approximately 3.7 m EUR was granted for the production of 43 films in 2018: 17 feature films, 10 animated films and 16 documentaries.

In 2018 a total of 576,825 EUR was distributed for servicing three projects, while 581,188 EUR was allotted as coproduction grants for 11 projects: six feature films, three documentaries, one long animated film and one short animated film.

In 2018 two Latvian minority coproductions received funding from Eurimages totalling 540,000 EUR – the Lithuanian feature film In the Dusk directed by Sharunas Bartas, and the Hungarian feature film Natural Light directed by Denes Nagy, both of them coproduced by Mistrus Media,

Paradise '89 by Madara DišlereIn 2018 the Riga Film Fund, which offers a cash rebate of up to 20% of all production costs, approved co-financing agreements for a total amount of 1,112,598 EUR, supporting five minority coproductions.

Among the projects that received co-financing agreements were two coproductions handled by Latvia’s Tasse Film, one by Forma Pro Films, one by Film Studio Deviņi and one by Rīgas Filmu Studija. The largest rebate was granted to Tasse Film’s Heirs of the Night, directed by Diederik Van Rooijen and coproduced by Lemming Film. The rebate will be up to 490,000 EUR, representing 20% of the costs in Latvia.

Latvia has a range of diverse filmmaking locations, including medieval architecture, Art Nouveau architecture and 19th century wooden architecture, therefore urban as well as natural locations in Latvia are able to double for many European places. Latvia is home to The Cinevilla Film Studio, that is located 50 km from the national capital of Riga and provides opportunities for shooting, as well as its own hotel.

The Latvian Film Producers Association with its approximately 30 members represents the most important film production companies in Latvia. The Latvian Filmmakers Union, which was established in 1962, also represents local filmmakers. An important role in the region is played by the Films Service Producers Association, whose members include, among others, the Latvian Film Angels Studio, the Baltic Pines film studio and Ego Media. These studios have vast experience in handling foreign productions shooting in Latvia.

TV

Bille by Inara KolmaneThe leading broadcaster in Latvia is the commercial channel TV3 and along with the LNT channel it was purchased in 2017 by the investment company Providence Equity Partners from its previous owner Modern Times Group.

The public broadcaster LTV is funded by the state and through advertising revenues. The Latvian Television organises an annual film project The Code of Latvia / Latvijas kods focusing on stories about contemporary life in Latvia. The project is implemented in cooperation and with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Culture Capital Foundation. New episodes are presented every year in November as a part of Latvian Independence Day celebrations.

In 2018 public TV Latvian Television launched the TV series for teenagers 16+, broadcast only on YouTube, and the TV series Two in One, produced by Ugunsgreks, which previously produced a similar TV show for commercial TV3 (https://skaties.lv/tv3/).

CONTACTS:

NATIONAL FILM CENTRE OF LATVIA
Peitavas 10, Riga, Latvia, LV-1050
Phone: +371 7358878
Fax: +371 7358877
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.nkc.lv
Director: Dita Rietuma


RIGA FILM FUND
Phone: +371 6703 7659
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmriga.lv

CULTURE CAPITAL FOUNDATION
Phone: +371 6750 3177
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.kkf.lv


The Foundation of Criminal Excellence by Oskars RupenheitsLATVIAN FILM PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION
President: Aija Berzina
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: +371 26466014

LATVIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Chairman: Ieva Romanova
Elizabetes Str.49, Riga
LV-1010, Latvia
Mobile: +371 29696874
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


FILM SERVICE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION OF LATVIA
Kr. Valdemara 33-10, Riga, LV-1010, Latvia
Phone: +371 67331921
Mobile: +371 25666698
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmservice.lv


MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Phone: +371 6707 8137
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.km.gov.lv

Report by Zane Peneze (2019)
Sources: Film Riga, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Latvian Television


 MARKET ANALYSIS 2017

Grandpa Is More Dangerous than the Computer by Varis BraslaAhead of Latvia's Centennial, which will be celebrated throughout 2018, the support for local film production steadily increased to 9,109,016 EUR in 2017, with more than 2 m EUR increase compared to 2016. Film production has taken a more robust path due to the Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary special programme, consisting of 16 feature films.

Total state support for the industry in 2017 was 9,109,016 EUR, including approximately 6 m EUR as production support for 42 films.

For the second consecutive year, two domestic films are among top 10 most watched movies in Latvia. There were 16 domestic premieres in 2017, of which the most successful was Varis Brasla's family film and comedy Grandfather Is More Dangerous than the Computer with 76,068 admissions and 281,029 EUR gross. Andrejs Ekis’ comedy Swingers, which was released at the end of 2016, ranked number seven.

PRODUCTION

Domestic films continued to steadily grow, as an unprecedented state support was given to the production of films in the Centennial programme.

A total of 15 feature films were in production in 2017, as well as nine animated films and 18 documentaries.

One of the most expensive productions, the historic drama The Pagan King, directed by Aigars Grauba and produced by Platforma Filma, wrapped at the end of 2017. Another major action drama, Blizzard of Souls / Dvēseļu putenis, directed by Dzintars Dreibergs and produced by KultFilma, was also shot in 2017.

Madara Dišlere's feature film Paradise '89 (produced by Tasse Film) is set at the time when Latvia regained its independence.

Swingers by Andrejs EkisMistrus Media produced three films in 2017: Ivars Seleckis' documentary To Be Continued (about several 7 year old children and their life), Gints Grūbe's documentary Lustrum (about KGB archives) and Dāvis Sīmanis' feature film The Mover (produced by Mistrus Media) about Žanis Lipke, who sheltered Jews during the Nazi occupation.

DISTRIBUTION

A total of 295 films were distributed in 2017.

The leading distribution companies in the country are regional Baltic distributors: Forum Cinemas, Latvian Theatrical Distribution, Acme Film and Topfilm Baltic.

Local distribution is also handled by Kinopunkts, that screens films in more than 100 locations outside traditional cinemas. The project is supported by the National Film Centre and the Culture Capital Foundation of Latvia.

Small cinema initiatives focusing on the distribution of independent and art house films, such as Kino Bize and Kino Spektrs, which emerged in 2014 and 2015, continued their activity in 2017.

The internet platform Filmas, the biggest Latvian film database launched in 2015, provides a catalogue of more than 2,500 films, going back to the 1920s. Approximately 120 films are free of charge, but for the time being only on Latvian devices, due to distribution rights. The project is supported by the National Film Centre of Latvia in cooperation with the Riga Film Museum and the Culture Information Systems Centre.

Two commercial platforms, Shortcut and Viaplay, offer film streamings, including domestic premieres.

The 4th Riga International Film Festival took place from 7 to 17 September 2017. Estonian director Rainer Sarnet’s November, an Estonian/Polish/Dutch coproduction between Estonia’s Homeless Bob Productions, Poland’s Opus Film and the Dutch company PRPL, was awarded Best Feature Film. The national award at the Lielais Kristaps National Film Festival went to Chronicles of Melanie, directed by Viestur Kairish and produced by Mistrus Media. The annual short film festival 2 Annas took place from 28 November to 3 December 2017.

The Pagan King by Aigars GraubaEXHIBITION AND BOX OFFICE

Latvia had 23 cinemas in 2017 (including 4 multiplexes) with 61 screens, of which 25 are 3D screens.

The average ticket price is 5.19 EUR.

In 2017 admissions were 2,476,951 and box office was 12,860,497 EUR.

Domestic films had 194 083 admissions, adding up to a 7.83% market share, which is a slight growth from 7,38% in 2016.

There were 16 domestic premieres in 2017. Among them are Varis Brasla's family film and comedy Grandfather Is More Dangerous than the Computer, produced by Studio F.O.R.M.A., which was the first film from the Latvian Films for Latvian Centenary programmme to be finished. Grandfather Is More Dangerous than the Computer was the most popular domestic movie in 2017 with more than 75,000 admissions and also the most successful domestic family film in the opening week with over 13,000 admissions. The film is domestically distributed by its production company, while Rija Films is handling the sales.

Ieva Ozolina's documentary Solving My Mother (produced by FA Filma), which won the 2017 IDFA First Appearance Special Jury Award, hit the domestic cinemas only at the beginning of 2018, but Janis Nords' relationship drama Foam at the Mouth (produced by Tasse Film) and the Latvian/Norwegian documentary Liberation Day (produced by VFS Films), about the famous band Laibach’s visit to North Korea, were released in 2017.

A total of 267 international films were released in 2017, compared to 276 in 2016.

Foam at the Mouth by Janis NordsThe most successful films in 2017 were: Despicable Me 3 (128,336 admissions), Grandpa Who Is More Dangerous Than the Computer (76,068 admissions), Boss Baby (76,017 admissions), The Fate of the Furious (72,813 admissions), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (69,774 admissions), Fifty Shades Darker (63,631 admissions), Swingers (58,560 admissions), Emoji Movie (52,576 admissions), Smurfs: The Lost Village (51,038), Cars 3 (46,494 admissions).

GRANTS AND NEW LEGISLATION

The National Film Centre is the main film institution in Latvia. It serves as the primary source of funding for local films. The grants contest is held annually, although separate tenders regarding different stages of project development are announced throughout the year.

Total state support for the industry in 2017 was 9,109,016 EUR, including approximately 6 m EUR as production support for 42 films.

Additionally, 748,000 EUR were given to seven international coproductions, of which five are coproduced by Tasse Film. All the seven titles are Latvian minority coproductions.

Five Latvian productions received funding from Eurimages, totalling 557,000 EUR.

In 2017 the Riga Film Fund, which offers a cash rebate of up to 20% of all production costs, approved four co-financing agreements for a total amount of 686,509 EUR for six minority coproductions.

Among the projects that received co-financing agreements in 2017 were three coproductions handled by Tasse Film and two by Forma Pro Films. The largest rebate was granted to Film Angels Production for Age of Iron, directed by Philippe Berenger, that is a coproduction with France's Slot Machine. The rebate is 135,718 EUR, representing 20% of the costs of shooting in Latvia.

Paradise 89 by Madara DišlereLatvia has a range of diverse filmmaking locations, including medieval, Art Nouveau and 19th century wooden architecture, therefore urban as well as natural locations in Latvia are able to double for many European places. Latvia is home to the Cinevilla Film Studio, located 50 km from the national capital Riga and providing opportunities for shooting, as well as its own hotel.

The Latvian Film Producers Association with its approximately 30 members represents the most important film professionals association in Latvia. The Latvian Filmmakers Union, which was established in 1962, also represents local filmmakers. An important role in the region is played by the Films Service Producers Association, whose members include, among others, the Latvian Film Angels Studio, Baltic Pines film studio and Ego Media. These entities have a vast experience in handling foreign productions shooting in Latvia.

TV

The leading broadcaster in Latvia is the commercial channel TV3. Along with the LNT channel, it was purchased in 2017 by the investment company Providence Equity Partners from its previous owner Modern Times Group.

The public broadcaster LTV is funded by the state and also through advertising revenues. The Latvian Television organises an annual film project The Code of Latvia / Latvijas kods, focusing on stories about contemporary life in Latvia. The project is implemented in cooperation and with the support of the National Film Centre of Latvia and the Culture Capital Foundation. New episodes are presented every year in November as a part of Latvian Independence Day celebrations.

LTV, which is also a TV film producer, produced mostly documentaries in 2017. Red Book, a new historic drama TV series, was in production in 2017 and is set to be aired in 2018 as part of Latvia's Centennial celebration. The series is coproduced with Red Dot Media.

CONTACTS:

NATIONAL FILM CENTRE OF LATVIA
Peitavas 10, Riga, Latvia, LV-1050
Phone: +371 7358878
Fax: +371 7358877
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www.nkc.lv
Director: Dita Rietuma


RIGA FILM FUND
Phone: +371 6703 7659
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.filmriga.lv

Chronicles of Melanie by Viesturs KairišsCULTURE CAPITAL FOUNDATION
Phone: +371 6750 3177
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www.kkf.lv


LATVIAN FILM PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION
President: Aija Berzina
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Mobile: +371 26466014

LATVIAN FILMMAKERS UNION
Chairman: Ieva Romanova
Elizabetes Str.49, Riga
LV-1010, Latvia
Mobile: +371 29696874
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FILM SERVICE PRODUCERS ASSOCIATION OF LATVIA
Kr. Valdemara 33-10, Riga, LV-1010, Latvia
Phone: +371 67331921
Mobile: +371 25666698
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www.filmservice.lv


MINISTRY OF CULTURE
Phone: +371 6707 8137
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www.km.gov.lv

Report by Zane Peneze (2018)
Sources: Film Riga, the National Film Centre of Latvia, the Latvian Television