JIHLAVA: The new Vysocina Film Office, the latest addition to a growing list of film commissions and film funds in the Czech Republic, used the platform of the Jihlava IDFF to introduce itself to filmmakers attending the festival, which runs through 30 October 2018.
Speaking with FNE, representatives of the Vysocina Film Office said that their longer-term goal is to launch a regional film fund, following in the footsteps of regional film offices in Brno, Zlin, Olomouc and Prague. Taken together, the regional film funds springing up in the Czech Republic are boosting cash resources by over 35 m CZK (1.4 m EUR).
The newest of those film funds, the South-Moravian Film Fund, which is operated through the Brno Film Office, has just launched a call for script development, with applications due by 16 November. The fund, which has an annual budget of 10 m CZK (just under 400,000 EUR) is providing a boost for both national and local production companies, such as the three-year-old Brno-based Gnomen Production. Gnomon director/producer Jan Hubacek, attending the Jihlava IDFF, told FNE that the company received 500,000 CZK for a documentary and a short film. The company is able to line up additional funding locally, through the Brno branch of the national broadcaster Czech TV, as well as through the Czech crowdfunding platform Hithit, which garnered 200,000 CZK for the producers. (Czechs can lay claim to the very first example of crowdfunding, dating back to 1881 when a call went out to the nation to raise money to rebuild its National Theatre when it was partially destroyed by a fire just months after it opened.)
The Jeseniky Film Office, located in the central Moravian city of Olomouc, had its first call for grants in February. The Olomouc Support for Audiovisual Production has a much smaller budget of 600,000 CZK (just under 25,000 EUR).
The nearby Zlin Region Funding Programme for Support and the Film Fund of the City of Zlin have budgets of 10 m CZK and 1 m CZK respectively. Zlin is also home to the Zlin Film Festival for Children and Youth, a film school and a film studio with a long tradition of animation. The Zlin fund is open to fiction, animation and documentary films, as well as fiction TV series.
The Prague Film Fund, which also had its first call in January 2018, has the largest budget, with 15 m CZK (just under 600,000 EUR). It is open to fiction, animation and documentary films and series that have international distribution.
In addition to the film funds, the Czech Republic has 11 regional film offices that operate in coordination with the Czech Film Commission.