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New cuts in film funding

Martin Aadamsoo 2009-02-15
Estonia's government on Thursday, February 12, moved to cut over €500 million from the 2009 state budget which is expected to decrease annual subsidies for the Estonian Film Foundation, the national film agency, by €130,000.

The Foundation's budget for 2009 had already been shrunk by 6.4% year on year from 2008 to €3.9 million.

The bill is scheduled for approval by the parliament next week, and further cuts may be on the way in other public film funding schemes, including the audiovisual foundation of the Estonian Cultural Endowment and the Ministry of Culture cinema support schemes.

The total funding for film in 2009 was budgeted slightly above €6.1 million late last year but may now slip below the €6 million line, to 2007 levels, as the tax-dependent Cultural Endowment will likely shrink as well.

The budget cuts are only partially offset for producers by the rapidly falling inflation which has dropped from above 10% in 2008 to near-zero and may even flip to deflation, according to some forecasts.

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