Krakow is hosting the first international congress devoted to Regional Film Funds in Poland today and tomorrow (Jan. 24-25). The National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers (KIPA) and the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) organized the event to introduce this innovative source of movie financing to Polish local government officials and film professionals.
The congress seeks to prepare these officials to independently create these institutions and thereby significantly increase the Polish cinema offer.
Regional Film Funds are institutions created by units of local governments that want to co-finance cinema or cinema-related projects. Members of KIPA find that the success of this type of funding lies in connecting the publicity and public relation needs of every region with movie producers and filmmakers. Local governments are willing to fund not only documentaries but features and other cinematographic forms, as long as they are meaningful for the district.
In a statement about the Congress, members of KIPA underline that Regional Film Funds Institutions have been established in over 100 sites in the European Union and they are one of the most important means for creating new pictures. To gain insight from foreign colleagues, the Congress invited Regional Film Fund leaders such as Anders Geertsen from the Dutch Film Institute, Jonathan Davis from UK Film Council, Emillia De Paola from Cine Regio, Manfred Schmidt from Mitteldeutsche Medienforderung and 12 other international professionals to share their experiences.
The organizers estimate that more than 10 Polish regions will establish their own Regional Film Funds by the end of 2008.