COTTBUS: Poland and Romania are working on tax incentives, and Serbia will double the cap on incentives in 2017, representatives of film funds told the audience at the connecting cottbus panel on funding news, held on 10 November 2016.
Among the specific changes in the works, Robert Balinski of the Polish Film Institute said that Poland will open its minority coproduction grant funds to animated and documentary films in 2017. Tomasz Dabrowski of Film Commission Poland told FNE that two more regional film funds will be introduced in Poland. Balinski added that the Polish/German Coproduction Fund, which is subsidised in part by PISF, gained new life by extending it from a development fund to including production funding.
Romania, which has trailed its CEE neighbors in film funding initiatives, hopes to have a minority coproduction scheme and a micro-budget scheme passed soon, Alex Traila said. Romania is modelling the scheme on the Czech Republic’s scheme, and will work on a five-year cycle with 30 m EUR available per year and incentives of 25% with an extra 5% possible.
The Estonian Film Institute also offers up to 30% in rebates, Edith Sepp said. The amount of funds available was doubled after Cannes, when it became apparent that producers in neighboring Finland were lining up to bring productions to Estonia.
Serbia, which introduced tax incentives this year, will double the amount available, to 8 m EUR, Boban Jevtic of Film Center Serbia said. Because Serbia is not limited by EU regulations, the scheme is open to postproduction and commercials, he added. Serbia is currently involved in two minority coproductions annually, spending 600,000 – 700,000 EUR. It has a total of 6 m EUR for grants, which supports 75 projects, including 10 feature films. Serbia produces an average of 20 films per year. Jevtic told FNE that Serbia is preparing an audiovisual law based on the Croatian model, which will allow the Film Center to work with TV production.
Marketa Santrochova of the Czech Film Center said that the initial problem with the Czech cash rebate programme has been resolved by increasing the cap to 30 m EUR per year and by working on a three-year cycle. The Czech minority coproduction fund makes 1.5 m EUR available through two calls each year. Santrochova said the Czechs are considering their own Czech-German coproduction fund.
Audience development, working with producers and VOD distribution were the topics of other coco panels, in addition to a new panel on reaching audiences through strategic use of media, hosted by FNE Warsaw correspondent Katarzyna Grynienko. The panel included case studies of Oscar campaigns by two successful coco past participants, Ankica Juric Tilic of Croatia’s Kinorama and Judit Stalter of Hungary’s Lakoon Films. At the Focus coco, other past coco participants noted that pitching at forums such as coco help a production to gain recognition and buzz internationally.