The Slovak film industry saw the full benefits of its new funding system which was launched in 2009, during the past year, with a marked increase in domestic films and coproductions hitting the local and international markets. Two Slovak productions were in the TOP 10 at the Slovak box office over the past year.
Slovakia had an especially active year for both domestic and international film production. MichaelCaton-Jones's eight-part historical TV seriesWorld Without Endwas shot in Slovakia in autumn 2011, produced by Germany's Tandem Communications (www.tandemcom.de) and Canada's Take 5 Productions (www.take5productions.ca) in association with Canada'sGalafilm(www.galafilm.com), the UK's Scott Free (www.rsafilms.com) and Hungary's Mid Atlantic Films (www.world-without-end.tv/mid-atlantic-films). Martin Sulik's award-winning feature film comebackGypsy(www.infilm.cz) went into international release (opening in Poland in June 2012) after a successful ride on the festival circuit.
Slovak feature films in production in 2011/2012 include the following:
-JurajKrasnohorskywrapped thepostproductionof his first featureTigers in the Cityshot in 2010 and produced by him through his company Artichoke (www.artichoke.sk).
-MarekŤapakcompletedDancing on Broken Glass, shot over the course of four years and produced by M.O.M.entproduction (www.momentproduction.sk), in co-production with Slovak TV (www.rtvs.sk).
-StanislavPárnický'sOld Souls's Day, part of the cycleCineStories/Filmoviedkyproduced by the Slovak Television (www.stv.sk), will premiere in autumn 2012.
- PaulJanik's first featureTak Fajn, a comedy produced byBranoJancichand PeterPuskarthrough Slovakia Film and PaulJanikthroughfrogMEDIASincoproductionwith PeterNevedalthroughFilmPark(www.filmpark.sk) andBranoChlpikthroughFilmFrame(www.filmframe.sk), had a mid-July release on 160 screens in Slovakia.
- GabrielHoštajand Roman Lazar shot their debut featureConspiracyin summer 2011, a mystery film with horror elements produced by Lazar's Last Frame Production (www.spiknutie.sk).
- Erik Bosnak's debut feature,Immortalitas(www.immortalitasmovie.com), which is also the first Slovak 3D sci-fifilm, finished post-production in autumn 2011. The director produced it through his company, E.B. Production.
- In summer 2012 Matyas Prikler completedFine, Thanks, a film investigating the way the financial crisis affects the intimate lives of people.Priklerproduced through his companyPhilms(www.mphilms.sk).
- Produced by D.N.A. Production (www.dnaproduction.sk), Róbert Šveda'sAngelsfinished shooting in June 2011.
Documentaries continued to build upon their strong position. Documentary production over the past 12 months included the following:
- JanaBuckaandMarekSuliklong documentaryBells of Happiness, shot in September-October 2011 will hit the Slovak cinemas in autumn 2012. The film is produced by OZŽudro(www.zudro.sk), in co-production withPunkchartfilms and Radio and Television Slovakia/RozhlasateleviziaSlovenska(www.rtvs.sk).
-Fair Play, a portrait of the Slovak artist JuliusKollermade by ArnoldKojnok, is produced bysentimentalfilm(www.sentimentalfilm.com).
- Miro Remo's long documentaryComebackstarted shooting in 2009, but the post-production has not been completed. The film is produced by AH Productions incoproductionwith VSMU, the Film Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava (www.vsmu.sk).
- MartinSulikshot his 52 min documentaryA Pilgrim through Slovak Times (Pútnikslovenskýmčasom)in March-May 2012. Trigon Production (www.trigon-production.sk) which is producing in co-production with Radio and Television Slovakia (www.rtvs.sk) plans to air it on TV in autumn 2012.
- IvaKúšikováfinished the principal shooting ofI Mean It, Lord, a TV documentary on the deportation of nuns into labour camps in the 1950's, and began editing it in May 2012. Again, AH production is producing in co-production withKonferenciavyššsichpredstavených- KVPŽR (www.kvpzr.sk). This documentary set to be finished in November 2012.
Slovak-Czechcoproductionsagain lead the way in the co-production field. They include:
- Juraj Nvota's 1960's tragicomedyConfidant(completed in July 201)1 produced by Slovakia's Attack Film (www.attackfilm.sk), the Slovak Television (www.stv.sk), Czech Republic'sMaxiFilm&TV (www.mediatrust.cz), and Poland's Apple Film Production (www.applefilm.pl).
- After the international success ofFoxes(2009), Slovak director MiraFornaybegan shootingMy Dog Killerin February. The film, a story of brotherhood and friendship, is produced byJurajBuzalkaand the Slovak companyMirafox(www.mirafox.sk) together withViktorSchwarczandCineartTV Prague (site under construction).
- Jaro Vojtek started shooting a long documentary,Children, in May 2012. The film is produced byMPhilmss.r.o (www.mphilms.sk) together with the Czech companyDuracfilm(www.duracfilm.cz).
Founded in 2009 and fully operational since 2010, The Slovak Audiovisual Fund (www.avf.sk) is using public finance and also contributions as follows:
- public service TV (5% of the total advertising revenues)- private TV channels (2% of the total advertising revenues)- cinema operators (0,03 € from each admission fee)- distributors of audiovisual works (1% of distribution revenues)- retransmission providers (1% of revenues).
A minimum of obligatory co-financing is appointed by percentage of the project's total budget:
- 10% for production of audiovisual works- 30% for minority co-productions- 20% for festivals and other events- 50% for cinema digitization- 5% for all other projects
The budget of the Fund was €6.9 million in 2010, €5.8 million in 2011, and €6 million in 2012. There is a four programme platform for the distribution of the finance each year. In 2012, 80.5% went for development, creation and production of audiovisual works; 12% went to distribution, promotion, international presentation, festivals; 2.5% went for education, training, research, publishing; and 5% went for the digitization of cinemas.
In 2011 there were 518 applications requesting €32,244, 391, with €5,841,440 granted for 254 projects including 42 fiction films (€3,125,840), 63 documentaries (€903,190), and 12 animated films (€232,180). The largest grant, €370,000, went toArtileria(www.artileria.sk) for production ofMiraclebyJurajLehotský.
Three Slovak-Czech productions were in the top 10 in 2011. In the third slot was the Czech-Slovak comedyIdentity Card (Občiansky preukaz)by Ondřej Trojan, produced by Total HelpArt (www.tha.cz) and PubRes (www.pubres.sk) with 145,532 admissions. The Slovak-CzechLoveby Jakob Kroner was on the 6th position with 104,489 admissions. A co-production between Slovakia's Inout Studio and the Czech company Evolution Films (www.evolutionfilms.cz),Love(a Slovak slang for ‘money') premiered on 10 October 2011, distributed by Continental Film,www.continental-film.sk).
The 2011 average admission price was €4.81, but attendance fell to 3,230,533 compared to 3,913,326 in 2010, and box office fell from €18,032,111 in 2010 to €15,534,897 in 2011. Eleven of the 198 films released in cinemas in 2011 were Slovak films and three were minority co-productions. The number of digital screens almost doubled in 2011, from 35 digital screens in 2010 to 66 in 2011.
The transition from analogue television broadcasting to digital technology was launched in March 2011. Markíza (www.markiza.sk), operated by Central European Media Enterprises (www.cetv-net.com), maintained its position as the market leader, but TV JOJ (www.joj.sk) was far ahead in producing local content. In August 2011, the Slovak public broadcaster RTVS (www.rtvs.sk) reported a surplus of 5.4 billion Euro for the first half of 2011. RTVS had heavy losses in 2010. In June 2011, it stopped broadcasting its sports channel, STV3, and jobs have been also cut. The Slovak government voted afterwards to abolish the TV license fees and support RTVS from the state budget.
In November the Slovak-based Film Europe Media Company (www.filmeurope.eu) announced the launch of an all-European movie channel, Film Europe Channel (www.filmeuropechannel.eu) in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Matej Minac'sNicky's Family, the most watched documentary released in Czech and Slovak cinemas in 2011, was sold to numerous foreign channels (Germany's ARD, Belgium's RTBR, Hungary's Duna TV). It had 6.6 million viewers for its broadcast on German channel ARD, under the titleSir Nicky - Hero against His Willin January 2012.
Data from TNS Slovakia shows the TV advertising market increased 18% in 2011, to 550 million Euro. Private Slovak TV station JOJ TV (www.joj.sk) took the lead in advertising, followed by Markiza TV (www.markiza.sk).
Report produced by Film New Europe for Step In Locarno 2012