20-02-2014

Slovenia Awaits New Cinema Law

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LJUBLJANA: The Ministry of Culture of Republic of Slovenia has drafted a proposal of a law which will restructure the national film institution and its funding, as well as introduce film incentives.

The law on the Slovenian Audiovisual Centre (SLAVC), which will bring several major changes to the field of film and television and their related activities, has been offered to public debate lasting until 21 March 2014.

One of the main effects of the new law will be restructuration of Slovenian Film Centre, a public agency established in 2011, which is to be replaced by the Slovenian Audiovisual Centre (SLAVC). The new public agency will also contain FS Viba, a film studio situated in Ljubljana as a state institution which operates as the national technical film foundation.

Another crucial aspect of the new law is the funding scheme introducing non-budget funds in the form of contributions to be paid by all participants in the cinematographic chain as a percentage of annual gross income from services provided. These participants will be represented on the council of SLAVC and will be able to participate in shaping a comprehensive film policy. They include the national broadcaster and commercial TV stations (contributing 2% of annual income – in the case of the national broadcaster realized through its own productions and co-productions with independent producers), distributors (0.5% of annual income), exhibitors (1% of annual box office), telecommunication operators (0.8% of annual income) and other legal entities who market advertising space in programmes broadcasted on the territory of the republic of Slovenia (2% of annual income). Combined with the funds provided through state budget, Slovenian cinema should receive 8 to 10m EUR annually, which is twice as much as it receives now.

The law also introduces the long awaited financial incentives for foreign productions in the form of financial returns of expenses incurred in production of films on the territory of Republic of Slovenia. To be eligible for financial return the project has to be qualified as a cultural product according to standards prescribed by the Ministry of Culture of Slovenia. The return can not surpass 20% of productions expenses incurred on the territory of Republic of Slovenia, with the total expenses not falling below 200,000 EUR or exceeding 2m EUR. Financial incentives are available to feature, animated and documentary film productions, television films and television series productions that are partially or exclusively produced on the territory of the Republic of Slovenia.

There will also be some changes introduced concerning the financing scheme. SLAVC will co-finance Slovenian film productions by up to 50% of the project value, while low-budget projects, children and youth films and so called demanding films can be co-financed by up to 80% of the total project value. The law will also introduce automatic co-financing for producers whose previous film has been commercially successful and has surpassed 70,000 admissions. Funds awarded to these projects shall not surpass 30% of annual funds awarded to film production in a given year.