PLZEN: Shrinking budgets and time slots are reducing foreign programming and documentaries on Slovenia’s public broadcaster RTVS.
Speaking with FNE at the 31st Finale Plzen festival, running through 24 April 2018, RTVS film buyer and commissioning editor Igor Palcic said, “Public TV all around Europe is in crisis,” and Slovenia is no different. Palcic said that a demand for more commercial national product has had the effect of decreasing the budget for acquisitions by as much as 30 percent over the last four years, with a similar reduction in programming slots for foreign and documentary films. He observed that the problems echo the situation at public TV stations in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.
“We are having a harder time in convincing domestic distributors to sell us product, since we can’t buy big packages anymore,” Palcic noted, speaking about RTVS. In addition, RTVS has less money to pre-buy rights than it had in the past, making coproductions more difficult.
Despite these limitations, Palcic is high on acquiring films from CEE territories. “I like to work with Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia,” he said, noting that he hopes to find something to buy at Plzen. RTVS has already acquired a few of the films screening here, and the station will broadcast a pair of Polish films in the near future. Palcic said he’s also planning to buy rights to the Czech TV production My Uncle Archimedes, a comedy directed by Georgis Agathonikiadis and coproduced with ARTE TV, that begins in 1949 when Greeks were immigrating to CEE countries. “It’s a comedy in the Czech traditional style, which has appeal throughout Central Europe,” he said.