Jelka Stergel, the director of the Slovenian Film Fund (SFF) (http://www.film-sklad.si/), was dismissed on Thursday, April 2, and replaced by board member Denis Miklavcic.
Stergel had previously submitted and withdrawn her resignation in a dispute over the projected budget of the Slovenian Film Fund. Her appointment in 2009 had been welcomed by the film community, following charges of political appointments and stagnation in funding for new films.
Following elections in October of last year the previous Minister of Culture that appointed Stergel and the old Supervisory Board of the SFF were dismissed and a new minister Majda Sirca appointed and new supervisory board installed in February 2009.
Stergel said: "I decided to withdraw my resignation and wait for the Supervisory Board to dismiss me because I realized that this would be playing into their hands. This is a purely politically motivated change and I wanted to speak out because I do not believe that is good for a democracy when the heads of public foundations that should be independent of politics are changed every time the government changes. I was the seventh director of Slovenian Film Fund that was established only in 1995".
The press office of the Slovenian Ministry of Culture (http://www.mk.gov.si/) referred FNE requests for comment to the Marjetica Mahne head of the SFF Supervisory Board who did not answer calls to her mobile phone at the time of going to press.
The SFF administers a budget of just under 5 million Euros of which 3.6 million Euros are budgeted to be spent on support of film production.