KARLOVY VARY: Two days of presentations and pitches for upcoming CEE films concluded on 2 July 2013 with a 10,000 EUR in-kind services award from Barrandov film studio going to the Georgian project Blind Dates directed by Levan Koguashvili and presented by producer Olena Yershova of Kinoiberika.

KARLOVY VARY: Berlinale film programmer Nikolaj Nikitin announced a new training programme for young industry professionals from CEE along with Germany, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, SOFA (School of Film Agents) which will hold its first workshop 19-30 August 2013 in Wroclaw.

KARLOVY VARY: Passage of the new Czech Film Act as well as the introduction Czech film incentives are facing off against declining audiences for domestic films and mixed signals on the film financing front, leaving Czech producers in a state of uncertainty.

KARLOVY VARY: Silvia Costa, Member of the Culture and Education Committee of the European Parliament Member and Rapporteur for Creative Europe told a packed room of industry professionals that she will spend the next two weeks fighting against proposed draconian cuts to the cultural budget. “Culture and creativity are really very endangered,” she said.

PRAGUE: Jiri Balvin has been selected as the new Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic.

TRENCIN: Film Funds from Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have been invited to participate in a first gathering of the four Visegrad funders.

TRENCIN: Slovakia’s oldest and largest festival, Art Film Fest, set itself on course for future expansion by moving from the rural spa village of Trencianske Teplice with its limited cinema halls to the university city of Trencin for its 21stedition, which concluded on 26 June 2013.

TRENCIN: Miner’s Bread (Banicky Chlebicek), the full-length documentary debut by Roman Fabian, had a double premiere at the 21st edition of Art Film Fest, with both a limited online launch and its cinema premiere.

TRENCIN: Just three and a half years since it first began giving out grants for film production, Slovakia’s Audiovisual Fund has reshaped the future of the Slovak film industry.

PRAGUE: The Batumi International Art-house Film Festival (BIAFF) will host two film workshops during the festival, which runs 15-22 September 2013.