06-11-2012

Czechs Unite Film Institutions

By
Czechs Unite Film Institutions Michal Bregant, the director of the Czech National Film Archives

PRAGUE: The Czech National Film Archives will become the parent organization of the Czech Film Center (www.filmcenter.cz), the Czech MEDIA Desk (www.mediadesk.cz), and the Czech Film Commission (www.filmcommission.cz) as of 1 January 2013, assuring annual government funding for the individual institutions.

Michal Bregant, the director of the Czech National Film Archives (NFA, www.nfa.cz) told FNE that under the new structure, the NFA would receive funding for the activities of the three promotional organizations in addition to its own funding. “Previously, they each had to apply to the Ministry of Culture for funding each year, and explain to each new minister of culture what they did and why it was important to get money. Under the NFA, funding will be guaranteed each year,” Bregant told FNE.

The reorganization comes as the Czech Film Center and the Czech MEDIA Desk mark their 10th anniversary. The institutions will continue to operations as usual with no staff changes, although the Czech Film Center has added a Development and Training division under the direction of Jana Cernik.

The NFA has a staff of 120 employees and operates on a budget of 50 m CZK annually. That will be increased to 56 m CZK under the new structure.

“The Ministry of Culture gives about 70% of the budget, and we have to work hard to secure the remainder,” Bregant said. In addition, he added, the budgets for film activities were decreased by 10% three years ago and the number of employees was capped at the current level.   The NFA’s own funding sources include royalties on Czech films produced through 1964, and sales of posters, photos, and archival footage. The NFA also operates the Bio Ponrepo Cinema (www.bio-ponrepo.cz), which screens Czech classic films and foreign art house films.

Bregant, who took on the post of NFA director in January 2012 after years as the head of Prague’s FAMU film school (www.famu.cz), told FNE that his next goal will be the renovation and repurposing of a former 1930’s train station in the Zizkov district of Prague which would house all of the various film related institutions, as well as a new multimedia museum with an educational component.