FNE AT ZLIN IFF: Czech State Cinematography Fund Aims to Increase Youth Film Audiences


    ZLIN: Building teen attendance in cinemas is one of the goals of the New Cinema 2018-2019 project, designed to educate cinema operators on improving youth film audience numbers, presented at a special seminar during 58th Zlin IFF, running through 3 June 2018.

    New cinema 2018-2019 is a two-year educational project taking place each year in ten selected cinemas in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The special seminars include a presentation of the cinema exhibitors and their work regardubg films for children along with a detailed analysis of the Czech film market and possibilities of improvement in youth film distribution.

    "We work especially with cinema exhibitors, who need to get this information. They are our target group of professionals. But we offer this project to cinema distributors as well. There is not much connection between distributors and exhibitors in the Czech Republic, there are no special seminars or meetings of these two groups, so we've prepared a presentation and an analysis of the market and how we can work with films for the younger audiences," Petr Vitek of the Czech State Cinematography Fund told FNE.

    The seminars are available at selected film festivals. The presentation at Zlin followed a meeting at the Anifilm IFF in Trebon and it will be part of the Jihlava IDFF programme.

    "After meeting with film exhibitors we know that they don’t attend the festivals. You can find a lot of inspiration at festivals, but nobody from this branch of the cinema industry usually attends. This is the reason why we decided to invite them and place the project here at the festival, as well as in Trebon and Jihlava."

    The year 2017 was very good for Czech cinemas, with total admissions of 15,233,432 and total box office at 78,814,200 EUR / 2,004,245,131 CZK, staying steady with the 15,621,923 admissions and 79,081,565 EUR / 2,011,044,198 CZK box office in 2016. The top box office film was Despicable Me 3 and the box offce top 10 included six titles for the younger audience, none of them were locally produced.

    "The cinemas can screen these films, but the problem is there are no such films in distribution, especially films for 12-15 year-olds," Vitek told FNE. "It is especially visible here, at the festival, where we have a lot of films for these young people but they have no distribution companies attached to them, because it is very expensive, especially when the distributors need to add dubbing. We need to put pressure on distributors and negotiate with them, because there is so much to choose from, for example the 16 films presented in the competition here. We want this this programme to inspire distributors and exhibitors to put more films like these in Czech cinemas," he adds.