Estonian Funding Stays Stable for 2011

By Martin Aadamsoo

    Estonia's public financing for film looks set to remain unchanged from the painfully reduced level of 2010. Altogether, the three major public sources for film financing - the Estonian Film Foundation (www.efsa.ee), Estonian Cultural Endowment (www.kulka.ee) and the Ministry of Culture (www.kul.ee) - have budgeted a total of 5 M EUR.

    This sum inculdes development, production and distribution support, as well as contributions to festivals, restoration of archival material and a variety of related activities. The single largest reduction year-on-year is in the budget of the Ministry of Culture, which supported the European Film Academy awards ceremony in Tallinn in December, 2010 with nearly half a million EUR, which does not figure into the 2011 budget.

    Although overall funding for film production in 2011 remains comparable to 2010, the number of cinematic releases is expected to go up dramatically, from 2 premiers in 2010 to a minimum of 6 or 7 in 2011. This is due to a number of films funded earlier that are set to be completed in 2011.

    Estonian TV stations have been reluctant to finance domestic productions and there seems little reason for change in 2011, given the ongoing slump in the country's economy.

    The governing coalition that passed the state budget for 2011 on 8 December 2010, has pledged not to curb the budget in the course of the year. However, even if the current governement continues after the March, 2011 elections which appears as a distinct possibility, it is unlikely to increase the adopted budget, with a deficit already of up to 3%.

    Table: Projected total public expenditure for film

    2010, in EUR

    2011, in EUR

    Estonian Film Foundation

    3 483 180

    3 445 740

    Estonian Ministry of Culture

    842 547

    395 166

    Estonian Cultural Endowment*

    1 239 555

    1 239 555


    5 565 282

    5 080 461

    *Projected tax revenues