New fund, new support, new films for Slovakia

By Jana Kadlecova

    The Slovak Film Institute unveiled 48 new Slovak films and co-productions at a presentation of upcoming feature, documentary and animated films held during the 10th Bratislava International Film Festival (www.iffbratislava.sk).

    "I am happy that there are still people who are willing to invest their time, money and energy into filming in spite of the financial and other difficulties," Miro Ulman, the coordinator of the project from the Slovak Film Institute (www.sfu.sk), told FNE. "And I am glad that some of the presenting producers and directors were immediately approached by representatives from distribution companies and festivals."

    The films are planned to premiere during 2009-2010. These years will also see a change in the support for the Slovak cinematography and audiovisual culture due to a new audiovisual fund which will be established January 1, 2009, when the act on audiovisual fund goes into effect. 2009 will be dedicated to establishing the fund, and it will be the final year when filmmakers can ask for grants from, the Ministry of Culture.

    "The Fund will be an independent institution and it will support the multi-source financing," said the director of the copyright and cinematography department at the Ministry of Culture Anton Skreko. It will be financed by the Ministry and by taxes on audiovisual works.

    Heineken Slovensko a. s. (www.heineken.sk) was also in attendance, announcing a new programme for support of the Slovak film industry. "We will have separate budget for Slovak films. Our help is not aimed at the production of the films but at their promotion," said the Heineken spokesman Roman Krajniak. Zlaty bazant, a partner of IFF Bratislava, is one of Heineken´s trademarks.

    The presentation was one of the accompanying events of the Bratislava IFF. "This year there was much bigger interest in the presentation than previously, and the number of presentators increased as well," Ulman said. He added that instead of complaining about bad conditions, many young filmmakers started low budget or "no budget" film productions.