FNE Visegrad Country Focus: Slovakia 2009


    FNE Visegrad Country Focus: Slovakia 2009

    Slovakia made a giant step forward in 2009 with the adoption of the Euro as its national currency and long awaited audiovisual legislation that established a new Audiovisual Fund. The results are already apparent even though the new Fund headed by Martin Smatlak will only start giving grants in 2010.

    The small country is already overtaking its larger Czech neighbour in terms of international coproductions and film funding infrastructure. The adoption of the Euro and the insurance it brings against currency losses when raising financing in Euros has already caused several film companies such as Poland's Apple Film (http://www.applefilm.pl/) to consider opening daughter companies in Bratislava.

    Under the new legislation funding for the audiovisual industry is expected to almost double compared to previous years under the Ministry of Culture with around 240 m SK in 2010. The budget for film funding in 2009 was approximately 112m SK.

    The renaissance of Slovak film was already underway in 2009 with 12 coproductions with Slovak participation produced including this year's box office hit Janosik. A True Story, directed by Agnieszka Holland and produced by Apple Film (http://www.applefilm.pl/) as the best example of Polish-Slovak-Czech-Hungarian co production. There were 15 Slovak feature films produced in 2009 including 4 feature length docs.

    The Slovak box office also experienced a very good year. During the first seven months there were 2.35 million admissions compared with 1.75 million for the same period in 2008, a 34% increase, according to the Slovak Union of Distributors (http://www.ufd.sk/). Soul at Peace directed by Vladimir Balko and produced by Forza Production House (www.forza.sk), which premiered in January and had 115,000 admissions.

    For detailed information about the new Slovak audiovisual law and an exclusive interview with Natasa Slavikova, Director General of the Audiovisual Department of the Slovak Ministry of Culture ..... Read more

    FNE VISEGRAD FORUM: Coproductions in Slovakia

    Slovakia's filmmakers have participated in an impressive 12 coproductions in 2009 -- four of them with a Slovak majority share. The number could rise to 13 before the end of the year.

    {mosimage} "The film industry system does not yet have a tax rebate system that might attract more foreign productions and coproductions," said Alexandra Strelková, the director of the National Cinematographic Centre (www.sfu.sk), "we are still in the process of establishing the industry here in terms of services and other infrastructure."

    It also lacks a well equipped local film studio since the privatization of Koliba Studios (www.kolibaproduction.sk/) which is now occupied by commercial broadcaster JOJ television (www.joj.sk/).

    The rising trend toward Slovak majority shares in the films, is due to stronger financial support for Slovak audio-visual projects in the recent years.

    {mosimage} Most Slovak coproductions are coproduced with the Czech Republic. Coproductions within V4 (the Visegrad Four countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary) are increasing Janosik. A True Story, directed by Agnieszka Holland and produced by Apple Film (http://www.applefilm.pl/) the box office hit of this year in Slovakia is the best example of Polish-Slovak-Czech-Hungarian co production.

    Strelková said: "It is necessary for Slovak producers to join together, to organize and lobby in order to achieve tax rebates, just as it works in Hungary."

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    In 2009 the Slovak film industry saw one of its most relevant transitions: the creation of an independent audiovisual funding body.

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    FNE VISEGRAD FORUM: Slovak film and the global financial crisis

    While commercial Slovak television, led by CME's Markiza TV, has seen a dramatic downturn in advertising revenues due to the global economic crisis, the Slovak film industry has so far been unaffected.

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