15-04-2020

Slovenian Film Centre Calls for More Support for Audiovisual Sector

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LJUBLJANA: The Slovenian Film Centre has sent a proposal to the Slovenian Ministry of Culture of additional measures to combat the damaging effects of the COVID-19 crisis.

The proposal focuses on key issues, including: the release of the already confirmed funds; providing compensation for damages to audiovisual production companies; additional allowances and compensations for self-employed filmmakers; securing additional resources for 2020 and 2021; and providing additional resources for the rehabilitation of cinema.

"At the Slovenian Film Centre, we are aware that public funds will play a key role in the given situation, since only with them will we be able to maintain the basic infrastructure for the production of film and audiovisual content in the coming years. We are striving for the Slovenian Government to devote increased resources to this area," Nataša Bučar, managing director of the SFC, told FNE.

"We have introduced some urgent measures and compiled a list of planned measures to alleviate the difficulties of SFC-co-financed film projects. Among other things, we have extended the deadlines for the published calls for proposals," she said.  

The following calls, launched by the SFC in 2020, have been extended: calls for co-financing of the production of audiovisual projects and short film projects; a call for co-financing of cultural educational film projects in Slovenia; and a call for co-financing of projects organised by Slovenian professional organisations. In addition, the official procedures deadlines that were about to expire, have been halted, meaning that all who have been called to correct any inadequacies or submit any additional evidence and documents, are not obligated to do so within the original deadline and not doing so will not affect their legal status.

"The main goal of the SFC, however, remains to preserve the functioning of the film sector in Slovenia and to allow creators to work smoothly on their projects in the future," Bučar said.

Bučar added that they immediately started assessing the impact on the film sector and, when the crisis is over, they will check with the producers on the status of their projects and, if necessary, extend the deadlines for completion, and acknowledge the eligible costs incurred during the period and/or in connection with COVID-19. "We will also try to enable accelerated disbursement of funds to the producers whose projects have been postponed due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus," she said.

Trying to ease the consequences of the COVID-19 the Ministry of Culture has already declared the following measures:

1. The self-employed are exempted from paying all compulsory social security contributions in whole for April and May 2020.
2. The self-employed who, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, cannot work or can work only in a substantially reduced scope, are entitled to the monthly basic income.
3. Employers (including non-governmental organisations in the field of culture) are entitled to reimbursement of wages paid to workers who are temporarily unable to provide them with work as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. For these workers, employers are exempted from paying all social security contributions from the salary compensation from 13 March to 31 May 2020.
4. During the COVID-19 epidemic, employers (including non-governmental cultural organisations) are exempted from paying pension and disability insurance contributions in April and May 2020 for workers who continue to work during the emergency measures under this Act and receive a salary.