COVID-19 Crisis Delays Film Productions in Slovenia


    LJUBLJANA: A temporary hold on all funding and tender activities, including contract signing, is one of the main obstacles for film production in Slovenia during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Boštjan Virc, producer (Studio Virc)"Looking at the situation in a broader sense, we are at the moment most worried because a temporary hold has been put on all the tender activities at the Slovenian Film Centre (SFC) and RTV Slovenija, and this also means that the contracts for the tenders already closed cannot be signed. Compared to the two or three month delays in shooting, this is a much bigger threat to the whole industry. It is a broader problem to which there is no clear solution, especially since the SFC has not made any payments at all to any of the producers in 2020, even before the pandemic," says producer Boštjan Virc, who is currently working on two projects through the production company Studio Virc.

    The shooting of The Great Tram Robbery / Budi Bog s nama directed by Slobodan Šijan, produced by Gargantua Films and coproduced by Studio Virc, Maxima film, Jaako dobra produkcija, Artikulacija Film, Sirena film, Chouchkov Brothers and Micro Film, initially was to take place in the spring of 2020 but has been cancelled due to COVID-19. "Until the situation is at least partially normalised, we can't make any plans and shooting with an international team is not possible at all," says Virc.

    His next project is a feature film The Last Hero / Poslednji heroj directed by Žiga. "The main problem is that for the time being we cannot sign the contract with SFC even though we have won the grant. Also the RTV Slovenia grant, for which we have applied, is on hold. We have also applied for coproduction grants in Croatia and in the Czech Republic and are planning to apply for one later this year in Germany," Virc told FNE.

    Ida Weiss, producer (Senca Studio)Slovenian producer Ida Weiss is also facing some difficulties producing the children's Christmas feature Beanie / Kapa directed by Slobodan Maksimović, through Senca Studio in coproduction with Way Creative Films (Sweden), Studio Dim (Croatia), Bind (Netherlands) and This & That Productions (Serbia).

    "The project is in the financing phase. For now, we remain optimistic that the shooting will go according to the plan in December this year, but it is impossible to know. It depends both on the results of the foreign calls and the RTV Slovenija calls for projects (whether these procedures will run fairly normally and will be finished within the deadlines, and of course how favourable they will be to our project), as well as on the COVID-19 impact, which means how it will impact the shooting; to what extent this will increase the budget; and whether there will be again stricter measures like quarantine," Weiss told FNE.