Slovenia Proposes Levies and Direct Investment Obligations for Streamers


    LJUBLJANA: The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia has opened a public debate on the bill on the Slovenian Film and Audiovisual Centre, with an online consultation. The proposal defines extra-budgetary resources for financing audiovisual activities, raises funds for the promotion of film and AV production, changes the support system, determines the new assembly of the Slovenian Film Centre's (SFC) council, and proposes that the public institution FS Viba film should merge with the SFC.

    The new proposal comes 12 years after the passing of the Public Film Agency law and it is intended to address the new situation in the domestic AV sector and eliminate the shortcomings that have been highlighted by its representatives in recent years.

    Uršula Menih Dokl, General Director of the Media Directorate, explained that the aim is to increase the accessibility of Slovenian and European AV works, and to provide a foundation for the development of the sector. Thus, the Slovenian Film Centre would become a more modern, flexible and autonomous institution, that could adopt medium-term strategies, while its director and programme council would have more powers.

    Regarding the extra-budgetary sources, Dokl explained that in 2021, with the transposition of the European directive on AV media services into the Slovenian legislation, they failed to secure levies that would bring new investments in Slovenian film production, so the authorities remedied that with this law.

    Nataša Bučar, the managing director of the Slovenian Film Centre, sees the proposal as a step in the right direction, as it proves that the AV field is too bureaucratic and needs extra-budgetary resources, while the budgetary resources must remain as the main source. As the most important solution, she emphasised the importance of the merging of FS Viba film and the SFC, and the greater impact of the SFC director on the selection of projects.

    "Slovenian film needs the investment and support of those who benefit from the industry," says Bučar, underlining the possibility of financing the distribution of not only domestic films, but also promoting the operation and expansion of the cinema network.

    At a debate around the new propositions, Klemen Dvornik, the president of the Slovenian Federation of Filmmakers’ Guilds, agreed that it is necessary to adopt a law that would exclude the entire AV sector from all other laws and would establish an institution autonomous in terms of budget and all other aspects, but more additional coordination is needed, with which the producer Danijel Hočevar also agreed.

    It is difficult to predict how long the coordination will take before the law is submitted to the parliament for approval.