23-05-2010

Slovenia prepared two new film/TV laws

By Matevz Rudolf
The Slovenian government has introduced two new laws for covering film, video and TV production.Both have to be ratified, but are expected to pass before the parliament adjourns for summer holidays.

The first law establishes national public broadcaster RTV (www.rtvslo.si) as independent legal entity under public law with special national and cultural importance, setting it in line with European Union directives. It gives RTV more autonomy and is expected to result in greater economic efficiency.

The second law is establishes a Slovenian Film Center (SFC), a publicly funded institution that would replace the Slovenian Film Fund (www.film-sklad.si). The final draft of the law defines SFC as a public agency with a new financing and grants system. The grants will not be greater than 50% of the budget for most films, except for youth and low-budget films where support can be as much as 80% of the production budget.

Critics of the new law worry that it will make film production difficult for independent producers. However, public broadcaster RTV will have to contribute 2.5% of the income from its mandatory license fees (approximately €2 million) for film co-productions with independent producers. All other nationally distributed TV station will have to give 5% of their advertising income for the co-production of features or TV films. The mandate will provide for greater funding for film and TV production, although it is unclear how it will affect independent producers.