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Austrian gov’t doubles TV coin

Fund to grant $8.8 mil annually for movies, series, docus

COLOGNE — The Austrian government has set up a new public fund to support TV productions, with an emphasis on promoting international cooperation.

The fund will be administered by Austria’s regulatory body for broadcasting and telecommunication, Rundfunkund Telekom Regulierungs (RTR), and as of next year will grant $8.8 million annually for TV movies, series and documentaries.

This doubles Austria’s public production support, complementing the existing film fund body, Austrian Film Institute (Oesterreichisches Filminstitut, or OFI).

The RTR fund will be fed from viewers’ fees for Austria’s dominating pubcaster ORF.

Producers who get funding must match it by 150% and spend the cash on production in Austria.

“This is a sustained investment in Austria’s film and TV industry,” said secretary of state Franz Morak. He added that the fund intends to “strengthen independent producers, and to attract foreign capital for co-productions to Austria.”

The good news comes amid a heated discussion between Austrian filmmakers and the government regarding the Diagonale film fest in Graz.

Originally reserved for new Austrian cinema, the government has peeved domestic filmmakers by changing the fest’s management, with the aim of introducing an Eastern-European edge to the program.

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