Despite seeing the Czech Republic rise to world prominence as a film location, the government has refused to consider incentives to keep the industry competitive — until now.
After drawing international attention by closing down their stand at the Cannes Film Fest and threatening to boycott the nationally prestigious Karlovy Vary festival, Czech filmmakers finally received the government’s promise of a long-sought boost in film funding.
Producers say the funding will make them viable partners for co-productions. Some $12.5 million is being promised; however, it will take some time before an agreement is reached on how to provide the mix of private and public funding.
For now, filmmakers will have to continue to make do with the $3 million in available Ministry of Culture funding for national production.
Few locally based companies have consistently reached out for co-productions. Negativ turns out quality Czech productions with German and Slovak partners. Production service provider Stillking, under U.K./U.S. management, often also serves as Czech production partner for English-language productions, and Barrandov Studios occasionally comes onboard as a second Czech co-producer.
- Negativ: Web: negativ.cz; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Contact: Pavel Strnad
- Stillking: Web: stillking.com; Contact: head of film production David Minkowski
- Barrandov Studios: Web: barrandov.com; Email: email@example.com; Contact: Helena Uldrichova, co-production
Negativ producer Pavel Strnad cobbled together financing from nine sources to bring “Stesti” (Something Like Happiness) to the screen. Negativ brought 65% of the film’s x1.2 million ($1.5 million) budget, with Germany supplying the remaining 35% through Mitteldeutsche Medienforderung and pubcaster ZDF-ARTE.
Negativ lined up 20% of the budget through Eurimages, 15% through the Czech film fund and the remainder through presales to Czech TV. Rounding out the budget were a minimum guarantee from Czech theatrical distrib Bonton, presales of Dutch TV rights and Slovak theatrical rights and Negativ’s own investment rounding.