The Mittle ground

Czechs talk regional co-productions

President Vaclav Klaus spoiled the Czech party by refusing to sign off on the new film law that would have increased the Czech subsidy pot from $3 million to around $16 million.

More public coin would have enabled Czech producers to join the European co-production scene, but as they’re waiting for parliament to veto the president and pass the law they continue to have very little money to bring to the table.

However, this didn’t stop Czech producers from meeting their counterparts from Luxembourg for a co-production breakfast at the Czech-Slovak-Polish pavilion.

The Czech Republic and Luxembourg don’t seem like obvious bedfellows, but Jana Cernik from the Czech Film Center opined: “We’re both small countries that need international co-productions, and Luxembourg has been very successful at entering them or setting them up.”

Added Prague-based John Riley: “You don’t know whether it makes any sense to work together until you sit down and (talk).”

However, Petr Polenak, sales and marketing topper at Czech-based Barrandov Studios, averred that he was somewhat underwhelmed by the result of breakfast. But even if Barrandov execs will not be rushing to Luxembourg, they’re keen on entering European co-productions: “Servicing Hollywood productions like we do is great, but we need a second leg and that’s Europe and European co-productions,” he said.

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