LONDON — The Czech parliament has approved a bill increasing the size of the state film fund from $3 million to $9.6 million, with the potential to grow to $16.6 million, bringing Czech filmmakers one step closer to having a fully fledged state support system.
“Our big hope is that this fund will give Czech filmmakers a better chance to enter international co-productions and make us internationally more competitive,” said Jana Cernik, director of the Czech Film Center.
The fund, which still needs to be signed off by the Czech president Vaclav Klaus and will then come into effect on July 1, will be partly financed through contributions from broadcasters, exhibitors and home entertainment stores.
Exhibitors will be asked to contribute 2% of each ticket sold to the fund, which is three times more than what they’re currently asked to provide.
Distributors will have to pay 3% of all DVD and video sales revenues and broadcasters 3% of advertising revenues. How this will affect ticket and DVD prices remains to be seen.
The fund will be distributed through a council of 15 members. Nine members will be appointed by the cultural secretary and six will be representatives of the industry sectors contributing to the fund.
How exactly the funds will be distributed, what kind of films will receive support and how much, still needs to be clarified by July.
“This is just the first step. We’re also pushing for a tax incentive scheme, so the battle continues,” said Cernik.