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Czechs halt film-funding protests

Hrebejk, Trojan considered pulling 'Trouble' from fest

The Czech film-funding crisis looks to be over for the time being, with Wednesday’s announcement that industryites will disrupt no further festivals until they hold talks with state officials.

Jan Hrebejk and producer Ondrej Trojan had considered pulling their pic “Beauty in Trouble” from official competish at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival.

Such a move would have left the Czech Republic’s main annual film event, which runs June 30-July 8, without a Czech candidate for the Crystal Globe. But that protest, intended to draw attention to the state’s failure to pass a film-funding tax, has been shelved for now.

Instead, pic will compete as originally planned, and Hrebejk and Trojan have agreed to let Karlovy Vary fest prexy Jiri Bartoska act as liaison between local producers and the state.

Czech filmmakers endeavored for eight years to pass a tax of 2%-3% on exhibs, distribs and terrestrial TV to help fund local production, whose only other source is a dwindling $2.6 million state fund. However, the tax failed to survive a veto in May on the eve of elections.

With Culture Minister Vitezslav Jandak fated to lose his seat after a change of power in the June 2-3 general elections, filmmakers are hopeful a deal for funding can still be struck.

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