$10 million program draws on ad revenue

A new Slovak state film fund worth $10 million (E8 million) annually will open for applications for filmmakers later this year.

The Slovak Audiovisual Fund — based on a new film law that came into force last month — draws money from a variable 1% to 5% levy on advertising revenues and turnover from state and commercial television and other audiovisual businesses but not cinema distribution.

Organizers of the fund — a body independent of government that filmmakers will be able to tap for cash starting in November — expect the board, supervisory commission, director and expert commissions to all be set up during the course of this year.

“There are quite a lot of films scheduled for release in Slovakia this year, a growing number of which are Slovak productions,” said Alexandra Strelkova of the Slovak Film Institute. “This year we have six market screenings at the EFM — the first time we have had so many films presented. We may not have a film in official selection but this is still a great development for the Slovak film industry.”

New films presented under the Slovak banner include Czech-born director Vaclav Marhoul’s desert war actioner “Tobruk” — which draws on Stephen Crane’s classic novel “The Red Badge of Courage” — and Ivan Vojnar’s marriage crisis drama “My Husband’s Women.”

The profile of Slovak films at the EFM is boosted this year by Film Europe, a new division of SPI Intl., set up to handle movies from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland.

Marta Lamperova, managing director of sales and development at Film Europe, said setting up the new division was a strategic decision designed to improve regional and worldwide sales for films from the area.

“We are interested in investing in good producer projects, co-producing and distribution. We can offer sales, promotion and finding coproduction partners,” Lamperova said.

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