Filmmakers Assn. eyes Hungarian, Czech system

GDYNIA, POLAND — Tax incentives for film production should be introduced in Poland, the national filmmakers association says.

Five years after the introduction of a new system for spending public money on supporting film was introduced further measures are needed, the Polish Filmmakers Association says.

With producers losing money to Internet piracy and struggling to find new sources of funding, Poland needs a tax rebate scheme similar to that operating in Hungary and on the books for the Czech Republic, Jacek Bromski, the association’s president told Variety.

“All across Europe there are tax incentives. There is now broad support in the film industry in Poland for such a scheme and we plan to launch a campaign in support of this later this year.” Bromski said.

The move will coincide with the fifth anniversary of the founding of the Polish Film Institute in 2005 — an organisation set up after years of lobbying by filmmakers to distribute public production support funds partially drawn from a revenue levy on exhibitors, distributors, television, digital and Internet providers.

Hungary’s successful tax rebate scheme — introduced five years ago and since copied by other countries in Central and Eastern Europe – has done much to attract foreign co-productions and spurred the growth of new production facilities.

Creating new fiscal schemes to support filmmaking was an important part of film industry economics where every dollar spent in incentive brought back five, Bromski said.

Speaking at an association forum on film finance schemes in Europe held on the closing day of the 35th Polish national film festival in the Baltic sea port of Gdynia, Bromski said the case for incentives was imperative.

The association would time the launch of its campaign after a presidential election in June and regional polls in the autumn were over, Bromski added.

In other news from Gdynia, Jan Kidawa Blonski’s “Little Rose,” about a beautiful young woman recruited by the secret police to get close to an anti-communist writer, won the top Golden Lion prize Saturday.

Second prize went to Martin Wronca for his mafia revenge drama “Christening.”

Veteran Feliks Falk picked up best director for “Joanna” — a wartime story of a woman who hides a Jewish girl and has an affair with an SS officer. Film also won screenplay, makeup and costumes.

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