Pic producers rip Czech policy

APA openly faults government

KARLOVY VARY — Czech producers are taking their concerns over the local film biz public, citing a recent 42% drop in funding for local films despite a 16% increase in total film spend.

The Czech Assn. of Producers (APA) faulted the Czech government for its refusal to provide funding for a film commission to promote local fare, and a lack of measures to keep foreign productions coming into the country.

APA, which is funding a film commission from its resources, is also paying for a study on the financial impact of movie production on the Czech economy, including primary spending on film services and spinoff spending on related service industries.

“The state is unaware of the sensitive nature of the film industry,” which could leave for more economically inviting countries at any time, said APA prexy Pavel Strnad.

Despite the doom and gloom prediction, there are some signs of hope. APA announced it had reached an agreement to reopen negotiations with Czech TV, which could guarantee funding in local film production.

Commercial TV also has entered the arena, with Nova TV co-producing the next film from Petr Zelenka (“Buttoners”). Barrandov, which began funding films two years ago, should see more money going into local production after it retires its debt this year.

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