Poland org to fund local pix

Money four times what was previously available

In the biggest boost for Polish cinema since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Polish government looks poised to create a national film institute with $30 million a year to invest in local movies.

That money — four times what as previously available — will be drawn in part from a controversial levy on broadcasters, cinema tickets and video sales, along with state subsidy and lottery coin.

Film producers are predictably delighted about the plan, while private TV webs and cable operators are furious that they will be taxed to pay for Polish movies.

The institute will be created by a new Cinema Act, which is due to be approved next week by the Polish parliament.

“It’s a very good law,” said Jacek Bromski, head of the Polish Filmmakers Assn.

“Without a modern bill attuned to a market economy, Polish cinema would have withered and died,” commented Dariusz Jablonski from the National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers.