Austria has added national and regional film funding initiatives in recent years. The Austrian Film Institute and the Vienna Film Fund are the first stops for production funds, and most films use money from both funds. For films looking to take advantage of other scenic spots, Cine Tirol (the Alps), Cine Styria (southern Austria) and the Lower Austrian State Government Office (outside Vienna) have minor financing available. More recently, Austria launched Fernsehfonds Austria, providing financial support for television films. Together with funds for TV films co-produced by pubcaster ORF, Austrian producers can tap some E35 million ($45 million) annually.
Production incentives such as tax rebates have not attracted much support, however, and are unlikely to materialize. That’s due primarily to the relative high costs of shooting in Austria compared with nearby Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia, as well as a lack of large-scale film studios and production houses. Still, many Austrian producers are by necessity seeking out foreign co-producers for films with more substantial budgets.
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- DOR Film: Web: dor-film.at; Contact: film producer Danny Krausz
- Amour Fou: Web: amourfou.at; Contacts: managing directors Gabriele Kranzelbinder and Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu
- Coop99 Filmproduktion: Web: coop99.at; Contact: Barbara Albert
- wega Film: Web: wega-film.at; Contact: managing director Veit Heiduschka
“Darwin’s Nightmare” is a good example of a film that found funding in Austria, where artistically challenging features and documentaries have an array of options. Austrian co-producer Coop99 Filmproduktion received coin from the Vienna Film Fund for the Oscar-nominated docu by Austrian director Hubert Sauper. Co-producers were Mille et Une Prods. from France and Belgium’s Saga Film, both bringing in state funding. Also coming onboard with financing were French and German pubcasters Arte and WDR, along with Dutch, Swedish, Finnish and Canadian television.