Country Focus: Czech Republic
Good news, bad news for Czech filmmakers
by Theodore Schwinke
06/08/2010 - In Prague, the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinema announced nearly CZK 60m (€2.4m) in production support in the second quarter of 2010 while simultaneously warning of reduced funding for production and other projects in the future.
The largest production grant, CZK 7m (€279,000), went to Dawson Production’s So Far So Good. With a planned budget of €2.5m, director Tomáš Mašín (3 Seasons in Hell [trailer]) plans to tell the true story of the Mašín Brothers, his relatives, who waged a brief counter-revolution against the communist regime. Jan Novák will adapt the screenplay from his eponymous book and Monika Kristl will produce.
Among the many other approved projects, Buc Film received CZK 5m (€200,000) for Leaving, a €1.7m adaptation of Václav Havel’s most recent play, about a politician stepping down from office. The former Czech president himself is directing the film, which is now in production (see news).
Negativ received CZK 5m (€200,000) for Fair Play. The story is set in 1983, when a young athlete learns she is being given performance-enhancing drugs. The film will be directed by Andrea Sedláčková, who has also worked in France as an editor on such films as Christian Carion’s Merry Christmas [trailer, film focus].
The Fund also supported two minority co-productions: Evolution Films received CZK 1m (€40,000) for Yuma, a co-production with Poland’s Yeti Films, which tells the story of a young gangster. In Film Praha was awarded CZK 5m (€200,000) for Cigáni, a majority Slovak co-production.
In total the fund approved 66 out of 104 applications for a total of CZK 91.6m (nearly €3.68m) in support.
The Fund warned, however, that the current levels of support would decline after November 2011, when it will no longer receive revenue from advertising sold on public broadcaster Česká Televize. With decreased finances, the Fund said, festivals and digitalization will no longer be a priority in the future and fewer film projects will receive support.