Regional funding programme announced in Sarajevo
by Vladan Petkovic
13/07/2012 - The panel, entitled 'Toward an integrated regional audio-visual market in South Eastern Europe' featured speakers from the industry and the Regional Co-operation Council (RCC), successor of the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. It was moderated by Israeli Film Fund Executive Director Katriel Shory and included Mirsad Purivatra, the director of SFF; Jovan Marjanović, head of SFF’s industry Section; Sanja Ravlić from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre; producer Snežana Marić from Bosnia’s Refresh Production and producer Danijel Hočevar from Slovenia’s E-motion Film/Vertigo.
The RCC was represented by Secretary General Hido Biščević and Jon Ivanovski, the Macedonian Chairman in Office of the South East European Cooperation Process. Marić and Hočevar concluded that south-east Europe is a natural common market which spawned many successful co-productions, but that due to different funding mechanisms in each of the countries, a more sustainable financing model is necessary to keep the production up.
“Me and other producers witnessed both good and bad times in development of a different kind of film producing over the past ten years,” said Hočevar. “At the moment, we are all feeling that the support for nurturing and developing is very problematic. A common funding initiative would be the best solution, otherwise we will soon have to step back to realizing our ideas in our smaller areas, because the money for development is not here as much as it used to be.”
“We need continuous resources to keep production going and to create strong content which will be appealing for distributors and TV stations in the region,” added Marić. This is why the industry players from the region formed a proposal for a regional funding scheme in co-operation with RCC’s recently formed Task Force for Culture and Society, and presented it at the Conference of the Culture Ministers of South Eastern Europe in Belgrade in April. “The ministers have adopted a declaration by which they support the idea and will work on the establishment of a regional film fund,” said Biščević. “I think this is a great leap forward for the region and together with Sarajevo Film Festival as the biggest event in this part of Europe, and Macedonian presidency of our political umbrella, we will work on the practicalities of developing this programme.”