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Lithuania’s Ministry of Culture backs the local film sector with €2 million


- The national government has granted the Lithuanian Film Centre additional resources to tackle the ongoing coronavirus crisis

Lithuania’s Ministry of Culture backs the local film sector with €2 million
The Lithuanian Ministry of Culture

UPDATE (28 April 2020): Lithuania’s parliament has approved a further €5 million aid package for artists, culture professionals and organisations affected by the COVID-19 emergency. Moreover, the Lithuanian Film Centre has increased its funding for film development and production by an additional €800,000 (to be allocated during the second session of financing for 2020) and postponed the deadline for the submission of applications until 18 May. In detail, the agency plans to invest €700,000 to support the making of fiction feature films, €350,000 for documentaries, and €150,000 for animated flicks and interactive film projects. The body is also planning to expand the support scheme for film distribution and grant additional funding for projects already in production. Finally, a new competition for individual bursaries will be announced later in May.

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Amidst the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Lithuanian Minister of Culture Mindaugas Kvietkauskas has recently implemented an action plan to support the country’s cultural and creative industries (including the film sector) during these difficult times. The plan aims to support artists, culture professionals and, obviously, the organisations they work for.

An initial aid package of €2 million has been approved as part of the Artists’ Social Security Programme. The purpose of this fund is to pay artists for creative downtime when they are unable to generate income from their activities owing to the state of emergency. Moreover, last week, additional resources were allocated to the local film sector, for a total of €2 million. These funds will be used to support cinemas, the making of new audiovisual productions and the distribution of certain titles, as well as to help individual film professionals who are experiencing hardship. Said measure will be implemented by the Lithuanian Film Centre, the country’s audiovisual agency.

Next, compensatory remuneration funds for the reproduction of works for private use, a sum of over €700,000, will be redirected to make up for the losses endured by self-employed cultural workers.

Furthermore, the government has made available to both private and public cultural organisations an additional €3 million for the development of new products and services and their adaptation to the period of quarantine, as well as for the digitalisation of creative content.

Lastly, €600,000 from the Culture Support Fund will be redirected to provide grants to individual artists and culture professionals. The bursaries will be awarded through a three-month competition and are aimed at facilitating creative work. 

All of these measures are being implemented by the Lithuanian Council for Culture. More generally, the government has recommended that cultural and audiovisual agencies apply flexible conditions for the making of projects, taking into account the impact of the current force majeure circumstances.

Overall, the Lithuanian government has put in place a €5 billion economic stimulus package that will make the necessary resources available to guarantee the efficiency of the health and public security systems, to protect jobs and personal income, to maintain business liquidity and to support self-employed workers.

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