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INDUSTRY / MARKET Estonia

The Estonian government backs the local film sector with an additional €3 million

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- The provision is part of a wider aid package aimed at helping the country’s cultural and creative industries

The Estonian government backs the local film sector with an additional €3 million
Head of the Estonian Film Institute Edith Sepp

Last week, the Estonian government pledged its support for the local film sector through an additional amount of funding, on the occasion of the announcement of the revised state budget strategy for the years 2021-2024.

In detail, the Estonian Film Institute, the country’s film agency, will receive an additional €3 million to invest in new productions in 2021. The provision is part of a wider aid package aimed at helping the country’s cultural and creative industries. Its main goal is to maintain at least the current 22% market share enjoyed by domestic productions, with the ambition to possibly reach 25%.

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The bill stresses the role of film production in revitalising the local economy, which usually also has positive effects on employment in other sectors, such as hospitality, transportation and construction. In addition, it highlights that one of the most important quality indicators of the film industry is to remain in healthy competition and keep giving the local audience the opportunity to enjoy Estonian films. This is also proven by the experience of the Nordic countries, which are light years ahead of the Baltic republic with their indicators.

Speaking about the decision, the head of the Estonian Film Institute, Edith Sepp, told Cineuropa: “From 2015-2019, the Estonian Film Institute had a special programme called Estonia 100. During this period, each year, Estonian filmmakers produced new films with an extra €9.2 million, granted in addition to the regular yearly allocation of €4 million. Then the programme ended, and so did the funding. Last week, however, the Estonian government decided that since the programme was extremely successful – the local market share reached 22%, and the production value of our films rose to an incredible artistic level – it is very much worthwhile for the funding of domestic films to continue with an additional budget. The government raised the funding in line with what the Estonian Film Institute had proposed. From January 2021, the total production funding will be €7 million per year. We have fought for funding for a very long time, and this decision is a true accomplishment for the entire national film industry. It is also a sign of trust that Estonian films are really doing well. We see it as one of the greatest achievements in recent years.”

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