8. January 2020

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The South Moravian Film Fund, grant programs to support audiovisual production in the Zlín and Moravian-Silesian regions, the Prague Film Fund in the Czech capital, individual subsidies in other regions – organizations all around the Czech Republic showed their support for filmmakers by awarding over CZK 45 million in grants.

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Illustration photo: Czech Television

“Everyone is well-aware of the financial and marketing benefits of filmmaking, so regions and cities increasingly want to motivate filmmakers to shoot in their areas. What’s more, parameters for drawing financial support are set in such a way that significant returns to the local economy on the subsidies awarded are virtually guaranteed,” says head of the Czech Film Commission Pavlína Žipková.

The South Moravian Film Fund (SMFF) received thirty applications for production support in March 2019. The Fund awarded grants totalling CZK 9 million to 13 feature and documentary films, with individual grant amounts ranging from CZK 100,000 to CZK 2.5 million, the amount that Jan Foukal received for his movie Marťanské lodě (Martian Ships). The SMFF announced another call in October, this time to support the development of preliminary versions of scripts. The board evaluated 18 applications, and eventually awarded the total available amount of CZK 700,000 to nine of them, with three projects each receiving the highest fund contribution of CZK 100,000 - one series and two feature-length films.

"We strive to continually enumerate the return on grant subsidies to individual projects. For example, last year support for the filming of The Last Aristocrat drew CZK 3.5 million to the region, which is 1.5 million more than the grant amount. Principal photography was originally planned for ten days, but this was increased to twenty, and the spent funds went for location rentals (Milotice, Jaroslavice, Rájec nad Svitavou chateaus), accommodation, catering services, and extras. In addition to economic benefits for the region, we can’t ignore the huge marketing effect that shooting has not only for the region in general but also for the individual locations," says Ivana Košuličová, chairperson of the Fund’s management board and manager of the Brno Film Office.

For the second year, the Zlín Region and the City of Zlín offered support for the creation of feature-length documentaries, feature-length films, and, for the first time, animated films and series. For 2019, the region split a total of CZK 10 million among six projects - four feature films, one docudrama, and the pilot episode of an animated series. Individual grants of CZK 1 or 2 million were awarded. In addition, filmmakers in the region can also obtain financial contributions towards the development of scripts with a direct link to Zlin. This year, the City of Zlín Film Fund decided to support eleven scripts, awarding grants totalling CZK 950,000. Thanks to Zlín’s contributions, seven feature films, two documentaries, one fiction and one animated series will soon begin development. All awarded grants ranged in size between CZK 40,000 and CZK 150,000.

Additionally, two private fund sources complement the Zlín region's support system: This year, the Filmtalent Zlín Fund supported 27 projects with a total of CZK 1.64 million and Zlín-based company IS Produkce’s private grant of CZK 660,000 will support three student films.

The Prague Film Fund held two tenders in 2019. They received a total of 18 applications and allocated grants to ten projects - seven feature and three documentary films. Two international co-productions received half of the CZK 12 million total: Il Boemo, directed by Petr Václav (CZK 3.5 mil.) and Charlatan, directed by Agnieszka Holland (CZK 2.5 mil.). The Fund awards grants to international film and TV series projects and international co-productions under one condition: Prague must represent the actual city of Prague in the filmed project.

This year, the Moravian-Silesian Region launched its “Support for the Filming of Audiovisual Works in the Region 2019 – 2021” subsidy program. In its very first call, ten projects shared a total of CZK 5 million: three documentaries, one short film, and six feature-length films. The most substantial amount, CZK 1 million, will support the project Citlivý člověk (A Sensitive Person), an adaptation of the book by the same name by Jáchym Topol, directed by Krnov native Tomáš Klein.

The South Bohemian Region also supported audiovisual activities for the first time. Under the grant titled – somewhat quirkily and de facto senselessly – “Support For Film Incentives 2019”, CZK 4.4 million was distributed. Eight projects received awards ranging from CZK 200,000 to 1 million.

Grants of hundreds of thousands of crowns were awarded this year in the Olomouc, Liberec, Pilsen, and Pardubice Regions. The Olomouc Region did so within the “Support of Cinematography in the Jeseniky Mountains and Central Moravia Tourist Regions” grant program (active since 2016), while the other regions provided support in the form of individual grants. The supported projects all have common features - links to the region, as well as the use of local locations, service providers, local extras, and more.

“Regional audiovisual support in the Czech Republic hit record levels this year. Until as recently as just a few years ago, only Prague and its surroundings were able to benefit from the film industry. Now it turns out that there is great potential all over the country. And not just in terms of locations – local film suppliers, and filmmakers are increasingly able to find producers outside the capital,” says Pavlina Žipková, adding:  “We recommend that the filmmakers turn to our regional film offices, of which there are currently eleven in the Czech Republic, with questions about opportunities for support. Not only can they tell you how to apply for financial support, but they can also help with choosing suitable locations, communicating with authorities, and recommending local suppliers."

List of Regional Film Offices and Contact Info