18. November 2021

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Regional film offices play an important role in supporting the production of audiovisual works in their regions, where they help to channel the economic benefits of filming. These benefits typically represent around 60% of the film budget spent on local services and non-film-related industries. The activities of regional film offices will be newly enshrined in the statutes of the Czech Film Fund.

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Unique example of cooperation of a foreign production with 7 regional film offices.


Eleven Film Offices Across the Country

This fall we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the very first regional film office. The Moravian-Silesian Film Office was established in 2011 and inspired the creation of others that followed. Today, with eleven regional film offices across the Czech Republic, the Czech Film Commission is proud to announce: our coverage of the Czech Republic is nearly complete!

The Czech Film Commission began promoting the establishment of regional offices shortly after its own founding in 2004. If we take a closer look at the mission of these institutions, which bring economic benefits to the regions where they operate by supporting local audiovisual production, it may seem surprising that film offices are not located all over the country. After all, who doesn't want their region to prosper? However, the enlightened approach of regional politicians and officials is still crucial and regional film offices need to keep this in mind.

Local Services and Non-Film Industries Benefit from Filming

The economic benefit of a film crew, a “factory on wheels”, is unquestionable and this fact is supported by expert studies. The most recent work on the subject was published in conjunction with the first wave of the pandemic in summer 2020 and demonstrates the benefits of various types of audiovisual production. The study by the consulting company Olsberg-SPI clearly shows that around 60% of the film budget goes to non-film industries and services. Simply put, wherever filmmakers set up shop, they use as many local services as possible, including accommodation and catering - sectors that have been most heavily affected by the COVID-19 epidemic.

The Prague Film Office Can Help Negotiate with Authorities

In the Czech Republic, however, we are still lacking film offices in Prague and the South Bohemia Region. Currently, the Czech Film Commission together with the Association of Audiovisual Producers strongly advocates the creation of the Prague Film Office. Its mission will not be to attract filmmakers to the already busy capital city, but to standardize procedures for permits and create a stable environment friendly to the production of audiovisual works.

Film services in the Czech Republic are concentrated in the capital city because most of the rental companies for technical equipment, costumes, and props, as well as construction companies are located here. There are also studios and many Czech filmmakers living here. It is therefore only logical that the job of the future Prague Film Office and the already functioning Central Bohemian Film Office (which covers the area around Prague) is not to attract filmmakers, but to advocate with local authorities for the most favorable conditions and to mediate between filmmakers and authorities in the event of problems arising in locations with the greatest demand.

Detailed Knowledge of the Environment and Locations

The further the region is from Prague, the more effort the regional film office must make to attract filmmakers. When filming outside of Prague, the crew is paid starting with the transport. Each longer trip takes up valuable time from the actual shoot. Regional film offices should have an overview of accommodation capacities and be able to recommend the most suitable accommodation based on the size of the crew and location. Detailed knowledge of the environment and expanding the location database are thus crucial. A film’s location managers are unlikely to have the necessary knowledge, and in an emergency, the regional film office representative is literally a “friend on the phone” who can offer help as needed.

Regional Film Offices in the Statutes of the Czech Film Fund

For regional film offices to be effective, they need a minimum of one full-time employee per office and sufficient operational funds for essential items, such as hiring a specialized photographer. The activities of the regional film offices will therefore be enshrined in the statutes of the Czech Film Fund, which defines the activities of the Czech Film Commission, including methodological guidance for regional film office representatives. The statutes of the Czech Film Fund are approved by the government, so we hope that in the future the functioning of the film offices will be a matter of course in the minds of regional administrators, because the assistance that the film offices provide to the regions is truly economically effective.