Estonian film industry requests €2 million support to survive crisis ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

The Estonian Film Industry Cluster has said the domestic film industry needs €2 million to survive the emergency situation and the Film Estonia cash rebate system should be opened to domestic films and private investments.

Leaders of the film cluster said they are grateful for the allocation of €600,000 from the cultural and sports crisis support package announced on April 2 for film production, but it will not allow them to emerge from the crisis due to the lack of additional sources of funding for films. They are suggesting four additional sources.

Members of the board of the Estonian Film Industry Cluster Diana Mikita Marge Liiske, Marianne Ostrat and Kristel Tõldsepp said: "Considering the possibility of bringing in foreign currency and income from the provision of film services has stalled for an indefinite period, we propose additional funds in the amount of €2 million to support various stages of domestic film production this year to ensure the film industry's survival."

Secondly, they want to open Film Estonia's cash rebate system for domestic films and private investment.

"One important mitigation would be to provide a repayment system for domestic private investments. This would enable producers to cover lost funding sources by attracting more private investors from Estonia. In addition, we consider it important to increase the repayment rate to 35-40 percent."

Third, film cluster leaders recommend allocating resources to ERR for the re-acquisition of older film licenses from independent producers for a more competitive amount, which may be one of the few sources of income for producers, especially in the near future.

Fourthly, they recommend changing the PÖFF film festival support from the current 2015 Cultural Capital Support Scheme (50 per cent of the audiovisual endowment, 50 per cent of the cross-sectoral endowment or council) to the previous 20-80 scheme (20 per cent of the audiovisual endowment and 80 per cent of the interdisciplinary endowment) to release the audiovisual endowment to support production.

According to a survey of 13 film production companies, the projected market volume before the coronavirus crisis was €16.6 million euros a year. Due to the emergency situation, the volume of canceled works has already been €3.2 million between March and May, and the negative impact on the Estonian film industry for the whole year is estimated at €10.7 million euros.

The total budget of the ten feature films in different production phases in 2020 is €15.2 million, of which EFI's support is €4.3 million (28.3 percent). The other sources of funding were the cinema revenue paid in part by the distributor, the pre-sale to TV channels, the contribution of a foreign co-producer and foreign funds, the investments of private investors and, to a large extent, the
own contribution of film production companies .

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Editor: Helen Wright

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