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Visegrad Animation Forum Announces New TV Co-Production Subsidies

For the first time, Slovak Audiovisual Fund opens call for proposals of minority co-productions of animated TV series.

The Board of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund has approved new conditions for obtaining subsidies for audiovisual works and has also published calls for proposals for the year 2017. Some novelties were proposed by the AVF Director Martin Šmatlák and were based on an intensive debate with experts from Slovakia and professional and film fund representatives from other neighboring countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

The program for the creation and production of audiovisual works involves two basic open calls for the animation industry. Productions with majority participation by a Slovak author or producer can apply for support for the development or production. The maximum amount of subsidies for the development of an audiovisual work is €50,000 whereas subsidy for the production can go up to €1.2 million.

A significant and wholly new element is that AVF has decided to include animated films intended primarily for TV broadcasting (especially TV series) in the call for projects with minority Slovak co-production. This arrangement initiated by Slovak Association of Animated Film Producers (APAF) is a result of negotiations with fellow film funds on the Visegrad Animation Forum (VAF) platform. The maximum amount of subsidies allocated to producing a co-production in which a Slovak co-producer has a minority share is €300,000 provided the project is already financed at least up to 60%.

Animated films and animated TV series take too long to create and are very high in cost. Co-productions are a straightforward solution to this. When work and costs are shared, production is quicker and there is openness for new markets and access to European funding based on co-operation criteria. “During VAF meetings (gatherings of producers from Central and Eastern Europe), we understood that we need to bring up a practice and tools so it becomes far easier and more straightforward to co-produce within our region,” explains Michal Podhradský, the chairman of VAF, in regards to the importance of introducing similar calls in Central and Eastern Europe. “We invited the heads of the national film funds from the CEE countries to discuss the possibility of harmonizing different country-specific criteria. In some countries, the film funds were not even accepting TV series projects or were only supporting national majority projects focused on TV. This was the case for example in Slovakia. We are delighted by this great first move for easier cross boarder cooperation in our region.”

In practice, the call means that if a producer with a fully developed project finds a partner in Slovakia for co-production, the Slovak co-producer can now bring in financial support from the Audiovisual Fund. “We are happy that the director of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Martin Šmatlák, is the first to have taken a concrete step to meet our needs by opening the funding scheme for minority co-productions of TV-series in 2017,” said Juraj Krasnohorsky, Slovak producer, director and member of APAF.

VAF is striving for more CEE countries to open up similar calls for both minority and majority co-productions of animated TV series – in late 2017 mainly across the region – in order to make reciprocity and partnering among CEE producers more accessible. “We believe that this initiative is the first important step toward the two main goals of the VAF platform: a restart of the animated film industry in our region and for sustained support for content aimed at children, our future audiences,” added Juraj Krasnohorský.

The total amount preliminarily allocated to support audiovisual culture in Slovakia in 2017 is being raised to € 7,000,000 which is encouraging news not only for Slovak film industry, but, thanks to the newly announced call for minority co-productions, to all projects considering Slovakia as their future partner in co-production.

Source: Visegrad Animation Forum