Promotion and Development of audi-visual culture and industries
The support system for audio-visual culture is designed to meet satisfy the following objectives:
establishment of the Audio-Visual Fund (hereinafter “AVF”) as the main financial instrument focussed exclusively on support for Slovak audio-visual culture and industries,
- ensuring independent and qualified decision making in the key bodies of the AVF by establishing them in a public institution,
- defining stable sources of financing for the AVF based on contributions from enterprises that make use of audio-visual content,
- defining the functions and objectives of the AVF’s support activities and transparent rules for the use of funds,
- defining the purpose of use of AVF funds and control mechanisms for use.
The support system for the audio-visual industry is intended to achieve in particular the following objectives:
- generating interest of foreign production companies in recording or making audio-visual works in Slovakia,
- creating impulses for the development of missing infrastructure of the audio-visual industry in Slovakia, especially in connection with modern technology,
- increasing the international competitiveness of the audio-visual industries in Slovakia,
- making a positive contribution to public budgets (taxes and contributions), development of services and job opportunities in the audio-visual industries,
- making a contribution to the promotion and presentation of the Slovak Republic and its regions,
- increasing opportunities for exercising vocations and acquiring vocational experience, including opportunities for projects whose requirements for financing and implementation significantly exceed the potential of Slovak production conditions.
To improve the promotion and development of audio-visual culture and industries, Act No 516/2008 on the Audio-Visual Fund and amending and supplementing certain acts (hereinafter also the “Act on the AVF”) established the AVF with effect from 01 January 2009 as a public institution for the promotion and development of audio-visual culture and industries and it commenced its support activities in 2010. The establishment and system of operation of the AVF were also described in the first periodic report on measures for the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expression under the 2005 UNESCO Convention (hereinafter only the “first periodic report”), which was submitted in 2012.
The AVF defines priorities for the support provided in a particular period. It also creates a special financial reserve for financing projects through which the set priorities are implemented in practice. For example, from 2013 to 2015 the AVF’s priorities included support for the coproduction of cinematographic works with a Slovak minority co-producer and support for film festivals in Slovakia with international participation, through which the AVF made a significant contribution to the promotion and development of cultural diversity.
With effect from 01 January 2014, the scope of the AVF’s support activity was broadened to include support for the audiovisual industries based on an amendment introduced in Act No 374/2013 amending and supplementing Act No 516/2008 on the Audio-Visual Fund and amending and supplementing certain acts, as amended, and amending and supplementing certain acts. The AVF’s promotion of the audio-visual industries includes providing funds for the implementation of film projects that satisfy the requirements laid down by law. A film project is defined as an audio-visual work which is a cinematographic drama, documentary or animation or a work primarily intended for television broadcast in the scope defined by decree of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic
After five years of the AVF’s support activities, it is possible to conclude that the objectives referred to in point (b)(I) have been fulfilled. The AVF operates as a stable and respected public institution. The continuous support activities of the AVF have brought about a demonstrable increase in the basic performance indicators of Slovak audio-visual culture and industries in the international context. In terms of the number of films per million inhabitants, Slovakia achieved an increase of 125% between 2010 and 2014, and public funds for audio-visual culture per capita increased by 45.6% over the same period.
One of the objectives of the adoption of the amendment of the Act on the AVF regarding support for audio-visual industries was to increase the interest of foreign production companies in recording or making audio-visual works in Slovakia (more detailed information is given in (b)(II)). The expected benefits of the legislative measure include support for international cultural cooperation, mobility of film-makers and other artists and the promotion of cultural diversity.
- authors of Slovak audio-visual works,
- makers of Slovak audio-visual works,
- persons who restore and develop technological infrastructure for the production and circulation of audio-visual works and the organisation of public cultural events related to audio-visual culture,
- persons who circulate and present audio-visual works,
- the distributors of audio-visual works.
- the operators of audio-visual technical facilities,
- natural persons whose creative activities or research contributes to the development of audio-visual culture and industries in Slovakia,
- legal entities which are the producers or co-producers of a film project for which the apply for funding from the AVF for the promotion of the audio-visual industries in the Slovak Republic.
In 2012, the AVF provided a total of EUR 5,519,888 in support and it received a contribution of EUR 3,500,000 from the state budget. In 2013, the AVF paid out a total of EUR 6,404,290 in support and it received a contribution of EUR 4,200,000 from the state budget. In 2014, the AVF provided a total of EUR 6,458,060 in support and it received a contribution of EUR 4,000,000 from the state budget. In 2015, the AVF paid out a total of EUR 6,542,900 in support and it received a contribution of EUR 4,500,000 from the state budget.
Evaluation of the measure is conducted every year in the form of the AVF’s annual report. The director presents the draft report to the board of the AVF for approval. The report includes a report on the fulfilment of the AVF’s strategic goals and development plans in the period covered. The annual report for 2014 included a comprehensive review of the AVF’s activities after five years of operation. The main conclusions of the evaluation were as follows:
- The volume of public funds available each year to support audio-visual culture increased by 80%,
- Available funds were stabilized,
- The AVF standardized the structure of sources in the European context,
- It expanded the forms and scope of support activities to various areas of audio-visual culture and industries (stipends, loans, support for cinemas, support for audio-visual industries),
- The AVF has created more flexible conditions for the efficient use of the provided funds, which has significantly reduced the risk of uncompleted projects in production.
- It has broadened the range of genres of films made and the variety of topics which they address,
- The AVF has created conditions for greater competitiveness (a demonstrable increase in the number of production companies and the number of supported applicants),
- It has increased the ability of Slovak enterprises to participate in international projects including countries other than the Czech Republic and it has increased the number of works winning international awards,
- It has improved the performance against several standard international indicators for the potential of the audio-visual environment,
- In terms of published information on support activities and the level of transparency, the AVF outperforms the standard of European film funds and other public sector organisations in Slovakia.
The following areas for improvement and opportunities for further development were identified in the AVF’s support activities:
- Describing the baseline of the strategy for the long-term development of Slovak audio-visual culture and industries,
- Continuous evaluation of fil