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Measures taken by EFAD members to mitigate the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak strongly impacts the audio-visual industry. National Film and Audio-visual Funds across Europe are already fully mobilised to take all necessary measures to mitigate the negative consequences for everybody working in the sector.
They are busy reorganising their internal functioning and procedures in order to continue to operate and award support, adjusting existing schemes to introduce more flexibility or creating specific ones to address the difficulties the audio-visual industry already faces.

The below summary will be regularly updated and completed.

Org. / country

Summary

Useful links

Austria

Austrian Film Institute


Funding support
  • Efforts to receive a special budget from the government to compensate the additional costs of postponed or interrupted productions and losses for distributors due to the closing of all cinemas
  • Concerning distribution for films ready for cinema release or already started, production companies are applying to our Board of Management (Aufsichtsrat) to derogate from release windows to distribute the films on platforms which is normally accepted. Distribution support is adapted accordingly.
  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Austrian Film Institute accepts revenue and other distribution reports up to 6 months later (instead of 30.04.2020). For all film projects with theatrical release in 2019, the latest possible submission date is therefore 30.10.2020.
  • Early May, the Austrian Film Institute has received a special Corona-help budget of 1 M €, especially to stimulate the script and project development.
  • Due to the unique, Covid-19-related special funding for development funding by the Culture Ministry, the item 4 of the funding guidelines ("Script development funding") was expanded for the upcoming submission date on May 26, 2020. As an exception, exposés (instead of treatments) for Script development funding can also be submitted on this date. Special conditions: Application by natural persons, Application form for script and concept development with note exposé, All documents are to be submitted - as stated on the application form, Qualification: Proof of a film adaptation of a script (regardless of length and format), if proof of qualification is missing: letter of intent from an Austrian production company, Documentation of contents: Exposé instead of a treatment, dialogue scene not required, on resubmission: announcement of the essential changes, no calculation has to be submitted. The amount of funding for exposés is 5,000 euros (fixed amount). Payment is made in two installments, the first installment being 90% and the second installment (after project completion) 10%. The condition for the payment of the 2nd installment is the presentation of the treatment.

Administration and procedures

  • The institute is closed since Monday 16th March, all employees work from home office. No limitations to the administrative work
  • Contracts and payments are made without restrictions and so far no decision making meetings will be postponed or cancelled
  • Meetings will be held in video-conference-mode if necessary
 

Belgium (Belgium's Flemish Community)

Flanders Audiovisual Fund


Funding support
  • More flexibility regarding administration, reporting and other funding conditions (until the end of 2020):extension of contractual deadlines, flexibility in changes of finance plans, adjustments of payment schemes, flexibility in spend obligations (if motivated) and deliverables
  • For VAF–supported events, workshops, etc that are cancelled: non-refundable costs that are already made will be accepted
Others
  • Consulting the sector and discussing further possible measures with the Ministries of Culture and Media in Flanders

Administration and procedures

  • The physical offices of the VAF are closed since the 16th of March and employees are working remotely
Corona measures (Press release, 27 March, in Dutch)

Belgium (French speaking)

Cinema and audiovisual centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation


Funding support
  •  Emergency measures adopted on 14 April (All details in French here)

    1. Abolition of the obligation to reimburse advances on receipts received in 2019
    2. Production aid: extension of approval deadlines and validity of contracts
    3. Changes relating to reinvestment premiums

  • Continuation of subsidies even if the operator does not meet the conditions for subsidies due to the lock-down

  • Advance provision of a grant planned for later in the year for recurrent recipients of FWB grants.

 Access to films

  • For the French speaking Belgian films that were to be released in theaters this week or for those films where the release was suddenly stopped by the closing of cinema theaters, they will directly go on local TVoD services (Proximus, BeTV, etc). A promotion campaign led by the national film fund (CCA) “Le Cinéma belge à la maison" was launched soon in order to promote these releases and also inform people about where to find Belgian content on all Belgian platforms. It is a temporary measure. The theatrical support scheme will be adapted to cover costs for online distribution. After the crisis, cinema theaters will be able to release film if there is an interest.

Others

  • Emergency fund of 50M€ set up on 19 March, including compensation measures from the sector cultural for a provisional budget of 8,4 M€ (and 1,4M€ for cinema & audiovisual), as adopted on 7 April.
  • Emergency Cash Flow Loan (St'art):  emergency cash loan  intended for all cultural and creative enterprises in sectors of activity whose main purpose is the creation, development, production, reproduction, promotion, dissemination or marketing of goods, services and activities with a cultural, artistic and/or heritage content. Available for a period of 6 months (possibly renewable for 6 months) for an amount of €20,000 to €100,000 with a fixed rate of 2%.

Administration and procedures

  • Electronic procedures in place
  • Emergency administrative simplification 
    o Creation of a 100% digital application system
    o Relaxation of the rules for filing applications and signing contracts

New emergency measures
for the benefit of the audiovisual sector
to address the health crisis (Press release of 14 April, in French)

Emergency Cash Flow Loan for Cultural and Creative Enterprises (Press release of 1 April, in French)

"Belgian Cinema at home"  (Press release of 25 March, in French)

Measures taken in the context of the coronavirus crisis (Press release of the governement of the Wallonia Brussels Federation, 19 March, in French)

More flexible rules for filing applications and signing contracts (Press release 16 March, in French)

 

Bulgaria

Bulgarian National Film Centre


Funding support
  • In regards to keeping the producers and the crews financially stable for the time being on Friday 20 March all the payments due to ongoing and starting productions were made.
  • An Operating Group was created to the Executive Director. It represents the heads of all the associations and professional bodies in the film industry. The goal of the group is to discuss the current challenges and to find best solutions.
  • The financing of the Film Agency is secured and contracts are being signed as usual. The regular sessions of the commissions to the Agency are going on as planned. The payments to the beneficiaries are undisturbed and immediate.
  • A proposal was made to the Minister of Culture to consider releasing his financial quota of 5% from the annual subsidy for an emergency call for entries for development of scripts
  • A roadmap for reopening of the shooting process is in discussion in the group. It includes designing new rules of safety on the shooting sets in regards with the COVID19 precautions.
  • The deadline for submitting new projects for our regular seasons in May was April 14th and we received an all time record number of projests.

Administration and procedures

  • The Bulgarian Film Center's work had been switched to digital. Most of the services are now online and every employee is fully equipped to work and service the community online. The same applies to the work of our creative and financial committees and the first on line session of the distribution committee will take place on Monday, March 30th. The staff of the film center works remotely with two people taking shifts in the office for the most necessary tasks that can not be replaced by digital service.
 

Croatia

Croatian Audiovisual Centre

 General

  • Croatia had cope with twin crises: COVID19 and a serious earthquake that inflicted substantial infrastructure damage on Zagreb and the surrounding area.
  • Both have been managed impressively by the Government Crisis Team. COVID Infections and fatalities have been contained to date.
  • The sector has ground to a virtual halt, as elsewhere.

 Fundind support

  • HAVC continues to honour financial commitments (per approved contracts) but actual production has ground to a near standstill with the prohibition on public gatherings.
  • Focus has been on development, and on activities related to festivals and training projects adapted to on-line delivery where possible.
  • The Ministry of Culture has put in place financial support for independent artists.

Government “Horizontal” Measures

  • Two major packages of financial measures have been issued by government to support workers and enterprises and help them make it to the other end of the tunnel. It is estimated that together they are on the order of nine percent of our annual GDP and follow on a period of fiscal discipline.
  • The Ministry of Culture and HAVC have worked with representatives of trade bodies to ensure that the measures are available to the audiovisual sector, composed as it is of mostly small enterprises with 2 to 10 employees, but employing many independents on a project basis.
  • Due to the severe financial costs imposed by the crises, budgets of government agencies are being reviewed to secure savings. In addition to its traditional programs including those run by HAVC, the Ministry of Culture is in the midst of dealing with the damage to our cultural heritage in Zagreb due to the earthquake.
  • HAVC is working with the Ministry of Culture and trade bodies to secure the financing and plan the relaunch of priority production activities once the COVID restrictions are lifted. The backlog of Croatian productions is being updated to identify the most promising projects along with a re-prioritization of the HAVC budget for 2020.

Administration and procedures

  • HAVC office is formally closed due to damages incurred per the earthquake although part of it has been made “functional” to permit essential ongoing operations.
  • Documentation requirements have been relaxed. All transactions are handled on-line. Appropriate Decisions and Guidance have been issued and adapted to circumstances as needed.
  • HAVC maintains a link to EFAD updates on its web page, together with links to online offers provided by our companies and associations.
Guidelines for the duration of a coronavirus outbreak (Press release of 7 April, in Croatian)

Czech Republic

Czech Film Fund

Funding supports

  • The Fund has planned schedule of calls for funding is kept with no delays nor limitations.
  • More flexibility has been introduced into the administration and submission of obligatory materials required from the beneficiaries.
  • In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the Fund is working on a plan to resolve some problematic law requirements that cannot be met by the beneficiaries due to the current crisis.
  • Together with the Audiovisual Producers’ Association, the Fund provides legal assistance to all film industry workers regarding the supporting programs and financial help from the government.
  • In cooperation with the Ministry of Culture, the Fund is currently working on a plan of automatic support and the increase of its budget.
  • The Fund is preparing a plan for „restarting“ the film industry, once the restrictions will be moderated.

Administration and procedures

  • The Czech Film Fund`s employees continue to work on-line from their homes with no limitations. Decision making meetings are being held via video-conference.Contracts and payments are being made and carried out without restrictions.
 

Denmark

Danish Film Institute


Funding support

  • Funding of development goes on, but production funding of new films is limited.
  • The productions which have had to stop are taken care off; the same for festivals, training, etc.
  • New distribution initiatives – to screen a film at home - are welcomed and can be funded on individual basis
  • In addition :The Danish government has announced 3 compensation programmes – they are not specific earmarked for the AV sector – but the film value chain/entertainment sector is included – incl. that cinemas can be compensated + SMEs etc

Administration and procedures

  • The office of the Danish Film Institute is closed since last week and until 14th of April, and employees are working from home. Cinemas are also closed until 14th of April.

DFI Press release of 18 March

https://www.cineuropa.org/en/newsdetail/387199/

Estonia

Estonian Film Institute

Financial support measures to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 virus outbreak in the cultural and audiovisual sector in Estonia are coordinated by the Ministry of Culture. The full size of the crisis package in the field of culture and sport is 25 M€.

  • Compensation for the reduced earnings of filmmakers (4,2 M€) handled by The Filmmakers Union.

The other measures in the film industry, handled by EFI and the Ministry, are as follows:

  • The support scheme for film production, distribution and cinemas is 800 000 EUR.
    The goal of the scheme is to support the film production and distribution companies and art house cinemas, which have received grants from Estonian Film Institute.  It it for companies whose production (development, shooting, post-production) and distribution activities have been interrupted due to an emergency situation (500 000 EUR)
    The scheme also includes art house cinemas and small distributors who show European films (300 000 €, handled by Minsitry of Culture).
  • The production funding for films – new call for film productions (500 000 EUR).
    EFI announces new call for additional funding for June, 2020.
  • Extension of distribution support to online distribution of films.

1) EFI encourages and supports filmmakers to screen films on online platforms (if the film is suitable), in which case the marketing campaigns would be equivalent to a theatrical marketing campaigns;

2) EFI advises and supports filmmakers' in any cooperation with large-scale platforms;

3) EFI started promoting the EFI Vimeo channel, where the (“Tallinnfilm) archive is assembled;

4) EFI looks for a solution for embedding both the main platform for Estonian films netikino.ee, and the short film Vimeo channel, on YouTube and other international platforms;

  • Provision of grants to animation studios for organizing and archiving materials, as well as preparing exhibitions.

EFI will support those:

1) arranging and storing puppets and decorations accumulated over the years by Nukufilm;

2) preparing the film programme and events for the 50th anniversary of Eesti Joonisfilm in 2021.

  • To stimulate the compilation of film history and study materials for film literacy, EFI started following iniatives:

1) “The Pearls of Film History” - EFI supports the compilation of an article about 15 films in Estonian and English featuring illustrations –  the articles are aimed at readers who are not particularly familiar with the Estonian heritage films; the articles will feature quotations and sources, talk about the authors, contain fascinating facts, touch on the historical context and reception then and today; the length of one article will be 10,000 characters; the first article was publicised at https://issuu.com/eestifilmisihtasutus

2) EFI supports the addition of the directors' audio commentary to 10 films for the purpose of creating study material (compiling, editing and recording a questionnaire);

3) EFI supports the creation of worksheets necessary for 10 movies for study for film literacy purposes in schools;

4) In cooperation with Estonian Year of Digital Culture, EFI announced a new call for making 1-minute films and chose 15 winners - 1000 euros for each film, on the topic of Digital Culture*

  •  Flexibility with regard to the deadlines for calls for applications, reports and screenings by EFI:

1) EFI brought the deadline for the second round of grants for screenplay and feature film development forward by two months - from October 13 to August 18, 2020;

2) if necessary, EFI will extend the deadlines for grant reports;

3) EFI extended the terms for event and training support if the event has been postponed;

4) EFI enabled the submission of reports on the basis of the costs incurred if the event is cancelled.

  • EFI changed the procedures for allocating grants for feature film development.

Instead of paying in three installments, EFI will make payments in two installments:

1) 95% after signing the contract;

2) 5% after the approval of the final report.

  • EFI created more opportunities for writing and developing new screenplays.

To this end, EFI will increase the budget of the second application round for full-length feature and animated film screenplays, as well as feature film development grants in such a way that at least 5 screenplay and 3 feature film development applications will receive support in August.

  • EFI works with producers for the extension of the Film Estonia / cash rebate support measure to Estonian private capital.
  •  Call for 1-Minute Film 
    The only framework is the one-minute limit and the professional implementation, which allows the film to be shown both on public TV and in streaming.
    The common subject matter of the competition is digital culture - creatively all the surrounding life, which is intertwined with our digital world. Additional points are given if the film can be put into good use of the education system. Deadline for submission was 24th of April, the decisions were delivered by the 30th of April and the deadline for sending in finished films is 15th of June 2020.
 More details

Finland

Finnish Film Foundation

Funding support
  • The Finnish Film Foundation will guarantee flexibility in terms of the timetables for support use and reporting, inviting recipients to notify it of changes in a timely manner.
  • The Foundation will dedicate extra one million euros  to support Finnish cinemas and some film festivals, which had to cancel this Spring. Discussions on another extra support for production companies.

 https://www.cineuropa.org/en/newsdetail/387199/

France

National Centre for Cinema and the Moving Image

Funding support

Main measures:

  • Cash flow measures for theatres and increased support for the sectors most affected, distribution and cinemas: accelerated payment from March of the Art et Essai grants for the 1,200 classified establishments, accelerated payment in March of selective support to distribution companies
  • Assistance to cinemas to adopt the most protective measures against the spread of the virus, by enforcing barrier measures
  • Implementation of other support measures and or adaptation of the existing ones (delays in filming)
  • Suspension of the tax on exhibitors assigned to the CNC (TSA), in March, for companies that need it
  • Rapid adoption of a measure allowing exhibitors, distributors and producers to mobilize their support funds in advance
  • Payment of planned subsidies to events cancelled for health reasons

Measures adopted on 1 April

  • An exceptional emergency fund for authors who experience a drop in activity of more than 50%, created on the initiative of the SACD (SACD press release), will be financially supported by the CNC. Authors, whose income can be very cyclical and spread over time, will not be able to justify that they meet the conditions to benefit from the Solidarity Fund created by the State (70% drop in activity in March 2020 compared to March 2019 alone, or 50% in April 2020 compared to April 2019 alone), a flat-rate aid of EUR 1 500 may be paid to them if they can justify their loss of income in relation to the average monthly income for the year 2019, or in relation to an even longer reference period which would be better adapted to the cycle of their creations.
  • For all companies in the sector - producers, distributors, exhibitors, video publishers, exporters - it is now planned that each structure facing cash flow difficulties that the State measures would not allow it to overcome and which would jeopardize its survival and that of the talent it employs, will be able to mobilize in advance up to 30% of its support account at the CNC, before it is even able to develop its new projects.
  • In addition, in order to support technical industries in their investment projects related to the organization of telework and business resumption plans, the CNC is launching a dedicated call for projects.

 Access to films

  • Consulting the sector on the exceptional film release arrangements during the covid-19 epidemic (here, in French)

+ Measures adopted on 1 April:

Immediate public access to new cinema films will be facilitated. As a reminder, article 17 of the emergency law of 23 March 2020 already allowed the President of the CNC to grant, exceptionally, a four-month reduction in the theatrical release time for a video on demand broadcast on a pay-per-view basis or for a DVD release (see here) of films already released in cinemas on 14 March.

  • 31 films have, to date, received an authorization for early release on these media (List of films that have received an authorization for early release here).
  • The CNC President is authorised to facilitate the distribution of films on demand on video on demand or the exploitation on DVD of films scheduled to be released after the closing of the theatres.
  • These two measures in no way call into question the chronology of the media: they simply tend, exceptionally and during the period when cinemas are closed and citizens are confined, to allow the public to have access to new works.

Others

  • IFCIC and other gouvernmental measures, see here
  • Netflix and Audiens (the social protection group for the cultural sector) launched on 8 April in consultation with the Ministry of Culture via the CNC the creation of an emergency aid fund for intermittent artists and technicians in the audiovisual and film industries.Netflix is contributing €1 million to the creation of this emergency aid fund (see press release in French here).

Administration and procedures

  • Online meetings of selective committees (more details here)

The CNC adopts new emergency measures to enable authors, companies and audiences in the film and audiovisual industries to deal with the health crisis (CNC Press release of 2 April, in French, in German, in English, in Italian, in Spanish)

List of films having benefited from an early release authorisation (CNC Press release of 2 April, in French)

The Minister of Culture presents a first action plan for artist-authors (Press release of 27 March, in French)

All CNC press releases and information related to COVID-19 (in French) here

Press release of 18 March - Covid-19: New announcements from the President of the Republic and the French Government in French, in English and in Spanish
 

Press release of 20 March- Le CNC consultera la filière cinéma sur les modalités exceptionnelles de sortie des films pendant l'épidémie covid-19

Germany

German Federal Film Board

Funding support

On Thursday 19. March 2020, the executive committee of the FFA decided the following measures to support the industry during the current crisis.

Measures are structured in three categories:

1. Flexibilization of funding conditions

Theatres

- Deferment of reimbursement of loans and payment of levies;
- Suspension of default actions;
- Quick payment of aid and accelerated processing of new applications;

Production/distribution/video

- Extension of delays;
- For postponed project: No reimbursement of already paid subsidies + payment of due instalments;
- For cancelled projects: No pay back of subsidies, if they have already been spent for initially designated purpose and if termination is pandemic-related;

2. Establishment of a specific emergency fund

In addition to securing the already granted funding, the FFA, together with regional funds and BKM, launched a specific fund in order to cover the corona-related additional costs (total budget 15M€).
Every funding institution involved in the financing of a project will cover extra-cost pro rata to its financial share. The maximum amount of this coverage goes from 30% of initial production costs (for production) to 50% of initial costs for distribution and 30% for physical video.

For this fund, the FFA will provide the amount of 7,5M€ from reserves.

3. Flexibilization of media chronology

Existing legal possibilities to shorten or not apply media chronology will be used in a facilitated way. The CEO of the FFA can grant exceptions for specific situations, especially when alternative exploitation complies with interests of both theatres and distributors.

Others

  • Emergency governmental plan of 50 billion € (see links)

Amended rules on film levy and loan repayments (Press release of 1 April, in German)

Federal and regional funds launch aid programme for the film and media industry (Press release of 27 March, in German)

FFA approves package of measures for the German film and cinema industry (Press release of 19 March, in German)

Federal government decides on emergency aid - Grütters: "Rescue umbrella for the cultural sector"(Federal Government Press release of 23 March, in German)

Support to artists and creative people (Federal Government Press release of 23 March, in German)

Greece

Greek Film Centre

Funding support

A set of additional measures introduced by the Greek Ministry of Culture includes an emergency fund of € 15 million. More specifically:

  • Specific Call for proposals for the development of audiovisual content for short films and documentaries. Applications will be handled by the Greek Film Center.
  • Specific Call for proposals for the animation industry to enhance the creators as well as the extroversion and the promotion of Greek animation to the international market.
  • Specific Call for proposals to the creators of Greek gaming to enhance its extroversion and visibility in the international market.
  • Specific Call for proposals for the development and subsidization of Digital Culture actions, with the twofold objective: To stimulate the market and enhance relevant professions and to create a digital cultural product, which may be readily available.
  • Emergency financial aid to independent cinema owners to remedy the imbalance caused by the interruption of their economic activity. Cinemas must meet two conditions: they must be a two-screen cinema theatre and during 2019-2020 season at least two (2) Greek / European films should be part of their programming.
  • Excess financial aid to the organizations and institutions supervised by the Ministry of Culture for awarding works to Greek creative artists (artists, directors, composers, actors, screenwriters, etc.)

Horizontal measures (audiovisual sector included)

For employees with suspended employment contracts and self-employed professionals:
• Special purpose compensation of € 800 for 45 days (fixed-term employment contracts included)
• Full coverage of insurance contributions on nominal wages
• Suspension for 4 months payment of certified debts in March-April, with a discount of 25% if paid in due time

For Businesses:
• Suspension of payment till August 2020 on VAT declarations and installments of confirmed debts of March- April
• 25% discount for March-April installment payments if paid in due time
• Suspension of payment of employee insurance contributions.
• Provides liquidity to small and medium-sized enterprises that have been severely affected by their financial activity through the “repayment” financing scheme

Administration and procedures

  • Scheduled meetings take place online
  • GFC offices teleworking since 30 March 2020
  • Contracts and payments are made without restrictions
  • Where the necessary conditions are met GFC speeds up the payments for films that are in production and accepts the necessary supporting documents electronically, provided they have been certified by a chartered accountant.
  • Expediting the procedures and the approval processes for pending productions and development projects.
  • Extension of deadlines of completion schedules for the films that are in production.
 

Hungary

National Film Institute

Funding support

  • National Film Institute launched the Emergency Fund to support freelance film industry workers and rescheduled the financing of ongoing projects. The application system is continuously in operation, the 30% tax rebate is constantly available for all productions to be filmed in Hungary.

 

Emergency Measures to Support Hungary’s Screen Industry (Press release of 3 April)

Iceland

Icelandic Film Centre

Funding support
  • A rescue package of ISK120m (€756,000) towards development, promotion and low budget films has attracted 67 applications worth more than €5m in 10 days.

    The special financial package to boost the local audiovisual industry impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic is administered by the Icelandic Film Centre on behalf of Iceland’s Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

    The funds are earmarked towards: 

    • development/pre-production, to strengthen projects before they start production 
    • low budget projects to boost their production and make sure they are completed before April 1st, 2021 
    • promotion and marketing of film events or Icelandic films, whose launch had to be postponed due to the closure of cinemas (now re-opened since May 4, with 50+ people per screen cap).  

 Source

Italy

Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Activities and Tourism (MIBACT) - Directorate General for Cinema and Audiovisual

Funding support

  • The Italian government has taken extraordinary measures (130M€) for the sector (cinema, entertainment) to support professionals and businesses hit by the emergency
  • The DG Cinema is accelerating the payments of ordinary funded aids from Cinema Law.That involves tax credit measures (€100m for 2019/2020), €100m to facilitate investments in new and renovated cinemas, €10m for art-house cinemas.
  • Contribution to entertainment workers who have no other source of income
  • Coupons to reimburse cinema tickets
  • Release of funds previously frozen
  • Suspension of terms and deadlines for applications
  • Post-emergency internationalisation campaign
  • Revision of the rules on media chronology
  • Suspension of tax obligations (for all sectors)
  • Extension of the SME Guarantee Fund (for all sectors)

Administration and procedures

  • Teleworking since 9 March 2020
  • Online committee meetings
All MIBACT COVID-19 measures (in Italian)

Ireland

Screen Ireland

Funding support

  • Further round of measures announced on 17 April, including Strategic Slate Development Fund, Enhanced Development Support, Creative Concept Development Scheme, Enhanced Investment in Screenplay & Spotlight Schemes, Financial Planning for Companies, Funding Schemes for Skills Development

Initial range of measures:

  • providing 90% funding upfront on all development loans to Irish screenwriters and production companies through to 31st May 2020.
  • Existing development and production loan offers which are due to expire in the coming months will all be extended to 31st May 2020.
  • providing additional marketing and distribution support for upcoming Irish film and TV releases during this period.
  • continuing to provide skills development opportunities for industry practitioners, with Screen Skills Ireland delivering some of its planned activity for 2020 online free-of-charge over the next 6-10 weeks.

Announced on 3 April

  • revised guidelines across feature film development funding categories, in order to make the application process easier and more streamlined for Irish filmmakers.
  • improving the process for applying for Additional Feature Film Development, aimed at helping producers to maintain momentum during the development process.
  • more concise application requirements for Feature Film Development (formerly Project Development) funding and Screenplay Development
  • an Additional Feature Film Development fund specifically for projects already in receipt of Screen Ireland funding.

 

Further Support Measures for Creative Screen Industry Announced by Screen Ireland (Press release of 16 April)

Screen Ireland Announces New Guidelines For Feature Film Development Support (Press release of 3 April)

Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland commits to initial measures to support the Irish creative screen industries impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19)  (Press release of 18 March)

Latvia

National Film Centre of Latvia

Access to films

The National Film Centre of Latvia has made its database of national films (https://www.filmas.lv/) available to schoolchildren and the general public during the COVID-19 crisis

 

Lithuania

Lithuanian Film Centre

 


Funding support

Additional

  • Government made a decision to allocate additional 2 M€ to the film sector. LFC will administer this amount.
  • The support is going to be distributed:
    • to provide additional financing for projects that are financed by LFC in 2020, because they could have or having problems with other sources of financing (but the rules about intensity and maximum support amounts will be followed);
    • to support new content;
    • to provide individual grants for film makers;
    • to expand support program for distribution;
    • to create a new programme for audience development in cinemas.

General

  • grants for self – employed;
  • subsidies for salaries
  • deferral of taxes for self – employed,
  • additional 2 M€ for payments to artists who are unable to generate income from their activities due to the quarantine;
  • special authors rights programme (about 700.000 Euro) will be directed to cover self-employed creative professionals losses during quarantine;
  • cinemas included in the list of companies that are automatically exempted from default interest and their taxes are not recovered during quarantine and two months after it.
  • there is a discussion about the possibility to offset a larger part of the rental cost for businesses during quarantine (could be important for cinemas).

Administration and procedures

  • More flexibility into administration and submission of materials required from beneficiaries;
  • Contracts are signed electronically and payments are done with no delays or limitations;
  • More flexibility in case of need to defer the deadlines for submission of reports or change of project schedule;
  • Film culture projects can adapt their projects to the situation (festivals go on-line, changing expenditure structure, dates, etc.) maintaining allocated financing.
 

The Netherlands

Netherlands Film Fund

Funding Support

Overview of all NFF COVID-19 Support Measures (in English)

1.Film productions

  • leniency in the fulfillment of conditions and obligations, so that projects are given room to respond to changes in production, delivery and release, looking at flexibility in subsidy periods and advance payments.
  • based on an inventory of bottlenecks for specific projects, we will take additional measures where possible. This could include (bridge) financing for demonstrable extra costs as a result of postponement of (pre) production and recordings, including the affected crew and cast, and redistribution and marketing for films whose release has been postponed.
  • producers of current productions are asked to contact Mr. Maarten Wijdenes directly at the Fund about the bottlenecks you encounter. Please contact him at:
  • new relief fund announced on 17 April for Film and TV productions to help the hardest hit workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic (Netflix provides 1M€).

2. Film festivals
In case film festivals are cancelled, the Fund will not adhere to the performance obligations normally connected to the grant conditions. We will also look where extra support is needed for festival organizations, whose survival is at stake due to loss of income.

Netflix and the Netherlands Film Fund Establish Relief Fund for Affected Productions (Press release of 17 April)

All COVID-19 updates from the Netherlands Film Fund (in English)

COVID-19 outbreak: Support measures by the Netherlands Film Fund (Press release of 20 March)

 

North Macedonia

North Macedonia Film Agency

Funding support

  • The Agency has distributed a questionnaire to every supported producer, with projects that are in post-production or finished in order to gain more insight which are the most affected areas that need to be addressed.After receiving great feedback we have selected projects by priority and have decided to transfer funds for projects that are completed or in the process of completion; They are requested to use these funds primarily to cover their contractual costs towards freelancers etc. North Macedonia Film Agency has so far transferred funds for film projects in the production stage and those that are in their final stage of realization( completed or expected to be completed soon).Implementing this measure, the Agency has paid a total of 27 film projects over the past two days.
  • In these extraordinary circumstances, no premieres or other public events can be organized, so their reports on expenditures will be subsequently reviewed
  • Sent a written request to the Ministry of culture in order for them to help us find a legal model to offer one-off assistance to independent filmmakers. To this end, a Commission has been set up by the Macedonian Film Professionals’ Association and the North Macedonia Film Agency to work on finding a legal framework and reviewing the possibility of direct remuneration for filmmakers; This is only the first urgent measure, and depending on the duration of this crisis, the North Macedonia Film Agency and the Macedonian Film Professionals’ Association will join their efforts to find other measures to provide direct financial assistance to filmmakers.
 

Norway

Norwegian Film Institute

Funding support

  • Decision not to claim back sums spent on planning events, productions or projects that cannot be completed owing to the virus outbreak.
  • To support the industry in the difficulties due to the corona situation, NFI is making several changes to its funding schemes (more details here)
  • Due to the corona crisis, NFI will grant an additional NOK 14 million to develop new films, games and drama series (more details here).
  • allocate NOK 85 million from the Film Fund to help produce and promote the films that have been directly affected by the corona outbreak. These funds will make it possible to complete productions that has been halted and also to launch films that have had their releases postponed theatrically or on digital platforms. This is being put into effect by the introduction of a Production 2 and Promotion 2 measure. Thus, production companies can receive extra funds to resume filming when this situation is over, and to either re-release their films when the cinemas are reopened, or to promote their films immediately on digital platforms.

Others

  • the Ministry of Culture approved a 300 million Norwegian crown (€23.8 million) compensation scheme to alleviate the cultural industries’ losses caused by plummeting ticket sales, participation fees and other related expenses. Further measures are being considered and will be announced as soon as possible.

New measures from the NFI (Press release of 7 April)

NOK 14 million extra for development funding (Press release of 27 March)

Poland

Polish Film Institute

Supports

Summary (all details in English here)

  • Scholarships for filmmakers

  • Changing the definition of a film – the film is also a work that was not screened at the cinema due to unrelated circumstances, exemption to submit data by the cinema operators, changes to the content of applications for   financial support

  • Introduction to the Act on cinematography of a charge on the public levy of an entity providing an audiovisual media service on demand in the amount of 1.5% of the revenue obtained from fees for access to publicly available audiovisual media services on demand or income obtained from the broadcasting of commercial communications, if that revenue in given billing period is higher.

  • Business loans (in particular for cinemas)

  • Preparation of risk insurance for increased audiovisual production cost
  • Changes in Operational Programs to support financial liquidity: first installment for development support can be paid in advance, is 90% of the total amount of the grant, and in the case of film production subsidies, 80% of the grant will be paid in the first installment.
  • Changing the definition of difficult film so that more public financing would be possible.
  • Changes in the Operational Program Promotion of Polish Film Abroad, including the option of including costs for non-cinema distribution has been added in the Priority for the distribution of Polish film abroad.
  • Support to the “Return to the cinema” campaign and promotion of knowledge and good practices related to security standards, including increased control of all employees of the cinemas coming to work (temperature measurement, repeated disinfection of toilets, handrails, door handles, fogging, ozonation of rooms, encouraging viewers to buy a ticket online).

Administration and procedures

  • PFI set up a task force to monitor and resolve the crisis
  • All employees work from a home office, no limitations to the administrative work, all decision making meetings will be held via video-conference
  • Contracts and payments are made without restrictions

Report on the work of the Polish Film Institute crisis team in the cinematographic industry (Published on 14 April in English)

Polish Film Institute to support the local film industry during coronavirus outbreak (Cineuropa article, 27 March 2020)

Portugal

Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual

Funding support

Summary of ICA measures in English here

  • ICA will maintain the planned closing dates for the calls for cinema and audiovisual support in 2020.
  • The ICA will maintain and, where possible, speed up the procedures concerning the grant of cinema and audiovisual support.
  • In the ongoing processes each situation will be analyzed, on a case-by-case basis, privileging a protectionist action of the candidates and/or beneficiaries, through the application of the regulations, although with flexibility of some formal requirements.
  • For the time being, the ICA foresees the possibility of flexibility in the execution of the distribution and exhibition plans supported in the scope of the ICA film support programmes and the rules of support for the realization of film festivals in the national territory.
  • The need to maintain general obligations for the beneficiaries of support, namely the need to ensure compliance with the remuneration obligations towards creative, artistic staff or any other worker involved in the implementation of the project, is highlighted.
  • Now the possibility for cinematographic works to have initial exploitation on television or on on-demand audiovisual media services.
  • Suspending until further notice, and including the month of March, the obligation on exhibitors to retain 7.5% of the sale price of cinema tickets to the public.
  • Amendments to the regulations of the support programmes in order to increase their flexibility: summary in English

ICA exceptional measures to be applied for a transitional period (Press released of 25 March, in Portuguese, summary in English here) - Updated on 7 April (summary in English here) - Updated on 22 April (summary in English here) - Updated on 28 April (summary in English here)

Q&A about exceptional measures (Press release of 18 March, in Portuguese)

 

Romania

Romanian Film Centre

 Funding support

I. Production support (loans)

1. The terms for signing production support contracts (the credits awarded after the last concluded call for applications) for film production are postponed, during the period of emergency.
2. Transfers I and II (transfer I is usually granted when you enter production, and II is transferred when you are in the middle of the. shooting period) will no longer be granted in the ongoing credit agreements. The tranches III and IV can be granted
3. Changes to the financing plans will only be approved for the films in the post production phase.
4. Support for artistic quality and success in the public will be granted only for the projects that are in the post production stage, respectively, the filming has been completed.
5. The deadlines for depositing the film masters, stipulated in the contracts for granting the direct credit in progress, are postponed until the end of the state of emergency.

II.
The NON-REFUNDABLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT
1. For the projects declared successful at the second session 2019 regarding the granting of non-reimbursable financial support for the cultural events that take place between January and June 2020, it is postponed to conclude the financing contracts until the end of the state of emergency.
2. The manifestations of the projects declared successful at the second session 2019 for the granting of non-reimbursable financial support for the cultural events that take place between January and June 2020, will be able to be organized until 31.12.2020.
3. It is postponed the granting of tranches for the contracts in progress, for the organization of festivals and other cultural manifestations, except for publishing specialized publications, until the cessation of the state of emergency
4. It is postponed the granting of the non-reimbursable financial support for the distribution and exploitation of the films, including the outstanding installments for the ongoing contracts, until the cessation of the state of emergency.
5. It is postponed to grant non-reimbursable financial support for participating in festivals, until the state of emergency ceases.
6. It is postponed to grant non-reimbursable financial support for the operation of the art cinema, until the state of emergency ceases.

Romanian Film Centre’s decision in relation to COVID-19 (26 March 2020)

Slovakia

Slovak Audiovisual Fund

Funding support

  • For cinemas/events and distributors that face the harshest immediate consequences (they were forced to be closed/cancelled/suspend their activities by the state): there are horizontal measures prepared on the level of state for example by the Ministry of Economy (possible exemption from social and health care contributions for employees affected); also the fund is planning case by case according to individual needs of the companies to apply some of the following measures (e.g. admission of certain expenses even when an event is cancelled or moved, postponement of payments for loans or levies, specific short-term loans to small cinemas)
  • For productions: flexibility in adjusting the projects including their timelines and other measures (for example postponement of the payments of the loans)
  • Funding activities: this will continue with several limitations (including postponement of the presentations of the projects before commissions, administrative flexibility when submitting the applications, applying for support)
  • Continuous evaluation of the situation by the fund with possible other measures to be taken in the near future, also based on the suggestion by the sector that we are collecting and reflecting on.

Administration and procedures

  • Although the work of the Office of the fund has gone on-line (no physical meeting with the public, employees working from home and cancellation of any scheduled meetings) its work continues with all its major activities and contacts with the applicants on-line or by phone

Press release of 17 March (in Slovakian)

 

Slovenia

Slovenian Film Centre

Funding support

  • The Ministry of Culture has put in place financial support for independent artists.

Access to films

  • Immediately after the onset of the emergency measures, we have, in cooperation with filmmakers, established the project All (films) at home, which provides free access to Slovenian films on a weekly basis. Until now these films were seen by more than 53,000 Slovenians.

Others
Trying to ease the consequences of the COVID-19 the Ministry of Culture has already declared the following measures:
1. The self-employed are exempted from paying all compulsory social security contributions in whole for April and May 2020.
2. The self-employed who, due to the COVID-19 epidemic, cannot work or can work only in a substantially reduced scope, are entitled to the monthly basic income.
3. Employers (including non-governmental organizations in the field of culture) are entitled to reimbursement of wages paid to workers who are temporarily unable to provide them with work as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. For these workers, employers are exempted from paying all social security contributions from the salary compensation from 13 March to 31 May 2020.
4. During the COVID-19 epidemic, employers (including non-governmental cultural organizations) are exempted from paying pension and disability insurance contributions in April and May 2020 for workers who continue to work during the emergency measures under this Act and receive a salary.

Administration and procedures

  • Electronic procedures for calls are in place.
  • Most of the administrative services are now online and every employee of the center is fully equipped to work and service the community online.
  • The following calls, launched by the Slovenian Film Centre in 2020, have been extended: calls for co-financing of the production of audiovisual projects and short film projects; a call for co-financing of cultural educational film projects in Slovenia; and a call for co-financing of projects organized by Slovenian professional organizations. In addition, the official procedures deadlines that were about to expire, have been halted, meaning that all who have been called to correct any inadequacies or submit any additional evidence and documents, are not obligated to do so within the original deadline and not doing so will not affect their legal status.
  • The recently-adopted Strategy of the SFC recognizes the importance of developing and popularizing film culture in Slovenia by emphasizing a stable cinematographic reproduction network as well as updating and upgrading the system of support for complementary activities like the affirmation of filmmakers and the increased accessibility of film contents (e.g. video on demand as an alternative form of distribution).
  • Decision making meetings are being held via video-conference.
Proposals for measures in the film field were sent to the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia (Press release of 8 April)

Spain

Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA)

Administration and procedures

  • The Spanish Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute (ICAA) has implemented the online film rating, as long as the alarm status and its extensions persist.
  • ​All procedures related to the cinematographic and audiovisual works production re active.​

General measures

Governmental plan for COVID19 to support all economic sectors, including audiovisual:

  • Approval of a line of guarantees (100.000 million euros) in order to improve the economic liquidity for companies, among others, the cultural sector.The first activated tranche has an amount of 20.000 million euros, 50 % for the loan guarantee of the self-employed and SMEs.
  • Flexibility of the Temporary Employment Regulation Files (ERTEs): During the State of Alarm, the enterprises can suspend contracts or shorten their employees’ working hours. In these cases, the unemployment benefit is guaranteed, even if the employee does not comply with the minimum contributory period required. Additionally, time consumed under this benefit will not be taken into account. When the activity is restarted, in the case of temporary contracts (mainly in film an audiovisual arts because of a high variability or seasonlity of employment), the commitment to maintain employment shall not be considered breached when the contract finishes due to the expiration of the agreed time or the performance of the work or service. It usually happens both in film shoots.
  • Support to self-employment: Extraordinary benefit for cessation of activity to the self-employed.
  • Suspension of administrative procedure and deadlines
  • Measures to support work from home.
  • Help SMES for digital development.
  • On April 28, the Spanish deescalation plan was approved: the Plan for the Transition toward a New Normality with four phases (from Phase 0 to 3):

      - In Phase I it is contemplated to restart audiovisual production and film and series shooting. Cultural acts and shows with less than 30 people are also allowed in closed places (with 1/3 of capacity) and outdoors of less than 200 people (as long as they are seated and keeping the necessary distance).

     - In Phase II it is possible the reopening of cinemas (with pre-assigned seats and safety distances) with the limitation of 1/3 of the capacity. Cultural acts and shows of less than 50 people are also allowed in closed places (with 1/3 of capacity) and outdoors of less than 400 people (as long as they are seated and keeping the necessary distance).

      - In Phase III theaters will have a 1/2 capacity. Cultural acts and shows of less than 80 people will be allowed in closed places (1/3 of capacity) and outdoors of less than 800 people (as long as they are seated and keeping the necessary distance).

Specific measures

  • ​The ICAA provides flexibility in certain obligations and deadlines for aids of the Film Protection Fund: 

                o Streamlining of in progress aids pending payments.
                ​o Maintenance the aid lines planned for 2020 adapted to the circumstances of the Covid-19 crisis.

                  o Flexibility in aids (general and selective) for the feature films production and aids for the short film production on project: In addition, companies can receive 50% of the     aid granted, even if the start of shooting has not been announced; the number of exhibition rooms required have been reduced by 50%; the percentage for copies, advertising and promotion has been reduced; and expenses that could not finally apply to the project as a result of the crisis will be eligible expenses. Until August 31, 2020, the premieres of cinematographic films on platforms and television are allowed with the corresponding obligations related to nationality and rating.​

  •  ​Increase of incentives for investments in cinematographic feature films and audiovisual fiction, animation or documentary series productions. The percentage of the rebate for investment in film productions increases by 5%. In addition, the maximum limit of the rebate has been modified, which goes from 3 to 10 million. Regarding the existing requirement (the deduction cannot exceed 50% of the production cost), this percentage has risen in these cases: films directed by women, new directors, or people with disabilities, films shot in co-official languages, short films, documentaries, animation, European and Latin American co-productions and productions with a special cultural and artistic value. Companies that are responsible for the execution of a foreign production have an increase in deductions (by 5%) and the maximum limit of the deduction also goes from 3 to 10 million euros.
  •  ​Establishment of a line of subsidies for theatres to cover expenses derived from the crisis. An Extraordinary Social Fund, derived from the coronavirus crisis, for an amount of € 13,252,000 has been created to support the cinematographic exhibition by granting subsidies to theatres. The aid covers the expenses of the adaptation to the new sanitary measures (risk plan for workers and the public, material such as masks, disinfectant, partitions, etc.) and campaigns and actions aimed at promoting visibility on the reopening of cinemas, actions linked to school campaigns, Spanish film promotion and institutional campaigns. The beneficiary theatres must have a screen quota for European cinema of 30% the following year.
  • ​The line of guarantees of CREA-SGR is promoted to boost the financing of the sector with the best possible conditions, through the injection of 20 million euros.
  • ​An extraordinary unemployment benefit has been launched for cultural sector workers (artists in public shows ) who, as a consequence of COVID-19, have been unable to continue their work activity. They may benefit from unemployment benefit, even if they do not meet the minimum contribution period or are not legally unemployed. The amount of the benefit will be 70% of the minimum contribution base. This measure is exceptional and will be applied only in periods of inactivity during 2020, caused by the COVID-19 crisis and it will be incompatible with other income.
  • ​When the cultural projects or activities have not been able to be carried out, totally or partially, because of the COVID-19, the payment of the eligible expenses carried out is possible. In case of postponement or cancellation of the actions contracted with the public sector (contracts do not exceed 50,000 euros), the professionals of the artistic sector will be able to receive advances and compensation.
  • ​New support scheme launched by Netflix, Acción Cultural Española, ​la ​Academia de Cine and ICAA aimed at helping artistic and/or technical workers who are in a precarious economic situation and cannot work due to the cessation of audiovisual production (1M€ provided by Netflix)​.

Promotion of cinema and audiovisual arts

  • The Ministry of Culture and Sports promote the access to online culture through a new campaign #LaCulturaEnTuCasa
  • The Spanish Film Archive is promoting the diffusion through films of the Spanish cinematographic heritage and complementary activities.
  • The Ministry of Culture and Sports is working on a campaign to support culture to attract citizens to cultural activity, when the COVID-19 crisis finished.​
 

Netflix, Spanish Cultural Action, the Film Academy and the ICAA join forces to create an urgent line of assistance for audiovisual professionals most affected by the COVID-19 (Press release of 15 April in Spanish)

 Q&A on Specific Measures

  • Royal Decree-law 8/2020: Extraordinary measures to face the economic and social impact of COVID-19 (18/3/2020)
  • Royal Decree-law 9/2020: Complementary working measures to mitigate the effects from COVID-19 (28/3/2020)
  • Royal Decree-law 11/2020: Urgent complementary measures in the social and economic field to deal with COVID-19 (1/4/2020)
  • Royal Decree-law 17/2020: Measures to support the cultural sector and tax measures to face the economic and social impact of COVID-2019 (6/5/2020).
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Sweden

Swedish Film Institute

Funding support

  • Delayed time limits
  • Opened for re-applications for distribution of new films
  • Declared that we will not claim costs due to supported events that was cancelled due to the virus
  • Adjustments of support schemes will be dediced. Main objectives: to keep the industry working, to uphold all support schemes and to look into the situations for productions that right now have been stoped or were due to start shooting in other countries.

 

 

Switzerland

The Federal Office for Culture

Funding support

  • Overview of support to persons and companies in the Swiss film industry (in French and in German)
  • Film festivals: The Fund will continue to support the festivals, no matter if the festivals has to be cancelled or not. In case film festivals are cancelled, the Fund will not adhere to the performance obligations normally connected to the grant conditions. We will also look where extra support is needed for festival organizations, whose survival is at stake due to loss of income.
  • Production: additional funding for film production in case of postponed shooting or additional costs due to cancelled shootings. Additional financing will be proportional to the financial participation of the Fund (other funding bodies are applying the same criteria).
  • In general: for private companies/independent workers and employed persons in general: urgent measures regarding bridging funds and social security have been taken (opening up social security systems).

Others

  • Governement: "The Federal Council wants to prevent lasting damage to Switzerland's cultural landscape and to maintain the country's cultural diversity. Immediate aid and compensation should help to alleviate the economic consequences of the ban on events for the cultural world (performing arts, design, film, visual arts, literature, music and museums). An initial tranche of CHF 280 million will be made available." This is in addition to the ordinary labour market measures (which are aimed at both the independent hairdresser and the independent box office film producer). This sum will be used to finance the financial gap of non-State cultural institutions (festivals, music agencies, cinemas, etc.) for expenses such as rent, leasing of essential equipment, loss of income, etc.

All press releases related to cinema support during COVID-19 (in French, German and Italian)

Overview of support to persons and companies in the Swiss film industry (Press release of 9 April, in French and in German)

https://www.admin.ch/...

UK

British Film Institute

Funding support
  • BFI announced £4.6m support package for UK film industry on 9 April (all details here)
  • The BFI has set up a Covid-19 Response Screen Sector Taskforce, a forum to discuss priority issues and concerns from across the sector. The BFI is also involved in the dialogue with Government to present critical issues and concerns from the film sector.
  • The BFI is being as supportive as possible with partner and beneficiaries across all existing funding arrangements, including flexibility on both delivery targets until business returns to normal, and of scheduling of payment to partners and beneficiaries to help their cash flow. It is also keeping the industry updated with details of all the Government measures which can be accessed by the businesses and individuals who work in our sector.
  • All UK cinemas remain closed.
  • All UK film and high end TV productions are suspended. Projects eligible under creative sector tax reliefs are able to claim the relief up until the point of abandonment.
  • On 24 March, the BFI announced a new partnership with The Film and TV Charity to create a new COVID-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund. Established with a £1m donation from Netflix and a further £0.5M contribution from the BBC and BBC Studios, the new fund will provide emergency short-term relief to active workers and freelancers in the UK who have been directly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Further details on eligibility criteria and how to apply will be published in early April.

Others

  • On 26 March, the Chancellor announced further grants for self-employed free-lancers and sole traders covering up to 80% of their average monthly profits. The scheme will be ready in June.
  • On 17 March, the Chancellor announced a £330 billion package of support for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Support will be available to businesses of all sizes in the form of cash grants, loans and tax and/or business rates holidays. This follows details in the 2020 Budget, detailing support for public services, individuals and businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

BFI reveals £4.6m support package for UK film industry (Press release of 9 April)

New Covid-19 Film and TV Emergency Relief Fund set up

Statement by Ben Roberts, BFI CEO

COVID-19 Q&A