The support of audiovisual industry in Slovakia changed fundamentally in 2010, when the Slovak Audiovisual Fund started its full operation. The Fund replaces the former grant system of the Ministry of Culture “Audiovision”. In position of a selfgoverning public institution managed by professional administrative bodies, the Fund represents a new type of institution in the cultural policy of the Slovak Republic.The Fund has the following essential goals:
- increase finances in the audiovisual culture and industry,
- flexibility of the financial support and its effective use,
- accountability of the support receivers,
- extended forms of support (grants, loans and stipends are available),
- support to all parts of the film value chain [development, production, distribution, promotion and sales, festivals and other events,cinemas,research,education, publishing, workshops, etc., development of the Slovak audiovisual industry and its infrastructure,
- transparent and professional decision making.
Finances of the Fund are based on the combination of public finance (state budget subsidies) and contributions by public or private subjects using audiovisual works as part of their business:
- public service TV (5 % of the total advertising revenues),
- private TV channels (2 % of the total advertising revenues),
- cinema operators (0,03 EUR from each admission fee),
- distributors of audiovisual works (1 % of distribution revenues except cinemas),
- retransmission providers (1 % of the total revenue for retransmission services).
In general, the state subsidies may not be lower than the total sumby other contributors. First payments to the Fund were effected in 2010 and the Fund raised over EUR 7.3 million (compared to annual average of EUR 4.5 million by the former grant program of the Ministry of Culture in previous years). Pursuant to the Act, the Fund must use 95 % of its income for support activities and 5 % isassigned for the Fund’s operation.The Structure of the support activity of the Fund defines basic programs of support activity and reallocation of financial sources:
- 80 % to Program 1: development, creation and production of audiovisual works – feature, documentary, animation, school films,experimental, etc. (including minority coproductions),
- 12 % to Program 2: distribution, promotion, international presentation, festivals and other events,
- 3 % to Program 3: education, training, research, publishing,
- 5 % to Program 4: digitization of cinemas.
The Fund shall grant financial means to an applicant who provides mandatory cofinancing of the project by other resources. A minimum of mandatory cofinancing is appointed by percentage of the project’s total budget:
- 10 % for production of audiovisual works,
- 20 % for festivals and other events
- 30 % for minority coproductions,
- 50 % for cinema digitization,
- 5 % for all other projects.
In 2011, the Fund announces following calls for applications and deadlines:
- January 31: production, festivals, events, research, publishing,education;
- March 31: development, distribution, research, publishing, education, digitization of cinemas;
- September 30: development, production, distribution, festivals, events, digitization of cinemas;
- permanent call (January 1 – September 30): stipends for scriptwriting, research and education, grants for international presentation of audiovisual works.
The operation of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the main orientation of its activities represent basic conditions for the sustainable development of the audiovisual culture and industry in the Slovak Republic within the context of international cooperation.