A list of support measures to mitigate the consequences of the outbreak on the industry across Europe published by the European Film Agency Directors.
Austrian Film Institute
- 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
- So far no decision making meetings will be postponed or cancelled
- Meetings will be held in video-conference-mode if necessary
- 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
Belgium (French speaking)
Cinema and audiovisual centre of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation
- Electronic procedures in place
- 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 still an interest (the focus might however be on other films).
- A new law will be published to postpone schemes deadlines and the rule will be to be more flexible
"Belgian Cinema at home" (Press release of 25 March, in French)
More flexible rules for filing applications and signing contracts (Press release 16 March, in French)
Croatian Audiovisual Centre
- HAVC is running essential functions with most of the team working from home only. At the moment the building where we are housed in shut down pending an assessment of the damage from the earthquake.
- We issued a Decision on 20 March that establishes greater flexibility in administering our various programs including:
- Relaxation of contractual deadlines
- Streamlining procedures for filing applications managing deadlines and approval procedures
- Increased focus on getting funding out, especially for development
- We are looking at redeployment of resources
- On 24 March the Croatian government announced new financial and regulatory relief measure to address our dual dramatic challenges, COVID and the earthquake in Zagreb. The Ministry of Culture followed with a decree implementing the measures for the cultural sector. Further detailed actions to follow. HAVC is following with adjustments to its own program.
Danish Film Institute
- 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.
- 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
Finnish Film Foundation
- 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.
- It is currently discussing further measures with Finland’s Ministry of Education and Culture.
- 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)
- Online meetings of selective committees
- suspension of the tax on exhibitors assigned to the CNC, 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
- Consulting the sector on the exceptional film release arrangements during the covid-19 epidemic (here, in French)
All CNC press releases and information related to COVID-19 (in French) here
German Federal Film Board
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:
- Flexibilization of funding conditions
- Deferment of reimbursement of loans and payment of levies;
- Suspension of default actions;
- Quick payment of aid and accelerated processing of new applications;
- 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;
- Establishment of a specific emergency fund
In addition to securing the already granted funding, the FFA, together with regional funds and BKM, will provide a specific fund in order to cover the corona-related additional costs.
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.
- 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.
+ governmental measures (see links)
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)
Greek Film Centre
- Operating with reduced staff, majority of employees are working from home, scheduled meetings take place online.
- Contracts and payments are made without restrictions.
- The government announced a series of measures of more than 10 billion euros to support the economy, audiovisual sector included.
- Suspension, for four months, of tax and social security obligations of corporations that were ordered to close, with the sole condition that they do not dismiss any workers.
- The same measure is valid for all freelancers and self-employed workers and the majority of private-sector workers.
- The state will also cover the cost of beneficiaries’ insurance, pension, and health payments.
- The Easter financial bonus would be paid in full to all employees.
- An €800 stipend as well as a four-month suspension of payment of March taxes on employees of businesses the activity of which was suspended and on freelance professionals who work in sectors affected by the pandemic.
- The Ministry of Culture and Sports issued a special Call, as part of its initiatives to find alternative ways of producing culture and accessing culture through technology, for the development of cultural material that will be accessible online.
Icelandic Film Centre
- Willingness "to adopt extra provisions to increase flexibility, but specific actions will be announced after due consideration.
- The Italian government has taken extraordinary measures (130M€) for the sector (cinema, entertainment).
- Tax credit incentives: around 64,8 million of euros has been "unblocked" and many applicants could benefit of their tax credit.
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.
Netherlands Film Fund
- 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.
- 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 festivalorganizations, whose survival is at stake due to loss of income.
Norwegian Film Institute
- decision not to claim back sums spent on planning events, productions or projects that cannot be completed owing to the virus outbreak.
- 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.
- 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).
Polish Film Institute
- 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
- Efforts to receive a special budget from the government to compensate for the additional costs of postponed or interrupted productions
- A new law will be adopted to postpone deadlines
- An additional call for development schemes and extra money for development and screenwriting
- Flexibility on many formal requirements
- Implementation of measures to counter effects of suspension or cancellation of audiovisual projects
Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual
- 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.
- Preparing amendments to the regulations of the support programmes in order to increase their flexibility.
North Macedonia Film Agency
- 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
Slovak Audiovisual Fund
- 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
- 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.
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.
- Suspension of administrative deadlines, included film rating.
- Measures to support work from home.
- Help SMES for digital development
- The Ministry of Culture and Sports promote the access to online culture through a new campaign #LaCulturaencasa.
- 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.
Swedish Film Institute
- 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 decided. 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 stopped or were due to start shooting in other countries.
The Federal Office for Culture
- 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: the Fund will facilitate additional funding 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).
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).
Other measures could be implemented very soon.
From the government:
"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.
- Setting up of a Screen Sector Taskforce;
- BFI will be supportive and flexible as possible across existing funding arrangements, including the ability of those organisations and projects to meet contractual requirements;
- Supporting filmmakers with advice on a case by case basis;
- Established a Covid-19 Film & TV Emergency Relief Fund in partnership with the Film + TV Charity with a £1m contribution from Netflix. Designed to provide emergency short-term relief to active workers and freelancers directly impacted by the closure of productions in response to Covid-19. Initial funding available to crew with aim to open up the fund to exhibition and distribution sectors as further financial contribution secured from across industry. Further detail on eligibility criteria and how to apply to follow.