NEW STRENGTHS OF AN OLD PLAYER

Cannes Market News - - FOCUS -

SERBIAN FILM IN­DUS­TRY RE­TURNS TO CANNES THIS YEAR AS A DEF­I­NITELY STRONGER IN­TER­NA­TIONAL PLAYER. ME­DIA DESK SERBIA WAS FI­NALLY LAUNCHED IN MARCH 2016, AND THE LONG-GESTATING IN­CEN­TIVE SCHEME KICK-STARTED IN APRIL, WITH THE FIRST CALL FOR PROJECTS OPEN UN­TIL SEPTEM­BER 30TH.

THE SCHEME has the form of a 20% cash re­bate on qual­i­fied lo­cal spend­ing, and there is no cap per project. The 2016 bud­get is €3.2 m, dis­trib­uted on a “first come, first served” ba­sis. In­ter­est­ing specifics in­clude el­i­gi­bil­ity of TV ads with a min­i­mum of €100,000 spend­ing. A re­bate for post-pro­duc­tion is also avail­able, even if it is not ex­e­cuted in Serbia. Another very at­trac­tive fea­ture is the quick in­vest­ment re­turn: the cash re­bate can be re­ceived as early as 60 days fol­low­ing the au­dit and ap­proval of the re­quest. More de­tails can be found on the web­site of the Serbia Film Com­mis­sion, which de­vel­oped and lob­bied for the in­cen­tive on: www.filmin­ser­bia.com/film­ing-in-serbia/in­cen­tives/ Another pos­i­tive devel­op­ment is the re­turn of of­fi­cial na­tional film awards, for the first time since 2007. The Bel­grade Vic­tor awards are given out at Serbia’s big­gest fes­ti­val, the Bel­grade FEST, which, after decades, trans­formed from a “fes­ti­val of fes­ti­vals” into a com­pet­i­tive event. Nikola Ljuca’s Hu­mid­ity was the big win­ner this year, bag­ging best film, best di­rec­tor and best ac­tor for Miloš Ti­moti­je­vić. As the in­sti­tu­tional in­fra­struc­ture of Serbian cin­ema is con­sol­i­dat­ing, the Film Centre Serbia (FCS) di­rec­tor Boban Jevtić says: “The pri­or­ity for the up­com­ing pe­riod is to sta­bi­lize the pro­duc­tion level and con­ti­nu­ity of state funds, to strengthen our po­si­tion in the re­gion, to el­e­vate ed­u­ca­tion and in­ter­na­tional net­work­ing of young pro­duc­ers, and to se­cure le­gal frame­work with the aim to de­velop our na­tional film in­dus­try.” In 2015 Serbia pro­duced 22 fic­tion fea­ture films (2 less than in 2014), out of which 4 ma­jor­ity and 6 mi­nor­ity co-pro­duc­tions. The last pub­lic com­pe­ti­tion for mi­nor­ity co-pro­duc­tions fund­ing fin­ished in March 2016, and the FCS sup­ported 10 fea­ture-length projects from the 6 coun­tries that Serbia most fre­quently works with: Croa­tia, Mon­tene­gro, Slove­nia, Bos­nia and Herze­gov­ina, Mace­do­nia and Ro­ma­nia. Serbia used to be one of the rare Euro­pean coun­tries where do­mes­tic re­leases reg­u­larly over­per­formed Hol­ly­wood

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