21/09

Prague establishes film fund

Prague’s city council on 15 September approved the establishment of the film fund “Prague in Film”. The new fund’s purpose is to support the positive representation of the Czech capital abroad, through film and television production.

“We recognize the overlapping economic benefits which audiovisual productions bring to the city and state budgets, in creating jobs and increasing interest in Prague as a tourist destination,” said Councilman Jan Wolf, who submitted the proposal to establish the Fund.

The Fund will provide financial support to both feature films for international distribution in cinemas as well as for TV movies and series to be broadcast on foreign television stations. The essential condition is that the project portrays Prague as herself (and not as a stand-in for another city).

The Board of the Fund, which will decide on the allocations to productions, is composed of representatives of film institutions, experts from the film industry and fields of tourism, economics and marketing, and representatives of the elected bodies of Prague.

“Prague has always attracted foreign production, among other things, for its ability to stand in for more expensive sister cities such as Paris or London,” says Ludmila Claussová, head of the Czech Film Commission.

“The good news is that lately more often she is playing herself. For example, this year in the Bollywood romantic road movie The Ring  starring star Shah Rukh Khan, or in the series Genius for the National Geographic Channel, which in one episode he portrays Albert Einstein’s stay in Prague,” Claussová says. “The British-Czech coproduction period drama Interlude in Prague , as the title suggests, was also filmed here this year, is for a change inspired by Mozart’s residence in Prague in 1787 and connected with the creation of the opera Don Giovanni. And filming right now, for German television ZDF, is the romantic drama Ein Sommer in Prag, whose protagonist is looking for her former lover in Prague. ”

The establishment of the Prague Film Fund was initiated by Eliška Kaplický, Chairwoman of the Prague municipality’s Committee on Culture, Conservation, Exhibitions, Tourism and Foreign Relations. The Czech Film Commission was also involved in its creation and realization.

The budget allocated to the Fund this year amounts to CZK 10 million, the same amount which has been earmarked annually from the Prague municipal budget for the coming years.