New legal framework urged for AV industry
Slovenia needs a central film institution and a comprehensive legislative reform to allow the audiovisual industry to thrive, heard a panel organised by the Slovenian Press Agency and the Slovenian Federation of Filmmakers' Guilds (ZDSFU) on 8 November.
A follow-up on a recent debate on the economic importance of the AV industry, it examined the cultural significance of the sector as part of discussions on the strategy for the industry by 2030 which suggests the AV sector could generate €1 billion in revenue by the target year provided it gets more funding.
The debate heard a renewed call for more funding for film as well as for better utilisation of EU funds for restoration of Slovenian films where Poland and the Netherlands were cited as good examples.
Culture Ministry official Blaž Mazi could make no promises regarding a dedicated law on the AV sector as the priority at the moment is overhauling media legislation.
He said though that the ministry had no objections to extending the measures to help Slovenian film to several government departments.
Nataša Bučar, director of the Slovenian Film Centre, said that all European countries that are successful in the film industry have formed a single institution that operates in a comprehensive way.
Slovenia would make a major step forward by creating an independent film institute to replace currently four small institutions; the SFC, the Slovenian Film Archives, the Cinematheque and the Viba Film studios.
In this way the country would get a propulsive "cruise liner" to succeed a "dinghy" as the SFC often feels today, she illustrated.
Bučar believes the regulatory framework should be overhauled much sooner than by 2030. She also called for all the stakeholders to have the obligation to invest in Slovenian film.
Similarly, producer Danijel Hočevar argued that Slovenia needed appropriate legislation and cohesion of all stakeholders in the area as soon as possible, arguing that fragmentation was clogging the industry's development.
He believes that foreign and local stakeholders in film production should have equal opportunities to obtain reimbursement funds.
ZDSFU head Klemen Dvornik talked about the importance of talent development. He said film students were not getting their skills at a national institution but mostly from reality shows, soap operas and commercials, and the time between the end of study and their first feature-length film was getting longer.
Bučar noted that the industry makes €250 million in annual revenue, which represents 1% of the country's annual exports.
Film is an art that takes a lot of money to be made but when "it's made it travels for free and serves as a tool of diplomacy and promotion, and remains as heritage, reminding new generations of old times", she said.