More intensive co-production opportunities for Lithuanian cinema
2007-04-04 LR kultūros ministerijos inf.
On the 2nd of May the Government passed a project of the Ministry of Culture concerning joining the Council of Europe – Eurimages – Fund for European Cinema which supports co-production and co-distribution of creative cinematographic and audiovisual works.
The aim of the project is to activate Lithuanian film industry by co-producing two-three full-length feature films, three-four full-length documentary films and one full-length animated film every year and to increase the distribution of Lithuanian and European films in the country and abroad by creating opportunities for seven Lithuanian film distribution companies to use the financial support granted by the fund.
Eurimages is the largest and the most important European fund supporting production, distribution and broadcasting of co-produced European audiovisual and cinematographic works. 32 European member states participate in the fund. Its annual budget isaround 12 800 000.00 EUR (44 160 000.00 Lt) from which 90 % is channelled to co-production of films. The annual fund membership fee for will be 0.4 % from the total of annual contributions to the Eurimages Fund, i.e. around 77 210.0 EUR (266 000.00 Lt).
The 2007 budget of the Ministry of Culture has funds allocated for paying the membership fee. Since intends to join not at the beginning of a calendar year, the annual fee will be proportionately reduced with regard to the factual date of joining.
‘47 film production companies, seven film distribution companies and 15 cinemas in the largest cities of the country are active in now. Since 1995 there have been created 11 feature full-length co-produced films in , and this makes 50 % of all feature full-length films made in the country in 1995–2007. Therefore we think that Lithuanian film companies are ready to compete with other applicants of Fund members for financing their projects and successfully realise large co-production and film distribution projects’, says the minister of culture Jonas Jučas.
In 1999 when the Republic of Lithuania signed and ratified the European Convention ‘On Cinematographic Co-production’ and passed the Cinema Law of the Republic of Lithuania in 2002 with its article 9 regulating film co-production and legitimising it as one of priorities in financing film production projects, the legal basis for a successful participation of Lithuania in the activities of the Fund was created.