Czech film production up by 23 percent last year

Foto: Christian Wagner / Stock.XCHNG

Last year was a good one for the Czech film industry. The turnover of Czech-based film production companies grew by 23 percent, from over four billion crowns in 2012 to more than five billion, according to figures released on Monday by the country’s Audiovisual Producers’ Association. The growth was mainly fuelled by foreign co-productions.

Photo: Christian Wagner / freeimages
From an economic point of view, the US film Child 44 by Ridley Scott was the most important film to have been shot in the Czech Republic last year. The project brought an investment of 651 million crowns, a major contribution to the growing Czech film industry. Another large project was the Danish historic film 1864 which brought 300 million crowns for the Czech economy.

Foreign co-productions were the main factor fuelling the surge in the Czech film industry last year. The turnover registered by Czech firms taking part in such co-productions, and those supplying services to foreign film productions shooting in the Czech Republic, increased by a staggering 82 percent last year, from 1.56 billion to 2.84 billion crowns year-on-year.

The head of the Czech Audiovisual Producers’ Association, Pavel Strnad, told a news conference on Monday the increase in this segment was mainly owed to higher state incentives for foreign producers; the budget rose from 300 million crowns available in 2012 to 500 million last year. In 2014, the budget has grown to 800 million.

In total, the film industry grew by around 23 percent, with production firms’ turnover increasing from over four billion crowns registered in 2012 to more than five billion last year. The only area that registered a decrease was advertising, according to the Audiovisual Producers’ Association. The turnover there dropped from 1.77 billion in 2012 to 1.39 billion last year, which was caused by lower corporate budgets as well as the public broadcaster Czech TV’s partial retreat from the market due to new broadcasting laws.

Czech filmmakers, however, seem to lag behind. Forty-five Czech films premiered last year including 25 feature films, 17 documentaries and two animated movies. That is five fewer than in the previous two years. But Czech cinemagoers continue to favour home-grown films which reached a 24.2-percent share of box office earnings last year. In total, 11.06 million people saw over 413,000 screenings in Czech cinemas last year.