Monday, 20 January 2014
The main activities of SAPA which had gained concrete contours and synergic effects right after its establishment and which were related especially to the conceptions of support and development of cinematography and the audiovisual sector in Slovakia were mostly:
- The initiation of and cooperation in drafting and implementation of systemic changes of co-funding of Slovak audiovisual production. The most important was the cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic in drafting of the law on the audiovisual fund that was in 2002 proposed by the Ministry of Culture and the government and passed in the Parliament, but it was not signed by the then President of the Slovak Republic.
- Unfortunately, despite the initiative of many SAPA members, in 2002-2004 the relevant state institutions did not re-open the discussion on this legislative proposal, and no new legislative draft was prepared. It was, nevertheless, evident that such legislative regulation and creation of sources of funding would be necessary if, in the audiovisual sector, Slovakia wanted to become an equal partner to other EU countries.
- During the preparation of the amendment of the law on the Slovak Television a number of drafts of the law was prepared that would have importantly broadened cooperation with the public TV in production of original audiovisual projects under conditions at least to some extent comparable to other EU countries. Despite efforts, however, in the end the legislative amendment passed in the Parliament did not contain these fundamental changes concerning the support of original Slovak production.
- The initiation of cooperation with the Czech Film Centre and subsequently with the APA
(Audiovisual Producers' Association in the Czech Republic) and Niezalezna Fundacja Filmowa (Foundation for Independent Film in Poland). The outcome of this cooperation was very successful joint presentations of Central European countries during the IFF in Cannes in 2004 and 2005 (Polish-Czech-Slovak pavilion during the Marchédu Film Cannes).
This project was not only initiated and implemented by SAPA, but SAPA also provided the majority of the funds for the first two editions of the project. As it was conceived in the project, in 2006 the position of its main organiser and financial partner was assumed by the Slovak Film Institute, but until the present SAPA remains one of its main Slovak partners and co-organisers especially by supporting the participation of independent producers from Slovakia and presenting their projects in Cannes.
- Cooperation in preparation and realisation of common presentation of five countries (in addition to three initial organisers of the project for Marchedu Film in Cannes the project was joined also by Hungary and Slovenia) at the film fair EFM during IFF Berlin 2006.
- SAPA also initiated cooperation with Austrian partners in terms of a discussion about creation of a support system for joint audiovisual projects, their development, production and distribution in Central Europe. In a medium-term this system could become an efficient cooperation tool similar to a long-lasting system of cooperation of five Scandinavian countries supported by the Nordic Fund.
Although this project may still give the impression of a utopian vision rather than a real concept, several variants already exists and they take into consideration the functioning Visegrad Fund.
However, it is apparent that only political will can transform this vision into reality.
- In 2005, SAPA signed an agreement with the Slovak Film and Television Academy on cooperation in the annual national film award SLNKO V SIETI (The Sun in a Net), which we regard as a basis for broader cooperation also in the future.
We deem this project as important irrespective of its future form and modes of SAPA's participation.
- In 2007 we succeeded in achieving a conceptual revision of SAPA's ideas about a model of the Audiovisual Fund and, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture as well as other partners, proposed a concrete version of this legislation.
- Working groups initiated by SAPA after 2007 prepared several other projects that in the future will broaden and systematically support activities that take into account the fact it is the producer who is the initiator and implementer of most audiovisual projects. Of course, sometimes the filmmaker and the producer are the same person. This support will be mostly aimed at the producers with the ambition of broadening the space for Slovak production also abroad.
- In 2008 SAPA's proposal of the legislation on the Audiovisual Fund was accepted by the Ministry of Culture and the Government of the Slovak Republic, and this bill was passed in the Parliament consensually both by the governmental coalition and opposition parties. The Act No. 516/2008 of November 5, 2008 on the Audiovisual Fund and on amendments of some other laws, in force from January 1, 2009 was signed by the President on December 12, 2008.
This way, the Slovak Republic made another step towards becoming an equal partner of the EU countries in the sphere of audiovisual production, at least as concerns the fundamental pillar of systemic support of the development of audiovisual culture and industry.
- In 2010, SAPA initiated, prepared, funded and implemented the exceptionally successful project TRI DNI pre SLOVENSKÝ FILM (Three Day for Slovak Cinema), promoting the Slovak filmmaking, but also sales of licences to concrete Slovak films and marketing them to foreign distributors.
- SAPA was also one of the initiators of the concept of the second pillar of funding of Slovak independent cinema and audiovisual production through the Agreement between the Ministry of Culture SR and Slovak TV (later Radio and Television Slovakia).
However, SAPA could not influence the reasons why the outcomes that this agreement has thus far yielded are limited.
- The amendment of the law on the Audiovisual Fund from 2013, enabling making of audiovisual projects in the form of financial stimuli was after a round of negotiations between and among the Ministry of Culture, the Audiovisual Fund and SAPA redrafted to make the Fund better accessible to Slovak independent producers.
At present SAPA is developing several other projects mostly related to its efforts to change the current situation in distribution of Slovak films in Slovakia, and to supporting their presentation and reflection.
Also in these projects, we mean to cooperate with the largest possible spectrum of relevant subjects active and influential in this given field.