Funding available for films made in Prague

But the city has to be used to represent Prague, and not another location

The Prague Film Fund launched has launched a new call for applications for grants for live-action, animated or documentary films and series that feature Prague. The deadline for submitting applications is Feb. 15, 2018, and up to Kč 15 million can be distributed among projects. The results of the Governing Board's evaluation should be known by May 2018.

Applications may be submitted for projects starting or that have already started in the period from Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2018. The audiovisual work has to be intended for distribution abroad and another essential condition is that Prague actually represents Prague in the filmed project. This means that the film can’t be set in Paris, and use disguised Prague streets.

City Councilor Jan Wolf (KDU-ČSL) said the aim is to use the film productions to promote Prague

"The fund resources invested in Prague will return in the form of money spent in filming and secondarily in the growth of tourism. And as the first call and the quality of foreign projects showed, interest in this incentive exists,” he said on the City Hall website.

Eliška Kaplický Fuchsová, the chairwoman of City Hall’s committee on culture, monument care, tourism and foreign relations, and deputy chairwoman of the fund's nine-member board said the new opportunity for documentaries will attract more applicants to help make Prague a cultural city. “Of course, for the $100 million dollar budget of American blockbuster movies, our support can only be symbolic, but we declare our openness to the international film industry,” Kaplický Fuchsová said.

The fund’s first call was announced May 1, 2017, covering projects starting from Jan. 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017.

Some 18 applications were submitted but six were rejected for not meeting the requirements.

The fund’s board examined the remaining 12 applications and gave Kč 5.3 million has given four international films: the Indian romantic film Jab Harry met Sejal by director Imtiaz Ali; The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, which stars Natalie Portman and is directed by Xavier Dolan, the French comedy Tout le monde debout by actor, author and director Franco Dubosco, and Ein Sommer in Prag by director Karoly Meeder for German TV station ZDF.

Recipients of the first round of grants appreciated the help. “I am very pleased that our film, Tout le monde debout, has become one of the first to receive a grant from the Prague Film Fund. The fund is a great opportunity to promote beautiful Prague … in the scenarios and films we develop with our international partners,” said Marc Jenny of Czech production company Okko Production, which mainly works with French film co-productions.

Shooting in Prague was also praised by Bollywood director Imtiaz Ali, who had had previously filmed Rockstar. in Prague in 2010. He is impressed with the diverse locations and the high level of professionalism of Czech crews.

“Prague is an amazing city. Of all the European cities, it is the most beautiful, and architecturally the most amazing city for me. And the Czechs are so warm and funny; I work well with them and I feel welcome here,” he said.

The Prague Film Fund was founded in December 2016 and its aim is to support the positive presentation of the City of Prague abroad through film and television productions.

These grants are separate from other incentives offered by the Czech Film Fund, which supports domestic and foreign productions. Those incentives have different requirements.

Prague is a popular city for filmmaking but often is depicted as another city. Amadeus, released in 1984, used the city as Vienna, for example. Hellboy, released in 2004, used it as several cities but none of them Prague. More recently, The Zookeeper’s Wife, released in 2017, passed the city off as Warsaw. Jackie Chan was in Prague to film the 2002 comedy Shanghai Knights, set in London.

Films that showed off Prague as Prague include the 2015 Chinese romance Somewhere Only We Know, the 2016 war film Anthropoid, the 2002 spy films Bad Company and XXX, and the 1996 spy thriller Mission: Impossible.

For more information about grants visit praguefilmfund.cz.

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