PETITION FOR ABOLISHING APPLICATION FEE FOR SLOVENIAN NATIONAL FILM FUND (SFC)

In 2012, Slovenian National Film Agency (Slovenian Film Center -SFC), introduced two types of Tariffs for public Calls in the Public Finance Balance Act (ZUJF) due to the government's reduction of funds intended for SFC employees: The first is Tariff for the implementation of the call or so called Application fee, which the applicant pays when applying for the public film fund. The second is the Tariff at the closure of the contract, which must be paid by the applicant once the project has been selected, and is linked to administrative costs; this means that a part of the received public funds has to be refunded to SFC immediately when received. 

In the period from 2015 - 2020, SFC received EUR 338,772.75€ from both types of Tariffs (from physical and legal persons who applied for public funds at SFC calls). This income was not subject of taxation. (Source: Secretariat of SFC). 

In the case of public Calls, the SFC therefore requires payment from all applicants (legal or physical enteties) when applying for the public Call (i.e. the Tariff for the implementation of the call). The amount of the application fee is between 50 and 100 euros per individual application and does not depend (proportionally) on the amount of funds applied for, but on the type of Call (e.g. script development, project development, film production) it applies. An example: an applicant who applies for funding for the production the amount of 800,000€, pays the SFC the same amount (100€) as the applicant who applies for 40,000€. The applicant is obliged to pay the appliction/registration fee even in case of an incomplete or rejected application. 

For Slovenia, where public calls are the main source of funding for audiovisual production, and therefore the potential income for filmmakers for the work done, this is an unusual measure that is unknown to almost all European countries. In Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, the national film fund does not require payment to apply for. Besides Slovenia exceptions are known to be in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania. 

The decision for such "selection" of applicants, based on financial capabilities and risks, has affected mosty production houses with lower production capacity, where the financial burden - during the development of the film project and preparations for the Call (until the first financial support) - is mostly borne by authors themselves: directors, screenwriters, animators, directors of photography, etc. These are usually productions with long-term, several years long documentary and animation projects. 

Since the introduction of the Application/Registration fee (or Tariff for the implementation of the Call) limits and maintains unequal access to Slovenian public funds, we call on Slovenian Film Center to abolish the Tariff and provide a democratic space for audiovisual production where production houses and filmmakers will have equal access to public funding for film. Therefore, the invitation to sign the petition is also an APPEAL to respect the democratic principles of the Republic of Slovenia and human rights in the field of culture.   

 

Links: 

SFC Call for documentary film projects, published on April 16, 2021, which shows the request for payment of the Application/Registration fee (i.e. Tariffs) under no. 12.10.
https://www.film-center.si/media/tenders/2021/04/22/besedilo_javnega_razpisa.pdf

Tariff Act and its value (the value of an individual point is 5€ as stated in Article 2) https://www.uradni-list.si/glasilo-uradni-list-rs/vsebina/2012-01-2802?sop=2012-01-2802

Public Finance Balance Act (ZUJF) from 2012, Article 51: http://pisrs.si/Pis.web/pregledPredpisa?id=ZAKO6388

 

Sabina Đogić is a cinematographer, director and producer. After studying philosophy and sociology of culture, she obtained scholarship from the Ministry of Culture for study of Cinematography at the Universidad del cine in Buenos Aires and finished Master of Creative Documentary Film at IDEC Pompeo Fabra in Barcelona. In the audiovisual field, she has collaborated with productions from Argentina, Russia, Georgia, Estonia, France, Netherlands, Brazil, Spain, Finland and Slovenia. She is a member of EWA (European Women's Audiovisual network), DAE (Documentary Association of Europe), IDA (International Documentary Association), DSR - Director's guild of Slovenia, AIPA and Documentary Collective of Slovenia. The last film she participated in was premiered at last year’s Berlinale.

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