COVID-19 outbreak: Support measures by the Netherlands Film Fund

In addition to the extensive, generic measures of the Dutch Government, aimed at the continuity of businesses and self-reliance, the Netherlands Film Fund takes action by responding to acute sector-specific bottlenecks with films or film activities.

We are convinced that the sooner we arrive at an adequate response, the less impact the COVID-19 crisis will ultimately have. We therefore call on other film financiers to continue their activities and to show leniency. We also ask for solidarity from everyone in the chain, from film producers to end-users, but also from insurers and banks to support film professionals and their work during this difficult time and to take their responsibility in, among other things, bridging the loss of income of the self-employed.

SUPPORT MEASURES FILM FUND

The Netherlands Film Fund will respond to specific bottlenecks in the Dutch film and AV sector:

  • A relaxation in subsidy conditions and obligations for films and film activities already subsidized by the Fund that are now being implemented. This can amount to, for instance, an extension for film productions with regard to delivery and screening requirements. This gives producers the opportunity to adjust production planning or to move delivery and release of the film . For film festivals and film activities, there is room for meeting requirements at a later stage, the use of own reserves and leniency on our part, if current and planned activities cannot proceed as a result of COVID-19.
  • An extension of the advance by fully or partly bringing forward subsidy term payments, thus absorbing where possible the costs already incurred for crew and cast members, film supply companies and investments in production. The Film Fund calls on other financiers to do the same. The Fund asks applicants to provide insight into these costs and, if advance payment from the Fund is not sufficient to cover all costs incurred, to come to mutual agreements with those who have incurred costs or are entitled to compensation at the start of production.
  • A contribution to cover additional (pre) production costs that are directly related to the postponing, changes or setbacks that have occurred since March 2020 and that incur in addition to the existing production budget. Often, costs due to postponement or changes will occur again at a later stage or will production decisions to selectively supported films have to be changed. The extra contribution will depend on the nature and complexity of the problems.

Depending on the substantiation of these extra costs, we arrive at indicative amounts, varying from €25,000 for cinema documentaries and minority co-productions selectively supported by the Film Fund to € 50,000 for feature films up to € 75,000 for internationally co-produced feature films with production abroad. For productions only supported by the Production Incentive, it will be examined whether relief can be provided.

The costs for a restart must be made clear and are meant in particular to cover for the extra costs of film professionals (crew, cast and film supply companies). Provided we receive a solid substantiation and financial breakdown, we will quickly make the amounts payable in the form of an additional contribution. The applicant guarantees that the amounts reach the relevant crew, cast and other contractors. Accountability takes place afterwards, and where applicable with an interim update after three months. The procedure to apply for additional contributions will be published on our website early next week.

  • An additional distribution contribution is available for the forced redistribution and marketing of majority Dutch feature films and cinema documentaries hit by the sudden closure of cinemas and film theatres with the start of their release from March 2020. If the investments already made in marketing and distribution have to be made again, this is an indicative additional contribution with a maximum of € 10,000-25,000 per production. Naturally this is dependent on substantiation and revised release plans.

The Film Fund will continue to closely monitor the effects in the short and long term and will inform the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) about this. You will find an initial inventory of the effects in the appendix.

Annex: COVID-19 Effects on the film sector