[NL] COVID-19 measures implemented by Netherlands Film Fund

IRIS 2020-5:1/18

Ronan Ó Fathaigh

Institute for Information Law (IViR)

On 20 March 2020, the Netherlands Film Fund (Nederlands Filmfonds), the national agency responsible for supporting film production and film-related activities in the Netherlands, announced a number of important measures in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Four specific measures were announced for the film and audiovisual sector.

First, the Fund announced that there would be an easing of the subsidy conditions and obligations currently being implemented for films and film activities already subsidised by the Fund. For example, this will include an extension for film productions with regard to delivery and screening requirements. Secondly, the date of the advance payment of subsidies will be fully or partly brought forward in order to absorb, where possible, costs already incurred for crew and cast members, film supply companies and investments in production. The Fund asked applicants to provide insight into these costs and, if an 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. Thirdly, there will be a contribution to cover additional production costs directly related to the postponements, changes or setbacks that have occurred since March 2020 and that have been incurred in addition to the existing production budget. The Fund states that “[d]epending on the substantiation of these extra costs, we arrive at indicative amounts, varying from EUR 25 000 for cinema documentaries and minority co-productions selectively supported by the Film Fund to EUR 50 000 for feature films, up to EUR 75 000 for internationally co-produced feature films with production abroad.” Fourthly, an additional distribution contribution has been made 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 whose release dates were scheduled from March 2020. For example, if investments already made in marketing and distribution have to be made again, there is an indicative additional contribution amounting to a maximum of EUR 10 000- EUR 25 000 per production.

Finally, the Fund called on other film financiers to continue their activities and to show leniency. It asked for everyone in the chain to show solidarity, from film producers to end-users, but also insurers and banks, who should support film professionals and their work during this difficult time and exercise their responsibility in, among other things, bridging the loss of income among the self-employed.

The 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 on these effects.


This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.