[NL] New support measures for film industry following easing of COVID-19 restrictions 

IRIS 2021-7:1/25

Ronan Ó Fathaigh

Institute for Information Law (IViR)

On 27 May 2021, the Netherlands Film Fund (Nederlands Filmfonds), the national agency responsible for supporting film production and film-related activities in the Netherlands, launched an important new scheme of support measures for the film industry in the Netherlands. This followed the announcement by the Dutch government that COVID-19 restrictions on cinemas and movie theatres in the Netherlands would be eased from 5 June 2021, with cultural institutions such as theatres, cinemas and concert halls being allowed to open for a maximum of 50 visitors per room (for previous measures, see IRIS 2020-5/18, IRIS 2020-6/8 and IRIS 2020-7/17). The new scheme is entitled Full Circle, and is one of the Film Fund's support measures in the context of COVID-19 support measures, and has a subsidy ceiling of EUR 3 500 000.  

The new scheme is designed to support film distributors during the reopening period of cinemas and movie theatres following a long closure during the COVID-19 restrictions (see IRIS 2020-5/8). The Film Fund states that the purpose of the new scheme is to “increase the visibility of Dutch talent and their films on the big screen and to support the film chain as a whole”. The scheme is targeted at Dutch feature films, full-length animation films, and documentaries (major film productions) that were made with a support measure from the Film Fund.

First, in terms of eligibility, film distributors that have continuously released films in Dutch cinemas and movie theatres for at least two years prior to the application may apply. As an exception, a production company in collaboration with a film marketing, publicity agency or film distributor, is also eligible to apply. Further, only Dutch majority feature films, full-length animation films or documentaries with a Film Fund contribution, of which all shooting days have been completed by 31 August 2021, are eligible. Second, the theatrical release aimed at the best possible reach in cinemas and movie theatres must take place in 2021 or the first half of 2022. Third, in terms of specific support, where there is a budget for prints and advertising (P&A) of up to EUR 60 000, an increased distribution contribution can be requested up to EUR 30 000. Crucially, there is no mandatory personal P&A investment of 20% by the applicant. Furthermore, where there is a budget for print and advertising of EUR 60 000 or more, the applicant can request an additional distribution contribution. The applicant's own investment for print and advertising is 100% matched by the Fund up to a maximum contribution of EUR 100 000. For both application options, a maximum of 15% of the Fund contribution may be spent on (hired) staff and overheads, up to a maximum amount of EUR 12 000. Both fund contributions are cost-reducing and therefore do not have to be repaid. Finally, the scheme will apply from 31 May 2021 until 31 September 2021.


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