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Austria/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

The Film Promotion Act (1998) regulates the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI). The ÖFI supports cinema movies as cultural goods and Austrian filmmaking by allocating subsidies for Austrian films, e.g. for filmmakers and film producers, as well as international co-productions. The ÖFI also supports film distribution and cinemas. 15% of the annual budget (amounting to a total of EUR 20 million) is dedicated to the promotion of young film makers and producers. Members of the Austrian Film Institute select the projects. The ÖFI strengthens the economic basis of the Austrian cinematic scene as a pre-condition for the success of Austrian films nationwide and abroad. The law stipulates the publication of an annual report on the Austrian film economy by the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI). This amendment contains further new provisions on video and television broadcasting rights and deadlines for the restitution of rights.

The second-largest support body for film is the Vienna Film Fund, which provides around EUR 11.8 million for the production of Austrian films every year.

The Film Television Agreement (Film / Fernseh-Abkommen 1981, amended 2003, 2006 and 2011) was signed by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF), and by the Austrian Film Institute to promote and support Austrian films with funds from the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (annually 5.96 million EUR up to 2010). The new Film Television Agreement has been signed in 2011, and by now the ORF provides financial means amounting to 8 million EUR. Thus guarantee the future funding of domestic films and the responsibility of the statutory broadcaster for this.

According to an amendment to the "KommAustria" Act (see chapter 4.2.6), an "Austrian Television Endowment Fund" (Fernsehfonds Austria) was set up in 2004. This fund receives an annual endowment of 7.5 million EUR and is derived from broadcasting fees to support the production of Austrian television films, series and documentaries. This fund is administrated by the Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications (RTR), which acts as the operative arm of the Austrian Communications Authority ("KommAustria").

There is no obligatory deposit ("Depot legal") for publicly supported films in Austria; such a regulation is voluntary. However, the Austrian Film Archive is intensively involved in the acquisition of contemporary film stocks which are to be added to Austria's film heritage. Along the lines of leading European film nations, both the Filmarchiv Austria and film funding institutions are endeavouring to place the medium of film on an equal footing with that of literature, since a reserve copy of every book is generally deposited within the Austrian National Library. In this way the initiative "Depot Legal" guarantees a decisive step towards improving the country's film-cultural infrastructure. The Austrian Film Museum is likewise involved in deposits from film artists, directors and lenders.

Chapter published: 26-06-2018

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