5.3.6 Film, video and photography
The Film Promotion Act (1998) regulates the Austrian Film Institute (ÖFI) which is in charge of promoting and supporting the Austrian film industry, i.e., to allocate subsidies for Austrian films, e.g. for filmmakers and film producers. The projects are selected by members of the Austrian Film Institute. Amendments made in 1998 were designed to strengthen the economic base of the Austrian film scene by making international co-productions easier, encouraging support for distribution systems, and creating a cinema support scheme (15% of the budget reserved for a new generation of film makers and film producers). Due to an amendment in 2004 to the Film Promotion Act, an Austrian Film Council was established to advise the federal government on film policies and funding. Furthermore, 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. In the appendix of the 2010 revised guidelines of the bmu:kk for awarding subsidies (see chapter 5.1.3) there are also new guidelines regarding film subsidies, which replace the previous film guidelines.
The second-largest support body for film is the Vienna Film Fund, which provided EUR 11.5 million for the production of Austrian films in 2011.
The global development in the audio-visual media sector and media industry, as well as severe competition in this sector, required prompt reorganisation and proper regulations in the Austrian audio-visual media sector (e.g. referring to the monopoly held by the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation, ORF). Amendments were subsequently made to the Public Broadcasting Law 1997-1999 to enable the public TV broadcasting system to be efficiently managed in the face of increasingly fierce competition (see chapter 4.2.3).
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 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 ("legal depository"); since 2004 there have been 15 000 acquisitions. The Austrian Film Museum is likewise involved in deposits from film artists, directors and lenders.