For information on broadcasting, see chapter 2.5.3 on media pluralism and chapter 4.2.6 on audiovisual legislation.
For media affairs, there are two publics funds: the Co-productiefonds Binnenlandse Omroep (Co-production Fund National Broadcasting) and the Dutch Journalism Fund. The Dutch Cultural Media Fund was dismantled on January 1st, 2017 and the tasks of the fund were taken over by the national public broadcaster (NPO).
The Netherlands Film Fund is the government-subsidised agency that is responsible for film production and film related activities, such as festivals, co-production markets and individual training for film professionals. Dutch cinema and film culture should be developed and strengthened by the fund and it offers various support schemes on production and distribution. The Netherlands Film Commission, a division of the Netherlands Film Fund, “is the official liaison between the Dutch creative media industries and foreign producers and production companies.”
In 2014, the Netherlands Film Fund introduced the Film Production Incentive, which offers a cash rebate up to 35 percent on costs made in the Netherlands. Between 2014 and 2019, this measure generated more than EUR 375 million in production expenditure. In 2017, the Netherlands Film Fund started a pilot to expand the Film Production Incentive to high end television series. In June 2019, the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, announced the continuation of this pilot in 2020 with an additional incidental investment of EUR 5.5 million (guidelines for the cultural policy in 2021-2024).
At the end of 2013, the government decided to earmark an additional EUR 20 million to improve the competitiveness of the Dutch film industry, and to stimulate foreign filmmakers to move their production to the Netherlands. The Netherlands Film Fund is responsible for distributing the additional grants. In the current period 2017-2020, four film festivals (International Film Festival Rotterdam, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, Cinekid and the Netherlands Film Festival) and one support organisation for film (EYE Film Museum) are part of the national basic infrastructure for culture. The total budget for this period is EUR 50.18 million per year.
In February 2018, the Dutch Council for Culture published their advice for the government regarding the audiovisual sector. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science requested the Council to investigate how to stimulate diverse and high-quality productions within the changing media landscape and how to guarantee their accessibility. To make the Dutch audiovisual sector future-proof, the Council has four main recommendations:
- Media literacy is seen as the foundation of a future-proof sector. There should be film education-hubs in every region and film screenings for educational purposes need to be VAT exempt.
quality of Dutch audiovisual productions must be better in order to compete
international offer. It is suggested that the Netherlands Film Fund should be transformed into one broad audiovisual fund that stimulates the quality, production and promotion of Dutch audiovisual production with selective and automatic schemes.
productions should stay findable and recognisable within the growing amount of
audiovisual content. The accessibility can profit from a collaboration between commercial and public broadcasters. There should also be a quota for video-on-demand providers (e.g. Netflix) and film theatres on the amount of Dutch productions.
- The Council advocates a ‘circular’ financing system for the sector. It is recommended to introduce levies on the exploitation of media productions that can be seen in the Netherlands; through sales, rentals and subscriptions, cable connections, cinemas and advertising revenues from platforms with audiovisual content. These taxes could finance the audiovisual fund partially.
Regarding media literacy, the Ministry already invested EU 900 000 in 2019 in the pilot project Network Film Education Programme with the EYE Film Museum as pilot organisation. The Ministry aims to expand the project with other regional partners and is willing to invest EUR 2.9 million on a structural basis from 2020 onwards.
In May 2018, Minister Van Engelshoven announced new agreements with the film industry to promote the production of Dutch films (btw-convenant Film 2018). In exchange for a lower VAT rate on cinema tickets, Dutch film distributors and cinema operators will make more money available for the production of Dutch blockbusters.
In February 2019, Minister Van Engelshoven attended a symposium for filmmakers at the EYE Film Museum on the quality of Dutch productions. The direct cause for the symposium was the result of a survey distributed within the film industry, in which 80% of the respondents stated that the quality of Dutch feature films is substandard compared to international feature films. The industry criticises the Netherlands Film Fund because the fund would interfere too much with the content of audiovisual productions. The industry wants a different policy regarding film and are discussing this with the government.