The Czech parliament hasfailed to override a presidential veto of a measure that would have increasedstate support for the local film industry threefold and required greatercontributions from exhibitors and distributors.
In April, the Chamber ofDeputies passed legislation that would increase the annual size of the StateFund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography from $3m to atleast $9.6m. Culture Minister Viteslav Jandak had said the fund could reach$16.6m.
The death of the bill isgood news for exhibitors, broadcasters and rental shops that faced increaseddemands on their earnings. Exhibitors would have been required to contribute 2%of the price of each admission to the fund, or about $0.13 on an average ticket-- nearly three times their current contribution.
Czech President Vaclav Klausvetoed the bill May 12, saying he objected to the idea of the state fundingwhat he considers a commercial enterprise. He also said the legislation gavepreferential support for one branch of the arts.
The director of the CzechFilm and Television Academy, Petr Vachler, blasted Klaus after the veto, sayingthe local film industry receives less state support than the National Theatre.He also said that, owing to the lack of proper legislation and funding, Czechfilms were their losing ability to compete product from American and elsewherein Europe.
Efforts to increase statesupport for Czech productions now go back to the drawing board. If theparliament still has the political will, it may reintroduce the legislation inautumn. General elections in June are likely to hand a victory to Klaus'scentre-right Civic Democrats.