A 2005 study released May 9 by the Czech Ministry of Culture calls forthe creation of a 12.5% tax rebate for productions filmed in the Czech Republic and the creationof a national body to oversee a comprehensive strategy to promote domesticfilms abroad and boost the country as a destination for foreign productions.

As envisioned in the study, the rebate would apply to Czech andinternational productions, but not to development of infrastructure.

Conducted by consulting firm Olsberg SPI and paid for bythe Czech Ministry of Culture, the study was the first independent and mostcomprehensive appraisal of the economic footprint of the film industry in the Czech Republic.

The 12.5% figure -- lower than the 20% offered by Hungary -- reflectsthe Czech Republic's perceived advantage in terms of studio space andexpertise. The study also recommends creating more precise conditions to the advantageof producers, such as providing a more expeditious refund of producers' money.

Radomir Docekal,executive director of the Audiovisual Producers Association (APA), which helpedco-ordinate the study, said the next immediate step was to form an ad-hoccommittee of producers, service providers and others in the film community tolobby the government for change.

Czechs will vote in general elections in June, so many politicians arepre-occupied with campaign issues. Nonetheless Docekalsaid both ruling and opposition figures have been responsive to the study sofar. After the elections the country will fall into a summer holiday slumber,reawakening in September. Given the relative pressure of other issues, Docekal said he would be pleasantly surprised if thegovernment took concrete action within the next two to three years.

Nonetheless Docekal says there is good willamong the relevant officials. "When I was traveling around the ministries andstate agencies [preparing the study] with Olsberg, Ifound that the people there are very open to speaking about how to support thefilm industry," he told ScreenDaily.com."Everybody understands that it creates some impact on the Czech economy."