State broadcaster Czech Television (CTV) has confirmed that it will continue in its role as the Czech Republic''s biggest backer of local features, despite management changes and political disputes that have recently rocked the channel.

"We will remain a major producer of Czech films," said Denisa Strbova, head of CTV division Telexport. "Our new director Dusan Chmelicek wants to continue with the positive things achieved by his predecessors, one of which was film production."

Strbova added that individual producers will be involved in the CTV production process, despite calls for a centralised production system. The Czech Republic is one of Eastern Europe''s most prolific film producers, with an output of more than 20 features a year. However most local productions are niche films that perform poorly at the local and international box office, making CTV backing crucial to local producers.

"Kolya (Jan Sverak''s international box office hit) was an exception to the rule - it''s hard to sell Czech films for theatrical distribution," said Strbova. "TV sales are more profitable for us and we do most of our business at MIP and MIPCOM."