A new project from producer Pavel Strnad (Something Like Happiness, Year Of The Devil) has received a record $946,000 (CZK 15m) in financing from the Czech state film fund for a new project, comic book adaptation Alois Nebel.

The move may signal a change in the way the state funding body supports local productions.

In its most recent deliberations the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography divided more than $3.3m (CZK 53m) among 14 feature film projects.

Last year in January the state fund divided $5.7m (CZK 90m) among 18 features, fueling criticism that state funds were being spread too thinly over too many projects.

The council that administers the fund appears to have been listening.

The allotment for Alois Nebel, which Strnad will produce for Negativ, represents 40% of the film's $2.5m (CZK 40m) budget -- a record in the history of the fund. State funds have traditionally made up only 10-20%of the budgets of Czech films.

Alois Nebel will be the feature debut for director Tomas Lunak. The screenplay, based on the popular Czech comic book of the same name, will be adapted by the strip's creators, writer Jaroslav Rudis and artist Jaromir 99. Miroslav Krobot (The Man From London) will play the title character.

Alois Nebel will combine live action and animation using the rotoscope technique employed recently by Richard Linklater in A Scanner Darkly. Strnad expects the project to go into production at the end of next year, with a release in 2010.

Other projects award financing from the Czech fund in its most recent allotment include David Ondricek's murder story Ve stinu kone (CZK 10m/$630,000), Juraj Herz's horror Darkness (CZK 5m/$315,000) and Jan Nemec's project Heart Beat (CZK 4.9m/$309,000). The fund council divided a further $608,000 (CZK 9.65) for production among five other feature projects.