There were mixed fortunes for the Dutch film industry yesterday as the Government's advisory council, the "Raad voor Cultur", announced its spending recommendations for 2005 to 2008.
Events such as The Rotterdam Film Festival, the Dutch Film Festival and IDFA received a qualified thumbs up, but while their funding will remain stable, their plans for expansion have received a lukewarm response.
At a time of Government cut-backs, the Raad is clearly striving to safeguard the current level of public spending on film. However, its message to applicants is "stick to your core business."
The bulk of the public funding is to go to the Netherlands Film Fund, which will receive around Euros 11m - roughly half the amount it had requested.
The Rotterdam Festival is set to receive Euros 922,500 Euros per annum, a small increase on its previous budget but a long way short of the Euros 1.2m it had requested. The Raad praised Rotterdam for "playing a crucial part in Dutch film culture," but turned down the festival's proposals for an "Online Festival." "The Raad doesn't think it is an urgent matter," a Government spokesperson told ScreenDaily.com.
IDFA, the celebrated documentary festival in Amsterdam, likewise discovered that its hopes of expansion are likely to be dashed. IDFA had asked for in excess of 500,000 Euros, but the Raad recommended that its funding should be fixed at 387,000 Euros -marginally less than it is currently receiving.
Promotional body Holland Film had asked for in excess of a Euros 1m but the Raad has recommended its funding should be pegged at Euros 600,000 Euros, albeit with the possibility of extra financing to be channelled into Oscar campaigns.
Egmond Film had asked for Euros 288,000 Euros but the Raad has recommended it should receive nothing at all and that funding for production should be administered through the Netherlands Film Fund.
Meanwhile, training body the Maurits Binger Institute is to receive Euros589,250, considerably less than it had requested. "Maurits Binger hasn't made up its mind, in the view of the Raad, whether it wants to focus on education or want to be a place where people make films," a Raad spokesperson commented.
The final decision on the allocation of funds will be made by State Secretary of Culture and Media Medy van der Laan in September. She is likely to approve most of the Raad's recommendations but there is bound to be frantic lobbying to change her mind in the intervening months.