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Public Funding in a Time of Crisis: Film Funds and the Pandemic


This essay will examine the role of publicly-funded film funds in small nations during the pandemic. Organisation like Det Danske Filminstitut, Hrvatski Audiovizualni Centar, Screen Scotland and Screen Ireland exist to support filmmakers in the realisation of their creative vision, to aid the circulation of national cultural resources and to provide audiences with the opportunity to access a diverse array of films. In small nations they are often the primary source of funding to the sector and so play a key role in building the capacity and international visibility of the nation and its film output.

This contribution to the special issue will identify trends in the funding and support provided by these organisations during the crisis; for instance, in adjusting their funding strategies, but also in their advocacy efforts with those beyond the film sector to secure financial support measures for the sector. It identifies future roles for film funds including redistributing limited public funds, supporting creative labour markets that are sustainable and equitable, and communicating the message to international productions, potential co-producers and investors that the country and its sector is open for business. I conclude by also reflecting on the long-term threats that these bodies may themselves face in the coming years as a result of economic and political transformations that are occurring today.