In the face of the Coronavirus the Lithuanian film industry has encountered and still encounters serious challenges. Thanks to close collaboration with the film industry, Lithuanian Film Centre has efficiently identified the most affected areas and their needs. In an attempt to counter the problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic the film sector was provided with 6.2 million euros funding, which was distributed by the Lithuanian Film Centre. Such multifaceted support for the film sector is the only one in the Baltic States.
An additional 475 080 euros were dedicated to support film projects currently in production. Funding was issued to 28 projects that were in production stage. A great share of the funding was aimed at new content creation. 2 717 850 euros was distributed to 63 new film and TV projects.
Limitations were imposed upon all cultural film events in the whole of Lithuania. After evaluation the additional demand for film events and festivals still to take place this year, further 88 270 euros were provided to 21 events to cover such expenses.
Part of the additional funding was dedicated for individual creators for writing and developing new screenplays, preparing publications and research on the subject of cinema. The sum of 118 800 euros were granted to 48 authors.
In an attempt to reduce the losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to cinemas and film distributors, one-off grants have been issued. The total budget of this government support measure is 2.8 million euros. The support will reach 18 cinemas, they have received 2.24 million euros and 12 film distribution companies which have received 560 thousand euros. Earlier the LFC has requested an economic analysis of the situation. Based on the data provided by cinema operators, during the year 2020 the market will experience the losses greater than 8 million euros, from ticket sales alone, while losses from other sales (drinks, snacks, etc) should reach approximately another 4 million euros. The total loss of income could reach around 12 million euros in the year 2020 alone.
In June, after cinemas reopened after 13 weeks, Lithuanian Film Centre and Lithuanian National Radio and Television have initiated a nationwide campaign After Dark Come the Films and encouraged the viewers to return to their favoured cinemas in the country.
In an aim to reduce administrative load on the film industry companies, the Lithuanian Film Centre has initiated the film producers and film distributors companies’ inclusion to the list of companies compiled by the STI, where listed companies are released from interest on arrears, tax recovery and which will be able to pay taxes at the end of the state of emergency or to create a tax loan agreement.