The speakers were members of the professional committee studying the applications submitted to Film Center in 2018, Nazeni Gharibyan, art figure, RA deputy minister of culture, Armine Andan, producer, actress, Viktorya Aleksanyan, director, producer, Seda Grigoryan and Khaneh Poghosyan, documentary directors.
Nazeni Gharibyan mentioned about the changes that took place in the Armenian National Film Center and film production field.
“The Film Center must be an allocating entity rather than a film producing one. Regarding funding film production there will be attached this independent committee”, the deputy minister said.
Seda Grigoryan said that at the moment of assuming the obligations in the committee the annual budget for film production allocated from the state budget was less than half.
“The annual budget for film production was 274,440 AMD, and we could dispose of 119, 597 AMD which envisages small funding to films. Out of total 45 projects submitted we received 44.”
Viktorya Aleksanyan noted that for years there have been incomplete and passing films and they have received funding from annual budget.
“The state has for years funded films that did not have cofounding and being incomplete they moved to next year. Such strategy of film funding prevailed up to this year. Those films did not go through contests, they were privileged. Such an approach does not foster film production, rather it leads to stagnation and corruption”, Aleksanyan said.
Seda Grigoryan mentioned one of those films as “The Dance with Swords” being Armenian-Russian joint production and is dedicated to Aram Khachatryan.
“The film was presented in March 2018 as commissioned by the state. We made inquiries and did not find any document confirming that. We have received a paper on allocating state subsidy from the ministry that was formulated in May. This year’s budget allocated 50 million to this film and it was presented as commissioned by the state without verifying documents. There is only a contract with the film center which binds the Armenian side to pay another 47 million AMD next year”, Grigoryan said.
Armine Anda emphasizes the importance of regulating the field in order to avoid incomplete or passing films.
“One can’t start a film without full funding for the whole production process. This rule must apply to everyone. A regulation and Law on Film will lay favorable ground for the producer and coproducer. The law shall solve the problem of developing cinema through the law. I am pleased that the ministry of culture has already initiated to set up a committee of law”, Anda said.
In the end the speakers agreed that even with state commission there must be one general contest.
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