To: Individuals and institutions interested in film, art, and cultural

BKA Federal Chancellery film subsidy – composition of the advisory board – April 2019

We, IG Filmkultur and all signatories of this open letter, demand that Minister for the EU, Art, Culture, and Media—Gernot Blümel—replace the advisory board members with qualified experts* in innovative film, and that his choices reflect a gender-balance.

Why does it matter?

 

Dear Minister Blümel,

We urge you to reconsider the new appointments to the advisory board members of section II/3 – Film of the BKA, the Federal Chancellery, and thereby keep the successful legacy of this film-funding program alive.

The film-funding program of the Federal Chancellery for innovative film in Austria has been a great success for many years. With only modest financial resources, it has continuously achieved artistic worldwide success in experimental, documentary, short and feature films. Due to their diversity and artistic relevance, these films are celebrated and awarded at the most important film festivals and in the most prestigious cinematheques and exhibition halls in the world, and thereby making significant contributions to Austria’s international reputation as a cultured film country.

Many of the most important names in Austrian film and their greatest successes are inextricably linked to the funding of the Federal Chancellery. For established and internationally renowned Austrian filmmakers, as well as young Austrian film talents, this funding agency has been a reliable partner for decades.

The reason that this trust was established was in turn because different governments over the last decades instilled confidence in, and showed respect towards the good work of the film funding of the Federal Chancellery.

Our successes cannot be taken for granted; they are the result of many years of forward-thinking cooperation between highly qualified civil servants and members of the advisory board. The advisory board normally consists of persons who are familiar with the requirements and the international importance of innovative Austrian filmmaking from personal experience and expertise. In addition, a careful composition of the advisory board ensures that a wide range of expertise is covered and gender-balance is maintained.

When we look at the recently appointed advisory board members of Division II/3 – Film of the BKA, at present we cannot conceive that the balance and the quality of their subsequent decision-making could be guaranteed.

Oliver Auspitz and Alexander Glehr, two of the producers who have been appointed to the advisory board, both specialize in the production of TV films as well as major feature films, but have no professional relationship to innovative film. Hannes Fretzer is an actor in TV productions but, as a director, does not have the necessary experience that would qualify him for this advisory role.

It is the same case regarding the matter of appointment decisions for the Festival Advisory Council: the biographies of Serge Falck and Peter Hofbauer lack any expertise in the field of film festivals.

And not only do the above-mentioned persons lack the specific qualification for the Advisory Board’s activities in the BKA, but among these seven new persons you have just appointed, there is only one (!) woman.

We urge you to fulfill your responsibilities as Minister of Arts and Culture and to reconsider your choice of replacements by the next submission deadline of May 31. We’d be happy to explain our point of view in a personal meeting.

Dear Minister Blümel, we urge you to fill the seats of the Advisory Board for Film Funding in the Federal Chancellery with gender-balanced and qualified experts for innovative film!

Respectfully,

 
Please join our initiative through this link .