Mapping the film industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Association for Visual Culture (VizArt)
Country of applicant: 
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Beneficiary countries: 
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Funds allocated (in USD): 
Project implementation period: 
January 2012 to January 2013

About the project

About the projectThe aim of this project is to map the film industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina to develop an Action Plan. It will be used to highlight the economic potential of the film industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This will in turn shape cultural policy reform and foster economic development. About the organizationVizArt (Association for Visual Culture) was founded in 2004. Its main goal is to produce and promote feature and documentary films in Bosnia. Since its foundation, VizArt has shot four feature films and fifteen documentary films and has won fourteen international awards. It cooperates with directors, set designers, costume designers and authors in different fields. VizArt believes in international cooperation and is regularly present in film industry events across Europe. It counts the Ministry of Civil Affairs of B&H, the Association of Film Professionals of B&H and the European Audiovisual Observatory amongst its partners. Its work has been supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Family, Youth and Sport of the Republic of Srpska. Local ContextThe recent history of the civil war (1992 – 1995) puts the issue of culture at the heart of the development paradox in B&H: it is both a major challenge and a key part of the solution for political and social development. The country’s intercultural dynamics have the potential to provide economic opportunities that would foster development. While considerable efforts have been made to outline a state-level policy, the first ever Strategy for Cultural Policy was adopted in 2008 did not enclose an Action Plan for its implementation. Main objectivesThe overall objective of this project is to strengthen the cultural industries sector and to contribute to sustainable development and job creation. This is being achieved through an Action Plan, itself constituted through a mapping exercise of the local film industry. Because this plan is being elaborated through consensus of various stakeholders, this is a case of participatory policy making. This project is pushing for tax incentives to provide assistance for the creation, production, distribution, dissemination of activities, goods and services of the local film industry. It is establishing a specific social security benefit status for artists and other professionals. It is encouraging measures to support public institutions so that they can facilitate the development of the film industry. This goes through the development of financial support programs designed to foster a dynamic film industry inclusive of all modes of creation, production, dissemination, distribution and access. In addition, Viz Art is creating a framework for self employed artists and highlighting success stories in order to benefit from systematic strategic support from the authorities. Finally, this project accounts for cultural diversity both on a domestic and international level. Main activitiesA team of consultants conducted the mapping exercise through interviews and questionnaires with stakeholders. These included public authorities, production companies, film professionals and NGOs. The mapping exercise took into account every process in the film industry from development, production, distribution to broadcast stages. It looked at industry performance by examining core film industry activities such as production and it also examined peripheral activities such as equipment manufacture, reproduction material, distribution and movie theaters. Economic perspectives were also taken into consideration through analysis of employment, revenue streams, supply and demand factors as well as financing possibilities (public, private, national and European). Findings focus on reviewing the local film industry’s structure and performance. They take into account factors linked to supply and demand of local content. Growth opportunities in areas such as employment are taken under consideration. Consultants will then deliver recommendations for potential policy interventions that would promote development and job creation. Following the research process, VizArt will organize a two-day conference with the objective to develop an Action Plan. All relevant stakeholders will participate in the development of this Action Plan. This includes competent ministries, companies, civil society organizations, educational and research institutions. Once completed, this plan will be submitted to relevant ministries of Bosnia and Herzegovina for their consideration and action. In association with its partners, Viz Art will conduct a media campaign that will communicate objectives and results of this project. This will include two press conferences: the first will present project objectives prior to its launch, the second will share results with the public. Furthermore, Viz Art and its partners will also promote the project on public broadcast networks, using this opportunity to endorse the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.