Rosier future just out of shot, say studios
Turnover at Bonton Zlín film studios fell by 10 percent year on year in 2015 to CZK 53m. Profits were down by around three-fifths to CZK 3.7m, the lowest level for a good few years. The company not only operates as a film production facility and post production laboratory, it also deals in film licensing rights.
Bonton Zlín is projecting a rosier conclusion for itself when it comes to results for this year as a consequence of increased foreign film post-production activities, which have also led the studios to fuse with parent company Bonton, thus adopting the media distributor’s name in the process.
“Given the increasingly international orientation of our activities, we have decided to change the name of our company to Bonton, a. s.,” explained the studio’s head Katarína Morvai.
The substantial fall in revenues was partly the result of the expiration of a licensing rights contract for the film library of Barrandov Film Studios. This enabled the studio to licence films belonging to the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography. “This fact is reflected in reduced profit levels, as our remaining activities are production-oriented, and thus have significantly higher associated costs,” added Morvai.
In response to the expiration of this contract, the company has decided to expand operations of its laboratories. Asides from traditional services, such as processing archive films, and copying camera negatives, Bonton Zlín has also set up a digital post-production facility.
“Among our new services is the ability to transfer digitally shot materials onto film for long-term archiving purposes,” said Morvai. The studios are working on archiving projects with the Prague-based National Film Archives (NFA), as well as on foreign projects, such as the restoration of archive materials for the Slovak Film Institute. “We have also expanded the ranks of foreign clients who are using our facilities to process film negatives, especially from the Near East region,” says the firm.