Spanish film industry facing cuts

Fund incentives to be sliced 23%

SAN SEBASTIAN — The Spanish film industry, already suffering from slowing pay-TV coin, now faces a subsidy crunch according to the powerful producers’ lobby group Fapae.

Next year’s incentives from the ICAA film institute’s Film Protection Fund will be axed 23% to the 2001 level of 31.2 million euros ($29.7 million), Fapae prexy Eduardo Campoy announced at the San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival on Wednesday.

The government is attempting to rein in public spending, but the film fund cut is one of the biggest in the Spanish Ministry of Culture’s budget.

Campoy claimed the cuts would “kill” Spanish cinema. That seems like grandstanding. His complaints reflect a growing malaise, however, especially among more subsidy dependent art-pic producers, at financing structures for the industry.

Per Campoy, the Ministry of Culture has no evidence that the country’s broadcasters are investing 5% of their annual revenues buying European films, as they are obliged to do by law.

On a more upbeat note, Campoy announced that new film legislation should double the screen quota count for Spanish films which play for more than 17 days at a cinema.

Exhibbers are obliged to screen one day of European films for every three days of non-European (read U.S.) movies. Now every day that a Spanish pic still screens at a hardtop after its third weekend will count as two days for the screen quota.

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