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Portugal mulls new film law

Film institute pushes for tax credits

LISBON — Portugal’s film institute, ICA, unveiled an ambitious draft Film Law on Friday.

The draft law will introduce tax credits of up to E2.5 million ($3.4 million) per film, equivalent to up to 27.5% of the total Portuguese production spend per pic.

It also proposes that tax credits may be sold to other producers.

At present, Portugal offers only limited subsidy support for local productions, worth up to $800,000 per film, and has found it extremely difficult to attract international co-productions.

The draft law also includes a phasing out of the E112 million film fund, FICA, set up in 2006, which recently appointed a new management firm, Banif.

To compensate winding down FICA, the law proposes the introduction of investment obligations for free TV operators and film distributors, but does not specify the breakdown of such obligations between film and TV investment.

The draft law also aims to alleviate the woes of cash-strapped ICA, by proposing an ambitious levy system to be imposed on free and pay TV operators, cable TV distributors, theater owners and telecommunications firms, which analysts believe will be firmly contested during the public consultation process, which ends Oct. 12.

Minister of culture, Gabriela Canavilhas, said she would like parliament to approve the law by the end of this year.

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