Fapae lobbies socialist govt.

Producers org calls for more attractive film subsidies

MADRID — Spain’s powerful Fapae producers’ lobby has issued a wish list of measures it would like Spain’s incoming socialist government to adopt — less than three weeks after they swept the March 14 general elections.

Speaking at a press conference in Madrid, Fapae prexy Pedro Perez put forth four requests:

  • An increase of film and TV tax breaks from a current 5% to 20%;

  • A near doubling of Spain’s Fondo de Proteccion film subsidy fund from 2004’s E33.6 million ($41.6 million) to an annual E60 million ($74.2 million);

  • The creation of completion bond companies;

  • The launch of state-driven investment funds targeting film and TV.

The large question is if Spain’s new government — which enters office later this month — will take these proposals to heart.

Spain’s film subsidy fund pales before comparable aid systems in Europe’s other “big five” states. Attempts to introduce significant tax-based funding in Spain have floundered before conservative classes’ indifference towards the audiovisual sector.

New Spanish P.M. Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has declared that culture is a key concern of his government, and, if he gained office, he would adopt a French film funding model. Since state budgets have been set for 2004, the subsidy fund could not be hiked until 2005.

Spain’s new culture minister looks to be the livewire former culture councilor of the Andalusian regional government, Carmen Calvo.

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