2020-2021 Aid schemes for film industry
Radio Romania International
The Romanian Government has allocated EUR 1.58 million to four de minimis aid schemes in the field of cinema. On 20 January 2020, the government approved a memorandum extending the validity of the de minimis aid schemes, which are administered by the Centrul Naţional al Cinematografiei (National Cinematography Center – CNC) (see IRIS 2004-2/35, IRIS 2011-2/5 and IRIS 2018-2/29).
The memorandum includes a de minimis aid scheme for participation in domestic and international film festivals and fairs; a de minimis aid scheme for the distribution and exploitation of Romanian films of all kinds; a de minimis aid scheme for supporting cultural programmes, film education, the organising of cultural film events, as well as the publication of specialised publications; and a de minimis aid scheme to encourage art-house cinema and the programming of the films therein, in application of the provisions of Government Ordinance No. 39/2005 on cinematography, approved with modifications and completions by Law No. 328/2006, as subsequently amended and completed.
In addition to extending the validity period, the memorandum also covers changes targeting the estimated number of beneficiaries, the budget allocated to the de minimis aid schemes, as well as the duration of the grant. The period of validity of the new schemes is until December 2020, respectively one year from their approval, and the period within which de minimis aid payments will be made is 2020-2021. The money allocated for the four de minimis aid schemes comes from the CNC.
De minimis aid schemes were developed in their initial form with a validity period from 2014/2015 to 2018/2019. According to the provisions of Emergency Ordinance No. 77/2014 regarding national procedures in the field of state aid as well as amending and completing Competition Law No. 21/1996, with the subsequent modifications and completions, any draft measure likely to represent state aid or de minimis aid must be accompanied by a memorandum approved by the government regarding the management of these measures in the economic-budgetary and financial policies of the Romanian State.
The amount proposed for the de minimis aid scheme for participating in both domestic and international film festivals and fairs is EUR 300 000, and the estimated number of beneficiaries is 60. According to the document, 58 Romanian films were presented with a total of 157 awards between 2015 and 2018 .
The total budget allocated to the de minimis aid scheme for the distribution and exploitation of Romanian films of all kinds is EUR 375 000, and the estimated number of beneficiaries is 55. Out of a total of 13.2 million spectators who went to the cinema in 2018, only 389 172 of them (2.95%) watched Romanian films. American films obtained the highest attendance, with 10.7 million viewers (81.12%), followed by European films, with 1.5 million viewers (11.43%).
The total budget allocated to the de minimis aid scheme for supporting cultural programmes, film education, organising cultural events and publishing specialised publications is EUR 850 000, and the total estimated number of beneficiaries for the entire duration of the scheme is 80.
Lastly, the total budget allocated to the de minimis aid scheme to encourage art-house cinema and the programming of the films therein is EUR 63 000, and the estimated number of beneficiaries is four.
- Memorandum cu tema: Schema de ajutor de minimis pentru participarea la festivaluri şi târguri de filme, interne şi internaţionale, Schema de ajutor de minimis pentru distribuirea şi exploatarea filmelor româneşti de toate genurile, Schema de ajutor de minimis pentru susţinerea programelor de cultură, educaţie cinematografică, organizare de evenimente culturale cinematografice precum şi pentru editarea de publicaţii de specialitate şi Schema de ajutor de minimis pentru încurajarea funcţionării cinematografului de artă şi a programării filmelor în acestea în aplicarea prevederilor Ordonanţei Guvernului nr. 39/2005 privind cinematografia, aprobată cu modificări şi completări prin Legea nr. 328/2006, cu modificările şi completările ulterioare
- Memorandum with the theme: De minimis aid scheme for participation in film festivals and fairs, domestic and international, De minimis aid scheme for distribution and exploitation of Romanian films of all kinds, De minimis aid scheme for supporting cultural programs, film education , organization of cultural cultural events as well as for the publication of specialized publications and the De minimis aid scheme to encourage the functioning of the art cinema and the programming of the films therein in application of the provisions of the Government Ordinance no. 39/2005 on the cinematography, approved with modifications and completions by Law no. 328/2006, as subsequently amended and completed)
- Comunicat de presă - Ministerul Culturii: Memorandumul pentru prelungirea valabilităţii schemelor de ajutor de minimis administrate de Centrul Naţional al Cinematografiei, 20.01.2020
- Press release - Ministry of Culture: Memorandum for extending the validity of de minimis aid schemes administered by the National Center of Cinematography, 20.01.2020
This article has been published in IRIS Legal Observations of the European Audiovisual Observatory.