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IRIS 2012-7:1/33


New Act on Cinema and Audiovisual Media

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Mariana Lameiras & Helena Sousa

Communication and Society Research Centre, University of Minho

On 6 July 2012,  the Assembleia da República (Portuguese Parliament) adopted the Act on Cinema and Audiovisual Media, which defines a set of State principles for the development and protection of the art of cinema and of audiovisual activities. This document will modify the Portuguese framework for the cinema and audiovisual sector, as established by Law no. 42/2004, of 18 August 2004.

The main amendment introduced by this Act relates to the financing model of the sector. It aims to increase the sources of funding, including the direct involvement of television broadcasters.

Moreover, it defines a programme for cinema designed to provide financial incentives for the writing, development, production and co-production as well as for the exhibition and distribution of national cinematographic works. Another programme for the support of the audiovisual and multimedia sector is provided in order to financially assist independent productions and to promote television broadcasting. A specific audiovisual programme is also considered with the main purpose of complementing, with funding from the Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual (Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Media – ICA), the support given to television broadcasters for the writing and production of films, series and documentaries. Nevertheless, this funding comes mainly from fees collected from TV broadcasters: a fee applied to the exhibition of commercial advertising (namely by cinema theatres and TV broadcasters), which is 4% of the price paid, a fee of EUR 5 for each subscription applied to TV subscribed broadcasters, and an annual contribution of EUR 1 for each individual subscription for on-demand broadcasters. On one hand, the income from exhibition fees is 3.2% of ICA’s revenue and 0.8% of the revenue of the Cinemateca Portuguesa – Museu do Cinema (Portuguese Cinema Museum). On the other hand, revenues from the other mentioned fees become part of the ICA’s own funding.

One of the main purposes of this new act is to promote media literacy. Therefore, the objective is to contribute to the education and training of different sectors of the public through support for cinema festivals, the promotion of exhibitions of cinematographic activities in municipalities and cultural associations and, above all, to encourage media literacy in schools. This measure includes pedagogic content for schoolteachers considering a connection with curricular programmes and also digital access to foreign films of high repute.

Lei do cinema e audiovisual, 6 de julho de 2012 PT
  Act on Cinema and Audiovisual Media, 6 July 2012