Eight key changes to the new Film and Audiovisual Culture Law


The Council of Ministers held this Tuesday, June 11, gave the green light to the Cinema and Audiovisual Culture Bill . This was confirmed by the Minister of Culture, Ernest Urtasun , who assured in a press conference that the funds will have “priority” for independent producers.

This project is the same one that was approved in December 2022 under the direction of Miguel Iceta , but that did not advance due to the dissolution of Congress and the Senate due to the calling of general elections. Now, the project will be sent to the Cortes Generales for urgent processing, with the aim of being approved before the end of 2024, in line with the objectives of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan financed by European funds. The minister highlighted that the main objective is to “strengthen the entire value chain of the creative and industrial fabric”, with a particular emphasis on the independent sectors.

Likewise, it wants to support authors and ensure the “full exercise of intellectual property rights”, in addition to “guaranteeing the defense of competition” in the audiovisual market and the transparency of information on the attendance and viewing of audiovisual works. , among other.

The new Cinema Law , which replaces the previous one from 2007, introduces eight key changes that are important to know.

Definition of the independent producer

The text preserves the definition of independent production company “claimed by the sector”, ensuring that most of the aid will be allocated “mostly” to independent production companies, moving away from the obligations of the Audiovisual Communication Law , which received criticism from several agents of the sector. The project highlights the need to have public aid that promotes all aspects of audiovisual, supporting all phases of creation and promotion of a project, especially in the independent sectors.

It should be remembered that the definition of independent producer approved in the Audiovisual Law of 2022 generated a wave of criticism, considering it a “death sentence” for the independent film and series sector in Spain.

Public aid

The law also highlights the need for public aid “capable of promoting all aspects of the audiovisual sector.” The title of the law incorporates the concept of ‘audiovisual culture’ together with that of ‘cinema’, recognizing that cinematographic and audiovisual activity are part of a unit that integrates the specificities of the different means of exploitation and dissemination of audiovisual works.

Equality and diversity

The new law pays special attention to gender equality through specific reservations in the provisions of the different help lines. The reservation of 35% of production aid for women , which was previously included in aid orders, is now an obligation included in the law. In addition, the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), through the Spanish Film Archive, will adopt initiatives to make visible the production and role of women in Spanish cinematographic and audiovisual heritage.

Official languages

The promotion of cinematography and audiovisuals in official languages ​​other than Spanish is expanded, now including the languages ​​statutorily recognized by the autonomous communities. For the recognition of Spanish nationality, these languages ​​and the legally recognized Spanish sign languages ​​will be included.

Share of national and European cinema

The screen share for national and European cinema remains the same, but is reduced from 25% to 20%, also including Latin American cinema and cinema directed by women.

The Film Library, Asset of Cultural Interest

The Spanish Film Library is classified as an Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC). In addition, specific aid will be created for the conservation of audiovisual heritage, and the beneficiaries of public aid must deliver to the Spanish Film Archive the necessary materials for the best conservation of the heritage.

State Council of Cinematography and Audiovisual Culture

The creation of the State Council of Cinematography and Audiovisual Culture is established within a period of six months from the entry into force of the Law. This body will be a new “tool for dialogue, communication and cooperation in the field of cinematography and audiovisual culture,” according to the Ministry.

The council will be made up of representatives of the administration, associations and organizations of the sector, and members of recognized prestige. Its functions will include the promotion of conciliation, mediation and arbitration mechanisms for the resolution of disputes, among others.

Cinematography and Audiovisual Protection Fund

As a novelty, the Law establishes that the Cinematography and Audiovisual Protection Fund will always reserve a significant percentage of its endowment exclusively for cinematographic activity, although it will also include other audiovisual forms, such as series.

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