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Poland/ 5.3 Sector specific legislation  

5.3.6 Film, video and photography

The Act on Cinematography was passed in July 1987. Since then, work has been carried out to develop new market principles, financing models and regulations as amendments to the Act. These amendments are pending.

In recent years, there has been increased interest on the part of the private sector (e.g. large banks) to invest in the development of the film industry in Poland. Such interest supports a transformation from the former state controlled film production industry to one based on co-operation between the public and private sector. Interest from the private sector to invest in film production is not based on any new kind of specific legal or tax incentive.

In former times, the Committee on Cinematography distributed budgetary funds for the financing of film productions and subventions for film houses. About 20 feature films and 546 short films were produced in 2000. The main co-production partners were the public broadcasters or foreign companies. The Committee was dissolved in Spring 2003.Work on amendments to the Act on Cinematography had been initiated several times in recent years without any result.

A draft bill was elaborated in 2005. It was, however, voted down by the Social Democratic Party SLD government, led by Leszek Miller, on the 30th of June 2005. At the time, the Minister of Culture (Waldemar DÄ…browski) was responsible for the bill.

In its current status, the Act provides for state support to the film industry and its main premise is to ensure the endowment of film production and promotion, as well as popularisation of film culture.

In order to achieve these goals, the Act establishes the Polish Film Institute which is responsible for the fulfilment of Polish cultural policy in the film sector (see also chapter 4.2.3).

The Act determines that the Institute's income is to come from: budgetary subsidies, income from exploitation of films where the Institute is the owner of copyright and donations. In addition, the Act assures the Institute profits from a long list of public and private entities' income in the amount of 1.5% of their particular income sources. These are: from cinema owners' income received from film and commercial projections, from film distributors' income received from the sale and rental of films, from television broadcasters' income from commercials, from operators of digital platforms' income from programme fees, from cable television operators' income from access fees for television programmes, and from the public broadcaster from its annual income.

Chapter published: 20-08-2015

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