Review and harmonisation of the Cinema Act and the General Act on Audiovisual Communication planned.
5.3.6 Film, video and photography
A new Cinema Act was produced at the end of 2007 which updates the laws in this field and collects into a single text the different aspects that affect the activities of the audiovisual industry, by repealing those that were considered unnecessary or ineffective. The new Cinema Act (Act 55/2007) seeks to manage the various substantive aspects of cinema and audiovisual activities developed in Spain, the promotion and development of production, distribution and exhibition of cinematographic and audiovisual works and the establishment of conditions that favour creation and dissemination and measures for the preservation of film and audiovisual heritage, all in a context of the defence and promotion of cultural identity and diversity.
The Act also introduces the concept of integration of cinematography in the audiovisual sector, considering it as a whole, with its specificities, and by designing film and audiovisual production as the core content of television and this as an important element for disseminating, promoting and financing the cinema industry.
Royal Decree 2062/2008 develops many aspects that are listed in the Cinema Act. In particular, the text simplifies the administrative procedures that are required of film companies; describes general regulations for subsidies in the sector; encourages the creation of Economic Interest Groupings for film production; fosters co-productions with foreign companies; provides various measures to combat piracy; opens up a space for consensus among television operators and film production companies; and strongly embraces collaboration with the autonomous regions in promoting cinemas and co-official language films. This new regulation aims to provide the basis for strengthening the film industry and enhancing the presence of Spanish films in the market.
After months of debate with film industry representatives, the government approved the 2834/2009 Ministerial Order on subsidies for the film sector. While the Order came into force in October 2009, its application was subject to approval by the European Commission. Finally, in January 2010, the European Commission gave the green light to the Spanish system of aid to the cinematographic and audiovisual sector. From the 2012 call, like all European Union countries, the ministry or agency in the field should verify that films seeking subsidies do not contradict the goal of increasing cultural diversity in the films shown in the country. Despite its adoption and entry into force, an important part of the industry, led by the group "Filmmakers against the Order", believes that certain aspects of the Order have not been sufficiently studied and could have negative consequences in film production.
Central government cultural policy on film is the responsibility of the National Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts, a body set up in 1984 and governed by a Decree passed in 1997. Some of the regions have adopted legislation of their own designed to encourage the film industry. This is the case in Catalonia (20/2010 Act), which has a law governing the film and audiovisual industry in terms of production, distribution, marketing, promotion, international dissemination and exhibition of films and audiovisual material besides regulating aspects related to the preservation of film heritage. The Catalan Linguistic Policy Act of 1998, for its part, sets out measures designed to promote Catalan-language films, and provides the possibility for the regional government to introduce screen and distribution quotas to ensure such films are exhibited to the public. Another piece of regional legislation established the Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries, a body designed to develop and monitor compliance with initiatives introduced to foster the Catalan language and culture (Article 3.j of the 20/2000 Act). To the same end, the Galician Audiovisual Act was passed in 1999 and the Galician Audiovisual Consortium was created. The Valencian community has the Valencian Institute of Audiovisuals (5/1998 Act) as well as its own Audiovisual Act (1/2006 Act). As a result of the economic crisis and the need to rationalise public administration, the 15/2011 Act abolished the Navarre Audiovisual Council that was created by the 18/2001 Act on audiovisual activities in Navarre.Catalonia and Andalusia have also their Audiovisual Councils (the Catalan Audiovisual Council is regulated by the 2/2000 Act and the Andalusian Audiovisual Council by the 1/2004 Act), which seek to encourage and protect the audiovisual arts. More recently, the Balearic Islands have created the Balearic Audiovisual Council (2/2010 Act) and the 9/2011 Act on Public Media of Galicia foresees the creation of the Galician Audiovisual Council that will establish the main lines of the Galician audiovisual policy and will function as an advisory body.
One of the objectives of the government for the present term is to reinforce the relationship between cinema and television, through the review and harmonisation of the Cinema Act and the General Act Audiovisual Communication (see also chapter 5.3.7).