Film, video and photography
The Law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on Cinematography (1998) provides a legal basis for cinematography as a special form of art. State supply, rights and responsibilities of the legal and natural entities are defined by this Law. It provides a solid basis for the national film industry, regulates state funding, and covers measures to promote the distribution of Azerbaijani films and participation in international festivals. It also offers legal solutions to the issues of regulating the organisation of the film industry. In October 1999, the Law on Joining the European Convention on Joint Film-Production was adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of Azerbaijan. This document provides vast opportunities for co-operation with European countries in the field of cinematography and is a fine example of new initiatives.
The new Law on Mass Media dates from 2000 and states that government and non-government TV and radio organisations have equal rights and responsibilities to carry out programming, irrespective of their form of property, organisational and legal status. There are no language limitations for media in the territory of Azerbaijan. Besides the state language, any other languages spoken by the population of Azerbaijan may be used, as well as other languages. The Azerbaijani television stations broadcast programmes in Azerbaijani, Russian and English. The radio stations in Azerbaijan also produce programmes in Georgian, Lezghin, Talish and Kurdish.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed two orders during 2001: “On increasing state support to the mass media” (July) and “On additional measures relating to increased state aid for the mass media” (December). The measures envisaged include: the abolition of import duties on newsprint, long-term loans and preferential credit facilities for development of the mass media, measures to promote the extension of independent TV and radio broadcasting, regulation of broadcasting by foreign TV companies in the national territory, a review of taxes levied on press concerns and private TV and radio companies, and printing facilities for private newspapers in state printing houses.
In June 2002, a new Law on TV and Radio Broadcasting was introduced, which describes the principles and organisation of these spheres, as well as the legal relations between the state and TV and radio company owners.