The cinema and audiovisual sector were especially touched by the economic crisis. In addition to the decrease in public resources allocated to film production, cinema was affected by an increase in VAT in 2012 which was finally reduced in July 2018 (see chapter 4.1.4). Among the initiatives of the new Culture Plan 2020 of the State Secretariat for Culture, passed in 2017, for the period 2017-2020 are:
- the establishing of fiscal benefits in the Corporation Tax for investments in the production of videogames aimed at favouring the national production and international investment;
- the clarification of criteria for tax deductions on film and audiovisual productions;
- attracting international productions to facilitate administrative procedures in Spain, contracting local personnel through grants, etc.;
- the updating of the funding model for the sector aimed to make it more transparent and sustainable;
- the inclusion of curricular subjects related to cinematography and audiovisual in formal education, as well as in business schools;
In addition to these measures, the government has also sought to foster new business models of distribution and exhibition of films and to promote the international dissemination of Spanish cinema, especially through presence in the major international festivals. In recent years, with the aim of promoting the presence of European films in Spanish cinemas, the government has placed the quota system under firmer control and is also providing support for independent distributors. In addition, television operators (public and private) are obliged to invest 6% (if public) or 5% (if private) of their annual income in the production of European cinema and TV films (3% reserved for Spanish production).
The reinforcement of this measure – which was already established under the 25/1994 Act but had low compliance rates – has been essential in recent years to finance production and increase stability in the audiovisual production sector, since one-third of the external funding comes from television. The new Culture Plan 2020 extends this measure to the new platforms and introduces the new label “Es cine español” [It’s Spanish film] aimed at recognising Spanish films.
There are several public-private initiatives launched in Spain to promote the territorial reorganisation of the audiovisual sector and to build an internationally competitive industry. This is the case with the Ciudad de la Imagen, promoted in the nineties by the Autonomous Community of Madrid and Terrassa Audiovisual City, promoted in 2001 by the Catalan Government and Terrassa City Council. Both projects were established with the aim of making these cities the driving force behind the Spanish audiovisual industry both at home and abroad.
In 2009, Terrassa Audiovisual City was classified as a prime example of good practice in promoting creativity and innovation by the European Commission. The Catalan project is complemented by the project Parque Barcelona Media in the city’s technological district – distrito 22@ – which was set up to reinforce the productive, cultural and research position of Barcelona and Catalonia. The Parque Barcelona Media, which is the result of collaboration between the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona City Council and the business group Mediapro, is a platform of audiovisual and communication facilities and services, in which private companies and the university work together in the same location.
In the specific case of the videogame industry, one of the most outstanding initiatives was the creation, in July 2017, of a permanent commission composed of central and regional governments and professionals from the videogame sector to channel the initiatives and needs that should be reflected in the design of a plan for the development of the sector. In January 2019, the White Paper of the Spanish Development of Videogames was presented. This fifth edition, produced and edited by the Spanish Association of Production and Development Companies of Video games and Entertainment Software (DEV), with the support of ICEX Spain Export and Investment of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, includes a wide panorama of the videogame industry in Spain.