Financial aids created to assist Spain’s film industry after large public cuts

A few days after Susana de la Sierra, director of Spanish cinema body ICAA, promised new lines of credit for film production, details of the aid has been clarified. 

The ICO, the government’s official institution for business credit, has announced new credits for cinema with a maximum of $1.3m per film and a return period of 15 years, with the possibility payment being delayed for certain periods. 

The new credits will be handled by Audiovisual SCGR, a public organisation formed by the ICAA in partnership with audiovisual rights management body EGEDA in 2006. In six years it has given credits for a total amount of $195m covering 554 projects.

The new credits will substantially improve the terms of the previous aids, as well as expanding their availability. A commission elected by ICAA and EGEDA will choose what projects can get assistance. 

The measure has been created to give some relief to Spain’s film industry, which saw large cuts in public support for film earlier this month. On Monday (April 23) Pedro Pérez, president of producers association FAPAE, announced that shoots fell 47.6% in the first quarter of 2012 compared with the first quarter of 2011, to 33 from 63. New productions were down 36% to 35, from 55. The Spanish box office has also fallen 16% over the same period and Spanish films have earned as much as 42% less than last year in which the last instalment of Torrente succeeded widely. 

Pérez described the situation as “worrying but not catastrophic” and accused the government of ignoring the reality of the film industry.

Another cause for concern is the situation at public broadcaster TVE, a major backer of Spanish, film which has had its budget cut by $270m.

After months of controversy which has seen the TVE board incapable of electing a new president, the Spanish government has changed the law enabling a new CEO to be chosen with a simple majority. This measure has caused some panic in the film industry, which is concerned about losing the support of the broadcaster.