Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde, the new Spanish minister for culture, is seeking to help local film companiessecure loans through a deal with Aval Audiovisual SCR (Reciprocal Guarantee Society).

It is the first film incentive that Gonzalez-Sinde, who is also a film-maker, has introduced since taking over the role on April 8. 

The ministry will cover legal and administrative costs incurred by companies when taking out loans during 2009. The move aims to help local production companies secure loans of up to $797,000 (Euros 600,000) through Aval during the current recession.

Speaking to ScreenDaily, Susana Serrano Beltran, director general of Aval, said: “The ministry of culture has agreed to help film companies looking for loans through us by covering all legal and financial costs that we normally charge them as the guarantor. The deal only applies for 2009 and production companies will still have to pay the loan fees incurred from the banks and obviously pay the loan back themselves, but this move certainly reduces their costs.”

Aval was set up in 2005 with the support of the government, film industry and the Bank of Spain to act as an intermediary or guarantor between the local banks and audiovisual companies looking for loans for projects.

Only small-medium sized companies within Spain and the European Union can access the loans and once they have received a guarantee they are required to become members of Aval. The society already has more than 200 participating members from all the audiovisual sectors.

Recent films to have taken advantage of loans guaranteed by Aval include Nacho Vigalondo’s thriller Timecrimes, currently being remade by United Artists in the US, and Iciar Bollain’s Mataharis.