The audiovisual sector has experienced a dizzying evolution after new content and distribution, operation and dissemination services stemming from a global and digital environment have been added. As a result, on October 7, 2020, the government unveiled the “Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan” that included Component 25. “Spain, Europe’s Audiovisual Hub” audiovisual sector stimulus plan, presented on March 24, 2021 and discussed in a previous blog post. To implement it, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation also launched a public consultation a few days later that we also examined in a blog post.
The fourth axis of that audiovisual sector stimulus plan, on regulatory reforms and removing administrative barriers, includes the reform of Law 55/2007, of December 28, on Cinema (the “Cinema Act”). Therefore, the Ministry of Culture and Sport has now launched a public consultation to collect stakeholders’ feedback before preparing the draft bill amending that Act. The consultation period opened on July 1, 2021 and will close on July 25, 2021.
The reason for the consultation is the need to review the Cinema Act to ensure it is aligned with the reality in the industry and the technological advances since 2007. It highlights that only then will it be possible to comply with the four pillars that led to its approval: (i) provide support to the independent sectors in the cinematographic and audiovisual industry; (ii) create mechanisms to avoid market imbalances; (iii) allow adaptation to new technologies and formats; and (iv) support creation and the role of authors.
To facilitate the affected parties’ input in the consultation, it describes the five reform objectives and suggests questions intended to be a guide for each of them:
- Objective 1. Developing, updating and extending the scope of the Cinema Act. It asks about the criteria for cinematographic and audiovisual works to obtain Spanish nationality, the audience tracking system, the revenues from cinematographic works and the audience share.
- Objective 2. Aligning the incentives and aid for the audiovisual and cinematographic sector contained in the Cinema Act with European state aid criteria. Issues are raised in terms of the role of economic interest groups as a way to stimulate the audiovisual sector and foster competition, as well as questions on the usefulness of state aid.
- Objective 3. Enhancing support for cultural diversity, universal accessibility of people with disabilities, and sustainability and stimulation of Spanish and European creative and cultural sovereignty. In this case, questions are raised on promoting cultural diversity, people with disabilities’ access to culture, measures to drive sustainability, protection of independent sectors, creation and authors, and measures to be adopted to retain Spanish and European audiovisual creative capital.
- Objective 4. Updating the definitions included in the Cinema Act. The only point raised is whether this update is considered necessary.
- Objective 5. Assessing the possibility of making the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) a state agency. The only question posed is whether it is considered appropriate to go back to this transformation as currently envisaged.
We will watch the development of the reform of the Act closely and keep you informed here.
Authors: Nora Oyarzábal and Paula Conde