Country Focus: Portugal
Portuguese Film Museum keeps doors open till end of the year
by Vitor Pinto
- After the risk of closing (news) and the controversy of the last two weeks, which led to the creation of a petition (news), the Portuguese Film Museum will remain operative. As promised, the Secretary of State for Culture (SSC) facilitated an exceptional endowment, which allows the institution to remain open with its screening schedules and further programmed activities.
Although the SSC has not unveiled the total amount of the endowment nor its source, the truth is that the Portuguese Film Museum will start its September programme this Monday with the screening of Luís Buñuel’s The Young One and will then continue with the retrospectives on Québécois director Denis Coté and Spanish filmmaker Victor Erice.
This is however an emergency solution, valid until December. The financing model for 2014 is yet to be discussed.
While the state general budget for next year is still to be discussed in Parliament and despite the strong austerity measures the country has been facing for the last two years, there is a growing number of voices defending that Passos Coelho’s government should include in the general budget for 2014 a way to guarantee a sustainable financial management of the institution. According to the current law, the institution’s budget does not directly depend on a general budget from the state, but on a tax of 4% on television advertisements, which is later redistributed to finance the film sector and the activities of the Portuguese Film Museum, which manages the national archive of moving images, the biggest reservoir of Portuguese films.