Country Focus: Portugal
The Portuguese Film Commission is in its very earliest stages
by Vitor Pinto
- The Portuguese government has just created an interdepartmental working group, called the Portuguese Film Commission, whose objective is to promote the country and its land resources with the ultimate aim of turning it into a space that can attract shoots for international productions.
The resolution, which has a cross-cutting design behind it as well as a transversal future action plan, was signed by the government officials in charge of the spheres of culture, innovation, regional development, tax affairs and tourism. Logistical and administrative support to ensure its smooth operation is guaranteed by the Ministry of Culture, headed by Jorge Barreto Xavier. According to the announcement made by the government, other particularly notable public figures in the field could be added to this interdepartmental working group; these individuals would then be able to propose specific measures and actions.
The group has four months before it has to present a report that includes measures that will enable elements affecting Portugal’s competitiveness to be identified in order to attract film and audiovisual productions to the country. It will also need to identify any national-level financial incentive instruments that would make it easier to attract foreign productions to spend in Portugal.
The government’s announcement highlights that the Portuguese Film Commission will have to be developed within the “framework of a restructuring of a possible cluster for cinema and the audiovisual sector”, but it also cautions that the future commitments relating to the implementation of the project will depend on the “existence of available funds on the part of the public entities involved”.
This embryonic film commission will work on a national level, but it should be noted that Portugal already has similar offices on a local level, such as the Lisbon, Porto, Minho, Algarve, Arrábida, Azores and Madeira film commissions.