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Institutions – Portugal

Country Focus: Portugal: auteur cinema seeks serious relationship with local audiences

Government budget for 2014 increases endowment for the Portuguese cultural sector


- Some institutions will however register noteworthy drops. Audiovisual sector still in dire straits

Government budget for 2014 increases endowment for the Portuguese cultural sector

Portugal’s government budget for 2014, presented this week by the team chaired by PM Pedro Passos Coelho, will guarantee the cultural and creative sectors a total amount of 198.8 M€ - a general increase of 8.6 M€ when compared to the 2013 budget. 

Some institutions will however register noteworthy drops, and the audiovisual sector, represented by the Portuguese Film Museum and the ICA, is particularly affected.

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The allocated endowment for the Film Museum in the 2014 budget is of 3.38 M€. The figure represents a reduction of about 1 M€ when compared to 2013. The director of the Film Museum, Maria João Seixas, however announced that the government has assured the institution 1.3 M€ more, to be issued from the Cultural Promotion Fund. This sort of compensation for the upcoming year comes after some bumpy moments recently experienced by the Film Museum, during which there was a serious risk of the institution stopping its activities altogether (news).

As for Portugal’s film institute, the ICA, the estimated cost for 2014 is 20.1 M€ - or 1.8 M€ less than in 2013. This decrease happens at a particularly delicate moment, as subscription-based television operators are refusing to respect the new Film Law, approved in 2012. Instead of paying their contribution, which would be used to finance the sector, companies Zon/Optimus, Cabovisão, PT and Vodafone have decided not to do so to the despair of the local professionals who have claimed in vain a strong government intervention.

The government budget for 2014 is being discussed and causing social discontent mainly for non cultural-related issues. Despite potential changes to the original proposal, it is expected that it will be approved effortlessly as the current government – a right-wing coalition between social democrats and Popular Party – holds the majority of seats in parliament.

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