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Institutions / Legislation - Portugal

Country Focus: Portugal

Portugal’s ICA announces its 2020 activity plan


- With a 43.2% general budget increase, the ICA states that it’s still not enough to fully support national film production

Portugal’s ICA announces its 2020 activity plan

The Portuguese Cinema and Audiovisual Institute (ICA) published their 2020 activity plan, which unveils the expected budget for their general activities: €23.2 million. From this budget, which represents a 43.2% increase from 2019, €17,831,500 will be channelled to the subsidies managed by the Institute, which include support for development (film and TV), distribution, exhibition, festivals, film literacy and promotion of feature and short films, documentaries, animation, minority co-productions and co-productions with Portuguese speaking countries.

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Despite the 60.9% increase in budget allocated to subsidies, the Institute states that this budget is still not sufficient to cover the financial needs of the national film sector, as, according to ICA, it relies mostly on their financial support.

This lack of ability from the ICA to fully support the national film sector could be connected to the clearly global strategy defined in their 2020 activity plan, which aims to focus (and invest) on international promotion and visibility, as well as on international co-productions. For that, ICA outlined some initiatives: revising and expanding co-production agreements, increasing the number of countries that are covered by bilateral agreements (the Morocco and Israel agreements – read the news – are some of the most recent examples), as well as stimulating protocols which encourage the creation of multilateral funds to support co-productions between Portugal and other countries (which so far include France, Brazil, Italy and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries); easing the access of national professionals to international support lines (from regional funds to Creative Europe, Eurimages and Ibermedia); promoting the Fund For Tourism and Cinema; and strengthening the ties between ICA and the Portugal Film Commission (PFC), founded this year to implement the Simplex+ PIC Portugal - Filming in Portugal initiative, which, amongst many other objectives, seeks to promote Portugal as a production and filming destination.

A closer relationship between national audiences and national films is also presented as one of the main goals for 2020, as ICA proposes to focus on building stronger collaborations with the Portuguese Cinemateca and the Cine-clubs Federation, amongst other institutions. National distribution is inevitably addressed, with ICA proposing to support the distribution and exhibition sector, increasing the flow of national and European distribution in the country (whilst also trying to reduce territorial disparities).

Besides the budget announcement, which displays the estimated monetary amounts and percentages (as well as the variations in comparison with 2019) of the general budget distribution (€17,831,500 for subsidies, €1,711,678 for the acquisition of goods and services, etc), and the outline of the general strategic focus (international representation, national distribution, amongst other items), little is known in terms of specific actions. In 2020, a new mid/long term Strategic Plan for the development of cinema and audiovisual public policies will be announced, and only then will ICA elaborate on the annual priority report and present the detailed investment options for each programme.

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