• Spain's news in English

Spain starves booming film industry of funding

AFP · 9 Oct 2013, 09:25

Published: 09 Oct 2013 09:25 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The draft budget for 2014 approved by the cabinet on September 30 sets aside €48.2 million ($65.4 million) for the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts, the state body which finances films, a 12.4 percent drop from the previous year.

The institute already saw its budget plunge by 22.6 percent in 2013 from 2012.

"For the government, cinema is a priority for culture in our country. But it needs a change in the structure of its financing," secretary of state for culture, Jose Maria Lassalle, told a parliamentary committee.

Spain has produced a number of internationally acclaimed directors such as Oscar-winner Pedro Almódovar and has gained a reputation for clever, low-budget thrillers, art house films and psychological horror movies.

Critics of the government policy charge that these types of films will disappear as state subsidies are cut because producers will be more likely to seek guaranteed box office returns.

"Since 2011 we have seen the budget for culture in general fall by 35 percent, or €380 million, and by 58 percent for cinema alone," said José Andrés Torres Mora, a lawmaker with the main opposition Socialist Party.

The cuts to film subsidies come as the sector is reeling from a drop in cinema attendance in a country where one in four people is out of work.

The number of cinemas in Spain dropped to 841 in 2012 from 1,223 a decade earlier, according to culture ministry figures.

The number of people who bought tickets for film dropped to 94.2 million in 2012 from 140.7 million in 2002 and is expected to dip further this year.

Story continues below…

The rise in the value added tax that is slapped on movie tickets to 21 percent last year from 8.0 percent contributed to the decline in movie attendance, film sector officials say.

Budget Minister Cristobal Montoro rejected the accusation that government austerity measures were to blame for the difficulties faced by the film sector.

"The problems cinema is having are not only linked to subsidies, they are related to the quality of the movies that are made, their commercialisation and many other things," Montoro said during an interview with news radio Cadena Ser.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Russia withdraws request to refuel warships in Ceuta
The aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov was due to dock in Ceuta

Russia has withdrawn a request for its aircraft carrier group to be refuelled at the Spanish port of Ceuta, authorities confirmed.

Bulls replace guard dogs at scrap yard in Valencia
Two bulls will be patrolling the scrap yard in eastern Spain. Archive photo: AFP

Guard dogs were not proving enough of a deterrent to thieves at a car breakers yard in eastern Spain so the owner has brought in a pair of fighting bulls.

Two-headed shark born in Spanish laboratory
Scientists are studying the rare find. Photo: IBIMA / University of Malaga

Scientists at the University of Malaga found the embryo of a shark with two heads and just one body.

Spain under pressure to stop refuel of Russian warships
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is due to arrive in Ceuta. Photo: Mil Ru / Wikimedia

Spain is facing international pressure to refuse permission for a Russian warship flotilla to refuel in Ceuta en route to continuing airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Most wanted: Fugitive rapist arrested in Tenerife
Mohammed Jahangir Alam was arrested n Tenerife. Photo: Crimestoppers.

Mohammed Jahangir Alam, one of Britain's most wanted fugitives, who fled the country in 2008 after allegedly raping a woman, was found working in Tenerife.

Spain's Rajoy says king has tasked him with forming govt
Photo: AFP

Spain's king on Tuesday tasked Mariano Rajoy with forming a government, taking the acting conservative prime minister a step closer to power again after a 10-month political deadlock.

Two imams arrested in Ibiza resort over 'Isis support'
The men were arrested in the resort of Sant Antoni de Portmany. Photo: Jose A / Flickr

Two Moroccan imams at a mosque on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza were arrested Tuesday on suspicion of backing the Islamic State group and inciting jihad.

Balearic Islands choose to keep summertime forever
The islands will have longer evenings during winter. Photo: AFP

The Balearic Islands want to keep summertime when the rest of Spain turns the clocks back on Sunday.

  Brazilian had 'uncontrollable desire to kill': Spain police
Francois Patrick Nogueira Gouveia has been charged with murdering his uncle, his wife and their two children. Photo: Guardia Civil.

A Brazilian teenager accused of dismembering his uncle and aunt and killing their two young sons in a grisly crime that shocked Spain had an "uncontrollable desire to kill", police said on Monday.

Man rescued from bin after climbing in to find old clothes
Photo: Policía Local Murcia

Police were called after passersby reported hearing a man calling for help from within a rubbish bin in the Vistabella neighbourhood of Murcia, southern Spain.

Analysis & Opinion
Out of the dark: Five years on from Eta ceasefire
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Spanish 'La Mafia' restaurants banned after Italian complaint
Spain's top court overturns bullfighting ban in Catalonia
Hunt launched for ten most wanted Brit fugitives hiding out in Spain
Napflix: Spaniards launch very boring TV channel for siestas
Madrid parish church faces fine over 'too noisy' bells
Celebrate expat life at Madrid’s THRIVE convention
Fury after kids told to bring their own loo roll to school
Disney announces plans for Don Quixote action movie
Activist tells 8-yr-old matador wannabe with cancer 'just die'
King to make last minute push to avoid third vote in Spain
Amazing photos of Catalonia's 'human tower' contest
What's on in Spain: October 2016
'No way, Jose! You'll never get your hands on our Rock'
Recipe: How to make a classic Spanish tortilla de patatas
Chorizo in paella? Go back to cooking school Jamie Oliver
Spain in eye of a perfect storm after 10 months without govt
Thousands share clips of life for 'Spain in a Day' film
Ten incredible Spain locations for Game of Thrones season 7
Analysis & Opinion
Why moving to Spain could be the best decision of your life
Seven reasons why autumn is the very best season in Spain
Spanish study finds four types of personality. Which are you?
New search underway for civil war grave of poet Lorca
jobs available