The Spanish Council of Ministers approves the Preliminary Draft Law on Cinema and Audiovisual Culture

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Ley del cine y de la cultura audiovisual

The Spanish Council of Ministers approves the Preliminary Draft Law on Cinema and Audiovisual Culture

On February 15, 2022, the Spanish Council of Ministers approved the draft bill of the Cinema and Audiovisual Culture Law, which seeks to strengthen the Spanish audiovisual industries both nationally and internationally. To this end, it adapts the regulations to the advances and transformations that the sector has undergone in recent years, aligning itself with European regulations on the matter.

Since February 21, 2022, the Ministry of Culture and Sports (MCD) has initiated the hearing and public consultation process on the text of the “Preliminary Draft Law on Cinema and Audiovisual Culture”, which ends on March 28, 2022.

Contributions can be sent to the following e-mail address: APLCCA@cultura.gob.es

Objectives of the draft Law on cinema and audiovisual culture

The aim of the regulation is to establish a balance of interests in order to enhance the full capacity of this cultural and creative industry without deprotecting any of its links. The regulation is based on five principles: strengthening and supporting the entire value chain, supporting creative processes in the interest of freedom, independence and creative autonomy, adapting to new technologies and consumer habits, defending competition and enhancing the value of audiovisual heritage.

Main novelties introduced

Among the main novelties are the extension of the calls for aid to the entire value chain of the audiovisual sector, support for the international promotion of the entire audiovisual sector, not just films, and the protection of the audiovisual heritage.

Also included is the relaxation and clarification of the requirements for obtaining Spanish nationality for works. This is a novelty in favour of creativity, as it eliminates the obstacles that the requirements of the current law pose to creation.

On the other hand, a co-regulation system for age rating has been chosen, similar to the one established for audiovisual contents in the field of television audiovisual communication services, whether linear or on demand, in order to configure a more coherent and flexible system.

It also stresses the importance of protecting and disseminating the cinematographic and audiovisual heritage, in the understanding that the future also depends on the correct preservation and dissemination of the audiovisual legacy of the generations that preceded us and the foresight to incorporate new productions to this legacy in the best possible way.

On the other hand, the creation of the Consejo Estatal de la Cinematografía y la Cultura Audiovisual (State Council of Cinematography and Audiovisual Culture) is contemplated. Its objective is dialogue, communication and cooperation in the field of cinematography and audiovisual culture among all those involved, including autonomous communities, public administrations and the sector. The council will address issues of public policy, audiovisual literacy and heritage, among others.

Likewise, it establishes the obligation to prepare and publish a strategic plan for cinematography and audiovisual culture every four years, as well as annual reports on the measures implemented and their results and the statistics and studies on the sector’s activity that are deemed necessary and of interest to the public.

The objective of the law is to last over time, so it leaves open the subsequent development of various regulatory details, so that they can be adapted from year to year without the need to change the law.

Thus, the aid supports the strengthening of the entire value chain, not only production, understanding the audiovisual sector in all its richness and diversity, and the entire audiovisual sector as a whole, and not only cinema, is incorporated into international promotion, although special protection is maintained for exhibition in movie theatres. Among other new features, it incorporates the need for aid to assess transversally in all calls for proposals the promotion of gender equality, sustainability and environmental impact, the contribution to the digital transition and the incorporation of universal accessibility measures. It also broadens the field of possible aids and subsidies with new calls, such as those aimed at audiovisual heritage, development laboratories or training, among others. New grants have also been created to promote diversity through the distribution of films that are difficult to distribute in alternative spaces or on the Internet, as well as grants for international distribution.

Letslaw will be attentive to the parliamentary processing of this new regulation to keep our clients informed of any legislative developments.

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