The requirements to apply for a grant for a film will be more flexible, the tax deductions for filming will be increased and the cinemas will receive 13 million euros as compensation at closing. These are the three main lines of aid to our cinema – in addition to the general ones for workers – that the Government has just approved within the aid package for culture. On Tuesday it was approved in the Council of Ministers and on Wednesday it was officially published in the BOE. After more than a month of petitions, meetings and subsequent preparation, there are already five major lines of help for the Spanish audiovisual sector to overcome the crisis caused by COVID-19.
The Royal Decree-Law that has just been approved, the first thing it does is to adapt the current Cinema Law of 2007 -amended in 2015- to the situation caused by the coronavirus. In order to be eligible for some aid, Spanish films had to comply with said Law with a series of requirements; brand new in a certain number of commercial rooms or ask for help in a series of deadlines and in certain phases. This is now more flexible: films released online will be able to receive aid, the number of theaters required for the premiere will be reduced, 50% of the subsidy can be received without having started filming, and the costs derived from adopting sanitary measures in the themselves (security protocols, adaptation of filming plans, etc…).
The Royal Decree includes three major specific lines of aid to our cinema
The second great novelty is that of tax incentives. From now on, deductions for investing in a Spanish audiovisual production (cinema, series or shorts) increase by 5%. It goes from 25% to 30% in the first million base and from 20 to 25% in the rest of the cost. It was a historic request from Spanish producers and film promotion offices, which consider it a huge incentive to shoot here. The maximum amount of the deduction also goes from 3 to 10 million. In any case, it cannot exceed 50% of the final budget. For more detail on these incentives, you can consult the dedicated article on the Audiovisual Production blog.
The third great leg of specific aid to the cinema in the Royal Decree has to do with the cinemas, tremendously damaged during a closure that can reach three months in much of the territory. The Government injects 13 million into ICAA to compensate exhibitors for the closure of their business. Those millions will be distributed among the rooms according to the number of screens they have; The bigger theaters, the more support they can receive. Those with a screen can receive up to 8,000 euros, those with two up to 14,000, from three to five at 20:00, from six to eight 26,000 and those with more than eight 32,000.
Direct benefits to workers in the audiovisual sector
Outside of the specific measures for the film industry, there is another section that also affects workers in the sector, who requested specific treatment when working in very special conditions, such as the intermittency of their work. Workers who are included in the General Regime of Artists in public shows can now apply for a special unemployment benefit. Many cinema workers who may be included in it (directors, cinematographers, actors, technicians, editors…) will be able to take advantage of this strike. However, as Civio explained, it does not include aa show technicians and assistants.
These four major measures of the Royal Decree also join the specific fund created by Netflix, the Film Academy, the ICAA and Accion Cultural Espanola (AC / E) in mid-April. This is a more urgent line of financial assistance for the most vulnerable workers in the sector. Now the website has been released in which the entire call for these grants to our cinema will be managed. The bases with the requirements to meet them have already been published and from May 14 to 29 the period for submitting applications will open.