Spain film law on move again

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Spain's proposed Film Law, which has ruffled many feathers in the industry, gained fresh momentum Thursday when Spain's culture minister an-nounced that the most controversial parts have been eliminated to facilitate the bill's approval.

Spanish broadcasters protested vehemently earlier this year when it appeared that the proposed legislation would raise their obligatory investment in Spanish cinema while simultaneously redefining their role in the production sector and limiting their access to production subsidies.

The law, in its previous iteration, threatened to raise broadcasters' obligatory contribution to Spanish cinema to 6% of overall revenue — from the current 5% — while also codifying what had heretofore been a self-regulated contribution.

Later, the government said it had changed the proposal to merely reinforce the existing 5% obligation, though the new legislation has removed the language entirely, according to Culture Minister Carmen Calvo.

"The government wanted to include that point in the new law, but the broadcasters didn't share the same opinion so we decided to drop it," Calvo told the Spanish news agency EFE. "Even so, the situation remains the same, with the same obligation and the same percentage that exists now."

The new text also includes a significant increase in the subsidies provided for production and allows for fiscal incentives — such as an 18% tax write-off — to foment private investment in Spanish productions.

With the prickly part of the text absent, the bill is likely to be signed off on at today's weekly government cabinet meeting, the first step toward parliamentary debate and potential approval later this year.
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