Ukraine Plans Reforms in Film Industry

AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky

Transparency in allocating funds and a tax on exhibition are expected to pull the industry out of the present crisis.

Ukraine's government has announced plans for reforms in a bid to put the country's film industry back on track.

The culture ministry's priorities are making the system for distributing state cash transparent and introducing a tax on film exhibition and distribution, proceeds from which would be spent on producing national films.

"First of all, we will ensure transparency in distributing all of the culture ministry funds, especially those allocated for artistic projects," Ukraine's culture minister Vyacheslav Kyrylenko was quoted as saying by the Ukrainian news agency Ukrinform.

Another major reform is to be the introduction of a tax on all exhibited foreign films, an idea that was first floated several months ago.

According to Kyrylenko, the tax would be imposed on all forms of distribution and exhibition of foreign films in Ukraine, including theaters, television, cable, satellite and Internet, and would allow the government to collect at least $11.4 million (250 million hryvnias) a year as of 2016.

The Ukrainian film industry, which has heavily depended on government cash in the last few years, has seen a decline in state funding since the Maidan revolution last February and ensuing military clashes with pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine.

As the government had to introduce some austerity measures, this year, Ukrainian filmmakers are to collect just $4.9 million (75.5 million hryvnias), the lowest figure since 2010.

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