Portugese film director Miguel Gomes has recently spoke to Twitch film, and, among other issues, he spoke about the current state of Portugese cinema.
“We are waiting for a new law for cinema funding which is already approved in the parliament and it’s going to be implemented, we hope, by the end this year/early next year,” Gomes said in the interview.
“We are still waiting for these new regulations to see if everything is still the same as before, Gomes noted.
Gomes’ film “Tabu” won the FIPRESCI Jury Prize and Alfred Baeur Prize for Artistic Innovation at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.
He added that currently, all the personal filmmaking that has been taking advantage of the (support) system, is at stake.
Gomes said if the support system is stopped, the independent filmmaking will be in jeopardy.
“This fight is not only for us, but also for the generations of Portuguese cinema to come,” he said, adding that the funding for the films does not come from the national budget.
“(The funding) comes from the tax applied to the television networks on their advertising profits. 4 percent of the taxes usually go to the Institute of Portuguese Cinema,” he said.
“It would be understandable if the lack of funding was because of the financial crisis, but it comes from a very specific area”.
Gomes noted that local politicians are subservient to the financial power of big conglomerates.
“These big companies are saying now that they don’t want to pay that,” the director said, adding that Portuguese cinema has been a minor issue for the politicians.
“The cinema was surviving because they regarded it as ‘public service’. They could care less. Now with the financial crisis, they don’t want to lose that 4 percent and there is no political will to stop them,” he said.
“My inkling is that the Portuguese government now is more like the Tea Party here ideologically. They believe the market should supply everything, and that the state has nothing to do with the well being of its citizens, that we will all live in capitalistic paradise, even though things are not going well in Portugal and everywhere else,” he underscored.
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