pt en
23-10-2014
Jury nomination for public film funding 2015

On the new Law of Cinema, in vigor just over a year ago, the State Secretary of Culture (SEC) (through the Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual – Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual) resigned from one of its main tasks to assure the transparency in all public funding applications for cinema support.

Lisbon, October 23, 2014
To His Excellency the State Secretary of Culture, Dr. Jorge Barreto Xavier

On the new Law of Cinema, in vigor just over a year ago, the State Secretary of Culture (SEC) (through the Instituto do Cinema e do Audiovisual – Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual) resigned from one of its main tasks to assure the transparency in all public funding applications for cinema support.

Contrary to what was defined in all cinema laws and its regulations since 1971, this new law removed from ICA the responsibility of nominating the jury for public applications, relegating it to an advisory body – the Secção Especializada do Cinema e do Audiovisual – Specialized Section of Cinema and Audiovisual (SECA) – where a group of cinema or television agents play a role with their own agendas and personal and corporative interests regarding the public applications results.

Many of the signatories of this text warned SEC and ICA right from the beginning about the perversity of a system of jury nominations that replaces the equidistance and independence of those who have nothing to gain or lose from the public application’s results for a system that legalizes influence peddling.

The results of this innovation are in sight. Last year, several SECA members (namely the tireless representatives of the so called “industrial” cinema) came into public threatening with impugnation and reporting illegalities they thought they found in the process, such as the fact that ICA did not abstain from voting in order to, we believe, ensure the spirit of the law that defines the state intervention in the financing of film as an instrument of cultural policy protected from a purely commercial logic. This year, ICA abstained from voting and having a say about the names of the jury for 2015 public applications. Now we know that this decision was made through an agreement between votes from televisions, telecommunication operators (NOS has two votes as distributors and exhibitors representative) and the same members who complained last year.

The signatories of this text do not want private audiovisual and communications operators to impose its mercantilist logic in public film applications, perverting the spirit of a law produced by SEC. But in the same way they refuse to nominate, themselves, juries who are beneficial to them in public applications. In short, they believe that the transparency of the process can only be guaranteed by an entity that cannot take any advantage of the results. That entity is, and always was, the Cinema Institute.

Consequently, those of us who have a role on SECA, as representatives of film associations or invited guests will in the forthcoming days suspend their participation in that organization.

We also ask the State Secretary of Culture whether, facing the facts presented and the reassignment of several of the SECA’s members, he believes that it still keeps the legitimacy to continue appointing juries for the cinema public film applications.

We also request of him a hearing – which we believe he will see as urgent – to discuss the dangers resulting from the way we have come to these nominations. Facing this impasse, the State Secretary of Culture should define in a very clear way how he intends to reverse this situation immediately, by necessarily changing the rule in question in the ordinance, returning to ICA´s direction the responsibility for ensuring the existence of truly suitable and transparent public applications.
With our best regards,
The signatories:

Associação Portuguesa de Realizadores (APR)*
Associação de Realizadores de Cinema de Animação (TRUCA)*
Reprsentative: Cineclubs, Associations of the Sector and Festivals – Natacha Moreira*
Representante dos Técnicos de Cinema e Audiovisual – Tiago Silva*
Luís Urbano (Producer – O Som e a Fúria)*
Manuel Mozos (Director)*

* membros demissionários da SECA

APORDOC – Associação Portuguesa pelo Documentário
Agência da Curta Metragem
Doclisboa – International Film Festival
IndieLisboa
Curtas Vila do Conde
Queer Lisboa
CENA – Sindicato dos Músicos, dos Profissionais do Espectáculo e do Audiovisual
SINTTAV – Sindicato Nacional dos Trabalhadores das Telecomunicações e do Audiovisual
Joana Ferreira e Isabel Machado (C.R.I.M.)
João Figueiras (Black Maria)
João Matos (Terratreme)
Maria João Mayer (Filmes do Tejo II)
Alexandre Oliveira (Ar de Filmes)
Filipa Reis (Vende-se Filmes)
Joana Gusmão and Pedro Fernandes Duarte (Primeira Idade)