Brazilian law designed to promote its national film and TV industry

October 2004 -

In Brazil, the talk is of a new legislative proposal designed to promote the national audio-visual industry. Major television stations and film distributors that work closely with foreign organisations are concerned that this law would impose too much state control. For its part, the Ministry of Culture claims that its aim is precisely the opposite, namely to achieve greater decentralisation and provide scope for local productions.

The proposed Act would establish an institute (the ANCINAV) for national audio-visual and film productions, and would also set up a fund for the national audio-visual industry. The aim is to stimulate both local film production and the funding of cinema construction in the many parts of the country that still have no cinema at all. The fund is to be financed by an increase in the cinema ticket levy and a rise in the tax levied on the broadcasting of foreign films on Brazilian TV. In addition, the Act would force independent TV stations to show at least one Brazilian film each week.

The Brazilian Ministry of Culture has set up a website to which anybody may submit comments on the legislative proposal before it is definitively presented.

Brazil is not the only country drawing up such regulations. In Kenya, an Act was put forward in 2003 that was designed to counterbalance the domination of foreign productions in the media. The rule is now that 30% of radio broadcasts and 20% of TV broadcasts must be home-produced.