March 1, 2021

The Portuguese flee from the national cinema | Global World Blog

The Portuguese flee from the national cinema | Global World Blog

Portugal has nobels in different disciplines, Olympic medals, won the European Football Championship and even Eurovision, even a Portuguese runs the UN. There is only one thing that Portugal has never achieved, win an Oscar Neither an Oscar nor a Bear of Berlin nor a Lion of Venice nor a Palm of Cannes. Films from countries like Mauritania or Jordan were nominated on one occasion to one of those statuettes, Portugal never. In terms of cinema, Portugal is a world wilderness that the Government does not do much to remedy.

Only 1.9% of the Portuguese who went to the cinema last year paid to see a national film, according to the Institute of Cinematography and Visual Arts (ICA). Only Croatia has a lower percentage in the European Union. In Spain, for example, the percentage was 17.5%. The Portuguese cinema raised 1.1 million euros, almost one hundred times less than, for example, Spanish.

The disinterest in the cinema itself has dragged on for some time. The great Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, who died in 2015 at 106 years of age, barely attracted 34,000 compatriots in the 28 films he made in his life.

The film 'Ramiro' received a subsidy of 236 euros per spectator

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The distance between the public and Portuguese filmmakers had never reached the current levels, despite the aid to the sector. Last year the ICA allocated 20 million euros to the production of 71 films, the highest figure in a decade.

The money does not seem to be invested very well according to the response of the public. Movies like Ramiro, for example, it received 600,000 euros of subsidy and had 2,538 spectators, an average of 236 euros for each of them, 47 times more than the price of the ticket (5 euros). The 10 highest-grossing Portuguese films grossed 200,000 euros, a third more than the most watched of the year, The Incredibles.

While the sector is rotting, the ministers of culture pass without approval of a new film law to suit everyone, specifically, who and how the distribution of money is decided.

In the political paralysis of the sector, the Government has frozen the transposition of the European directive that forces Netflix to include in its catalog 30% of European production. Now, the Portuguese can see in Netflix many Brazilian and Spanish series and movies, but there's nothing made in Portugal. The Government cuts, with its inaction, a way of promotion and collection of the national industry of the visual arts, different from the traditional and decayed cinema.


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