Temas Especiales

26 de Jun de 2022

Nacional

New law for film industry

PANAMA. A new law aimed at developing Panama’s cinema and audiovisual industry was recently sanctioned by President Martin Torrijos.

PANAMA. A new law aimed at developing Panama’s cinema and audiovisual industry was recently sanctioned by President Martin Torrijos.

Under this law, it is expected that Panama will become a key player in regional markets and will be able to compete with countries such as Puerto Rico, Colombia and Mexico which make millions of dollars in annual revenues from production companies that choose them as ideal locations to film musical videos and movies.

Last year, the Panamanian cinematography industry generated approximately $19 million, and made almost $7 million in the first trimester of this year, according to Ministry of Commerce figures.

The new legislation creates the National Fund for Cinematographic and Audiovisual Development which will provide financial help to activities related to the realization, production, distribution and exhibition of Panamanian films and audiovisuals.

The Fund will be managed by the National Institute of Culture (INAC), which will also promote and logistically support foreign investors interested in developing the film industry in Panama.

Under the new regulations, those who show Panamanian films and audio visuals, television operators and movie houses will have to pay a minimum of 10 percent of the earnings generated.

If not Panamanian movies are not shown, the money will come from Latin American films that are exhibited in the different movie theaters as a way to provide enough money for the fund.

Operators of open television will have to programme annually a minimum of 10 percent of their time to Panamanian productions, including films, documentaries and soap operas.

INAC will be responsible for enforcing this part of the legislation and giving the necessary help to encourage more Panamanian productions.

The Ministry of Commerce will be responsible for regulating Panama’s cinema sector, as well as for the design and execution of investment and commercialization policies for the industry.

Producers will be able to register to get tax incentives in the Ministry of Commerce.