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EIGs and Spanish cinema in the face of the COVID-19 resistance test

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Patricia Motilla analyses the situation of the audio-visual sector after the COVID-19 crisis

On March 13th 2020, life came to a standstill. Audio-visual activity, like so many others, was put on hold to the extent that, in the first days of the state of alarm caused by Covid-19, the Spanish Film Commission calculated more than 300 national and international shootings closed overnight, whatever remained to be done.

Most of the sector's agents confirm that there will be fewer investors, "but also fewer projects to place", says Patricia Motilla of Andersen Tax & Legal, at least for 2020.

On the other hand, as lawyer Patricia Motilla points out, the audio-visual sector has an advantage because, even if it is by taking measures and reconfiguring some aspects, filming can be resumed and content can be released, "if you look at the performing arts you immediately realise that they do not have it easy to recover".

Along with the much sought-after legal certainty for private investors, the audio-visual sector is calling for some measures to help tackle the crisis. One of them is multi-year funding. Motilla of Andersen Tax & Legal explains that "the tax relief generated by investment in audio-visual works is in the same year as the film is completed, and I think it would be very important that, exceptionally for the 2020 financial year, the tax relief could be applied in 2020 and 2021. I believe that this is a measure that does no harm and allows an investor to be found for that work, whether in 2020 or in 2021, the modification would be a lifeline for the audio-visual sector, so from here I advocate that the legislator take note and make this transitional change in Article 46 of the Corporate Tax Law". This is one of the requests that the producers introduced in the document that they presented to the Treasury in an online meeting and that was not included in the package of aid to Culture that the government announced at the beginning of May.

Lawyer Patricia Motilla predicts "a significant number of foreign shoots landing in Spain in the coming months". This will help to reactivate other sectors that the audio-visual industry is attracting, such as the hotel and catering industry. Not to mention all the equipment for props, make-up, hairdressing, transport that is put at the service of the shoots. "I hope that companies and professionals can hold out because once the starting gun is fired, I am sure that the sector will be as busy as it was before the state of alert and there will be a lot of work", adds Motilla. The partner of Andersen Tax & Legal also makes a different and very positive reading about the production services companies: they are companies that can arrive at a stable income and build up a small force for their own developments.

You can read the full article in AUDIOVISUAL451.

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