António-Pedro Vasconcelos doesn’t know when he will film again
05/03/2012 - Director António-Pedro Vasconcelos (Call Girl [trailer]) has told Portuguese news agency LUSA that he doesn’t know if he will ever film again, because he doesn’t know if he will ever receive the grant approved by the Portuguese Cinema and Audiovisual Institute (ICA) for his next project, Os gatos não têm vertigens (lit. “Cats are not scared of heights”).
According to the director, the ministry of culture’s recent resolution implies that he will receive the sum “when there was money”, something Vasconcelos describes as absurd as “this could happen this year or maybe next.”
“The ICA has been doing everything in its power for the payment to be done as fast as possible, given the circumstances,” a ministry spokesperson told LUSA. They said that the film’s producer would have to wait and see how much funds the ICA treasury could sensibly free up according to the rules of good financial management.
According to ICA figures, Vasconcelos’ project, produced by Tino Navarro for Mgn Filmes, should be assigned the largest financial aid package of the competition with €700,000. The same producer will also receive the same amount for Joaquim Leitão’s film Quarta Divisão, currently in pre-production, as will production company O Som e a Fúria for Manoel de Oliveira new film O Gebo e a Sombra, currently in post-production,.
Portugal faces harsh austerity politics this year, and ICA has yet to call for applications for funding for 2012. Francisco José Viegas, Portugal’s Secretary of State for Culture, said in January that applications would be open later in the year. As filmmaker’s eagerly await a date, the public debate about the government’s new cinama law, initialy to go on until the end of February, will continue until the end of March.
A new cinema law would increase sources of financing for film and audiovisual projects to include several television and telecommunication operators, with a focus on main television channels and on-demand audiovisual services.
(Translated from Spanish)