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Coronavirus: Situation of cinemas

COVID-19

Health is the most important thing. Please consult and follow the health recommendation of the World Health Organization and of your country.

Due to the emergency of COVID-19 spreading all over the world, many cinemas have been forced to reduce their accessibility or, in many cases, to close temporarily.

In these difficult times, as we are following up the situation of arthouse cinemas closing and working under impossible conditions, we want them to know that we are supportive of them, gathering information about measures taken internationally and being in touch with politicians to keep the awareness about arthouse cinemas and people working in them.

Resources:

We will keep sharing information about how things are tackled in different countries and are happy to receive and answer questions at info@cicae.org and to hear about encouraging stories from cinemas and their audiences worldwide.

Situation of cinemas

Here below, you can find the situation divided per country and the measures taken so far in each of them (we will update the information anytime we know of any changes).  Additional information available also on EFAD (European Film Agencies) website.

You can also download the overview per country in pdf (in English only for the moment).

Austria

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed (13.03.2020).

Reopening date

Cinemas can reopen on July 1.

Source: Blickpunkt

Supporting measures taken

For Art workers
Art workers to contact the Ministry of Culture at kunstkultur@bmkoes.gv.at and they have a FAQ section at https://www.bmkoes.gv.at/Themen/Corona/Corona-Kunst-und-Kultur.html

Crisis Management Fund

The government created a crisis management fund of 4 billion € to support the affected facilities. The way it will be divided not yet decided

Events funded by public money

Supported events/organisations funded from public money will have their contracts revised; contractual engagements will be accepted as expenses, but further expenses of cancelled events might not be accepted. Programmed payments will be made as quick as possible.

Belgium

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed (update 18.03.2020)

Reopening date

Cinemas set to reopen after June 30.

Supporting measures taken

  • As a temporary measure, French speaking Belgian films that were to be released in theaters starting mid March will directly go on local TVoD services (Proximus, BeTV, etc…). A promotion campaign led by the national film fund (CCA) “Le Cinéma belge à la maison” will be launched soon in order to promote these releases and also inform people about where to find Belgian content on all Belgian platforms.
  • The theatrical support scheme will be adapted to cover costs for online distribution. After the crisis, cinema theaters will be able to release film if there is still an interest (the focus might however be on other films).
  • A new law will be published to postpone schemes deadlines and the rule will be to be more flexible.

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed since March 15.

Reopening date

The Federal Department of Civilian Protection announced on 14 May 2020 that cinemas and cultural institutions can resume activities. In the Republika Srpska region of Bosnia and Herzegovina, cinemas are expected to open on 18 May.

Source: Film New Europe

Supporting measures taken

UPDATE 27.03.2020

No government measures in support of the film industry by the Film Fund, Ministry of Culture or Ministry of Education. Film industry professionals help each other.

The Sarajevo Film Festival and the Association of Filmmakers have started to take care of filmmakers who are older than 65 and are not allowed to move freely due to the COVID-19 lockdown, while at the same time they do not have family or friends nearby. This is the only thing we can do at this moment”, Elma Tataragić, President of the Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Sarajevo Film Festival Competition Programme Programmer, told FNE.

UPDATE 18.04.2020

The Association of Filmmakers of Bosnia and Herzegovina sent a letter on 8 April 2020 to all the levels of the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina asking for support for the industry and film professionals :

  • on federal level requested continued Calls for Entries for film and culture in general with special regulations for the Film Fund’s Call in 2020;
  • on national level, the emphasis is on securing funds for international programmes with the accent on Creative Europe 2021-28 and the functioning of Creative and Media Desks in the country;
  • the inclusion of film and television on the list of endangered economic sectors, so that the companies and associations in this sector could benefit from the mitigation measures, establishing a Crisis Fund that will help firms, and associations, freelancers and self-employed professionals, as well as securing help for cinemas and distributors.

Bulgaria

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed on 18.03.2020 and allowed to reopen on 13.05.2020.

Reopening date

Small cinema theatres are allowed to open again starting May 13, after a declaration of the Minister of Health, but only up to 30% capacity.
Cinema halls are prohibited from using air conditioning.

Source: Film New Europe

Supporting measures taken

UPDATE 06.04.2020

Currently the establishment of two funds for the cultural sector in discussion: a social one to support independent artists without any income; and a structural one to support independent cultural organisations under the risk of extinction.

Update 12.05.2020

Bulgaria’s government has announced its decision to strengthen the independent cultural sector by supporting its needs with nearly 2.5 m EUR.

Canada / Québec

Situation in the country

Cinemas are all closed

Supporting measures taken

UPDATE 17.03.2020: – General governmental help: Temporary Aid for Workers Program – for workers who, because they are in isolation to counter the propagation of the COVID-19 virus, cannot earn all of their work income and are not eligible for another financial assistance program. The lump-sum amount granted to an eligible person is $573 per week, for a period of 14 days of isolation. If justified by your state of health, the coverage period for an eligible person could be extended to a maximum of 28 days.

UPDATE 18.03.2020 GENERAL MEASURES https://www.canada.ca/en/services/business/maintaingrowimprovebusiness/resources-for-canadian-businesses.html
Support for employees: temporarily boosting Canada Child Benefit payments, offering emergency support benefit
Support for businesses: deferring tax payments until 31 August, new business credit made available, 10% wage subsidy for small businesses for the next 90 days, emergency care beneift for the next 90 days for self-employed, increased credit available for farmers

UPDATE CULTURAL SECTOR – SODEC and Ministry of Culture: https://sodec.gouv.qc.ca/covid-19-mesures-de-la-sodec-pour-soutenir-ses-clienteles/
Advancement of grant payments under certain regular programs (PADISQ, all assistance components, including additional touring assistance).
Advance payment of second tranches of grants under certain regular programs, in the book, music and variety, arts and crafts, film promotion and distribution, international affairs and export sectors.
All grants for the organization of or participation in a national or international event postponed, modified or cancelled due to COVID-19 will be evaluated.
Postponement, for a period of three months beginning March 16, 2020, of the repayment of capital and interest loans, for all companies financed in direct loans by SODEC’s merchant bank. SODEC has also set up a monitoring unit to document the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis on Quebec cultural enterprises. New measures could be deployed.

UPDATE 31.03.2020 from Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton

GENERAL MEASURES FOR BUSINESSES:

  • The federal government is offering businesses that are experiencing income losses a three-month Temporary Wage Subsidy. The subsidy is equal to 10% of the remuneration paid between March 18, 2020, and June 20, 2020, up to $1,375 per employee and a maximum of $25,000 total per employer. For example, if an employer has five employees, the maximum subsidy the employer can receive is $6,875 ($1,375 maximum x 5 employees), even though the per-employer maximum is $25,000.
  • All businesses will be eligible for 75% wage subsidies of the federal government if they experience a drop of min 30% in revenue due to COVID-19. Employers of all sizes will qualify for a subsidy that could be up to $847 per week per employee. More details of the program will be unveiled in the near future by the Finance Minister.
  • Canada Emergency Business Account implemented by eligible financial institutions in collaboration with Export Development Canada: interest free loans of the government of up to $40,000; in certain conditions $10,000 could be non-refundable;
  • Several business credit availabilities from the federal government and from the , special programs for SME-s
  • Remittences and taxes deferred to the end of June
  • Insured Mortgage Purchase program to provide stable funding to banks and mortgage lenders in order to ensure continued lending to Canadian consumers and businesses
  • Flexibility measures
  • Emergency daycare services for children
  • Emergency financial assistance in housing for seniors and vulnerable persons

SODEC – Extended deadlines for upcoming film filings

Chile

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed since 16.03.2020

Measures taken

 

China

Situation in the country

The cinemas closed on 24.01.2020 and tried to slowly reopen since 17.03.2020, but then closed down all again.

Cinemas are allowed to reopen (May 2020).

Reopening date

Cinemas in China set to gradually reopen after authorities give the green light.

Source: Deadline

Measures taken

UPDATE 19.03.2020

  • The Beijing Municipal Film Bureau has opened up applications for a first round of “specialized film industry development funding” to support local cinemas affected by coronavirus.
  • The Beijing film bureau will make three categories of funds available to cinemas that apply for them before March 27.
  • Authorities in southern Guangdong province announced that they planned to allocate nearly $7 million in funds to support the region’s 1,337 cinemas, which were ordered shut Jan. 24. If the proposal is approved, cinemas will receive between $1,430 and $44,300 (RMB10,000 to RMB310,000), proportionate to how much they earned in box office receipts last year.
  • Other regions vaguely worded support plans.

Croatia

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed.

Drive-In cinemas run by exhibitors have good results. Source: FNE

Reopening date

Cinemas are allowed to reopen from May 18.

Measures taken

UPDATE:

  • On 17 March the Croatian Parliament passed a total of 66 measures to support the local economy, estimated at 3.9 billion EUR / 30 billion HRK in total.
  • Under these measures, filmmakers can benefit from a postponed tax payment with no interest, and employers will be able to apply for help from the 5 billion HRK state fund to cover minimum salaries for their employees, up to 425 EUR per employee.
  • Ministry of Culture includes an emergency fund that is being set up to support all who feel the impact of closed cinemas and other preventive measures. Both individuals and companies will benefit from the fund, the Ministry stated. They will also allow an extension of the implementation period for all projects that had to be postponed.
  • Additionally, the Croatian Audiovisual Centre (HAVC) pledged to cover parts of unforeseen expenses for those who had to postpone their events, such as the ZagrebDox festival, that was scheduled for March. Their total budget for film festivals amounts to 786,600 EUR / 6 m HRK per year.

UPDATE from the independent cinema network

Several film festivals (Mediterranean Film festival Split, Dokukino Kic, Zagreb Film Festival, kino.hr Radar, Pula Film Factory ) or cinemas that are also distributors have gone online. Other examples are Motovun Film Festival partnering up with “My Darling Quarantine”.

Czech Republic

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed

Reopening date

Date for reopening is May 11.

Source: Film New Europe

Measures taken

 

Denmark

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed; borders are closed.

Reopening Date

Cinemas in Denmark can reopen from 8 June. It is possible that they may also open a little earlier.

Measures taken

General measures:

  • Denmark government covers 80% of fixed costs and up to 75% of the wages of employees if companies don’t cut staff; Employees will be obliged to take five days of mandatory vacation or time off from work.

Film Industry:

  • Payments below 20.000 € can be made until 27th March by the DFI New distribution initiatives – to screen a film at home – are welcomed and can be funded on individual basis.
  • After 27th March the DFI will get back with next steps (in collaboration with the sector).
  • In addition: The Danish government has announced 3 compensation programmes – they are not specific earmarked for the AV sector – but the film value chain/entertainment sector is included – incl. that cinemas can be compensated + SMEs etc.

Estonia

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed.

Reopening date

Cinemas can reopen July 1st to 50% of capacity.

Source: ERR.ee

Measures taken

UPDATE 18.05.2020

Estonian Film Institute Measures to support AV industry. The film sector backed with an additional €800,000: supporting production and distribution outfits as well as arthouse exhibitors already in receipt of the institute’s grants. €500,000 support firms whose production or distribution activities have been interrupted arthouse cinemas and €300,000 handed out by the Minsitry of Culture to small distributors and arthouse exhibitors that show European films. More flexibility in handling applications and a higher percentage of funds allocated from public sources.

Source: Cineuropa and FNE

Finland

Situation in the country

UPDATE 20.03.2020:

Cinemas closed

UPDATE 05.05.2020

A maximum limit of 50 people is in place for all public gatherings.

Reopening date

Finland will allow cinemas to reopen on June 1st. A maximum limit of 50 people is in place for all public gatherings. Further details still to be defined.

Source: Finnish Film Fund

Measures taken

UPDATE 17.03.2020
Minister of Finance Katri Kulmuni (Centre) on Monday said the government also intends to fast-track a supplementary budget worth 100 million euros to the Parliament. Mostly covering social and health care costs and funding for businesses hit by the epidemic, the budget is to be discussed in the Parliament on Friday. A total of five billion euros has been earmarked for the first phase of the emergency, according to Kulmuni.

In Finland, the union of employees will cover the salaries of employees in condition of temporary lay off (up to 90 days) for the union members.

Update 06.05.2020

The Finnish Film Foundation has received an extra €1m pot of funding to “secure the future operation of cinemas nationwide and to ensure that the organisations responsible for film festivals can continue their activities”.

France

French arthouse cinemas can contact AFCAE for more information and support.

Information avaiable also on the website of the Federation Nationale des Cinémas Fraçais.

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed since 14.03.2020

Reopening date

Prime Minister Édouard Philippe will make an announcement about the reopening of movie theatres and shows in early June.

Source: France Inter

Supporting measures taken

4 emergency measures announced by the CNC :

  1. Accelerated payment in March of the grants for the 1200 registered arthouse cinemas;
  2. Accelerated payment in March of selective support to distribution companies;
  3. Possibility for exhibitors of deferring the payments of the tax on cinema admissions in 2020;
  4. Introduction of a measure enabling exhibitors, distributors and producers to mobilise their support funds in advance.

Film industry organisations asked the Ministry of Culture new exceptional measures be taken – with additional public funding – to support all the structures, especially the most fragile

UPDATE 17.03.2020: CNC suspends collecting the tax on admission for the month of March

UPDATE 18.03.2020 http://www.lefilmfrancais.com/cinema/146088/coronavirus-le-ministere-de-la-culture-annonce-une-serie-de-mesures: The CNC additionally continues paying out subventions; events that have received grants are going to receive the promised funds even if they don’t take place. The IFCIC (French credit institution for financing cultural industries) is adapting its support measures, e.g., a systematic three-month capital repayment deductible motivated by the context of the epidemic may be granted. The Minister of Culture, joint by professional organisations, employee and employer trade unions and collective management bodies, also wishes to study specific support measures to accompany all artist-authors. The Minister of Culture and the Minister of Labour are currently working on specific measures in favour of intermittent workers in the performing arts (performers and technicians), which are intended to be implemented rapidly. Franck Riester asks the most financially solid structures to show solidarity by paying the planned transfers to the companies and by honouring the fees of the intermittent workers.

UPDATE 2 19.03.2020 http://www.lefilmfrancais.com/cinema/146104/coronavirus-mesures-en-faveur-des-intermittents-et-salaries-du-secteur-culturel
new measures by the Minister of Employment and Minister of Culture for the period starting with 15.03.2020 – elimination of :

  • the calculation of the reference period giving entitlement to unemployment insurance and social rights for intermittent workers in the entertainment industry (performers and technicians), so as not to penalize intermittent workers who cannot work and acquire rights during this phase of the coronavirus epidemic;
  • the calculation and payment of unemployment insurance benefits for intermittent workers (performers and technicians) and other employees (short contracts, etc.) in the cultural sector, so that people who lose their rights during this phase of the epidemic can continue to receive compensation.
  • Measures to be put in place after the end of the epidemic

UPDATE 3 02.04.2020

3 additional emergency measures announced by the CNC: making available anticipatedly the automatic support, VOD film launches and a lump-sum aid measure for authors; in order to support technical industries in their investment projects related to the organization of telework and business resumption plans, the CNC is launching a dedicated call for projects:

  • 30% of automatic support proposed to future productions made available to producers, distributors, publishers and operators for future projects
  • For films that were to be released after the closing of the theatres on March 15, and for which the distributors are now considering a direct video-on-demand release on a pay-per-view basis would normally have had to reimburse any CNC aid they may have received. The president of the CNC will be able to exempt the applicants from this reimbursement. It has been added that these two measures in no way call into question the chronology of the media: they simply tend, exceptionally and during the period when cinemas are closed and citizens are confined, to allow the public to have access to new works.
  • The Ministry of the Economy, the Ministry of Culture, in conjunction with the CNC, have taken another exceptional measure for authors by extending to them the national solidarity fund set up for small businesses and the self-employed. They can receive a lump-sum emergency aid of €1500 per month if the entrepreneur demonstrates that the consequences of the epidemic have particularly impacted his or her activity, with a 70% drop in activity compared to the previous year. The authors will first be eligible for the national solidarity fund. However, as an author’s activity does not function like that of an SME , the CNC is setting up a subsidiary mechanism to rescue those who cannot provide proof of a 70% drop in their activity, in March 2020 compared to March 2019. The mode of proof is therefore made more flexible.

Georgia

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed.

Supporting measures taken

Georgian National film Center launches 27 Georgian films online.

Germany

German arthouse cinemas can contact the AG Kino Gilde team for more information and support.

More updated information in German on the AG Kino website.

Situation in the country

All cinemas closed starting Monday, 16.03.2020.

Reopening date

Each region in Germany decides autonomously.
Source: Blickpunkt

AG Kino Gilde is pushing for a reopening of the arthouse cinemas nationwide on July 2.
Source: AG Kino Gilde

HDF (the German association of cinemas) and AG Kino published guidelines for possible measures to be taken for the reopening of cinemas (press release of 23.04.2020 and guidelines available in German here).

Source: Welt

Supporting measures taken

The German Umbrella Organisation of Film Industry Actors (SPIO) asks in a press release the German government to guarantee liquidity, secure financial emergency shortfalls and to make funding more flexible.

The German Federal Ministry of Culture Foundation and the cultural funds of the individual German States will put in place financial emergency measures for the cultural industry (including cinemas):

No request for reimbursement from organisers of publicly funded events that need cancelling because of the state of emergency.

In general terms, the Ministry of Finances and the Ministry for Economy and Energy starts emergency measures based on 4 principles:

  1. Stabilizing the payment of short-term employment
  2. Tax liquidity aid for companies
  3. Reducing the limit for credit to allow companies to continue work even in time of disturbed economic chains
  4. Participation with 25 milliards of € in a “Corona Response Initiative“ of the EU Commission

UPDATE 06.04.2020:

In addition to the aid schemes devised by each of the funding bodies, federal and regional film institutions have jointly created a support programme with a total value of €15 million, providing aid for production companies, distributors and theatrical exhibitors affected by the pandemic. Regional film bodies FilmFernsehFonds Bayern (FFF), Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig-Holstein (FFHSH), Film- und Medienstiftung NRW (FMS), HessenFilm, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB), Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (MFG), Mitteldeutsche Medienförderung (MDM) and nordmedia devised the package of measures together with the German Federal Film Board (FFA), the BKM, the German Federal Film Fund (DFFF), Kultureller Filmförderung and the German Motion Picture Fund (GMPF).

Specifical measures supporting the art house cinemas through regional funds:

  • Emergency support plan for arthouse cinemas by the regional funding body Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg: 2020 budget raised to €1.1 million in order to support local arthouse cinemas. Additionally, all cinemas of the region that have applied for the cinema programming prizes will immediately receive €10,000 worth of support. Cinemas selected to win a prize will receive the award and a top-up of 50%.
  • Film- und Medienstifting NRW announced that each cinema that has received an NRW programming prize in 2019 will receive a top-up of €5,000
  • MFG Baden-Württemberg is offering the same amount to the cinemas it awarded last year and has waived the obligation to repay the loans granted for innovation in theatrical exhibition.

Greece

Situation in the country

Since the 12th of March cinemas and public places are closed.

Reopening date

Open air cinemas set to open on 1 June, the seats should be at a distance of 1.5m and the capacity can’t be over 60%.

Source: Cineuropa

Supporting measures taken

There’s a plan from the government to help private businesses with the salary payment of employees, to give the 50% of the money and the other 50% will be covered from EU funding. That’s what has been stated, nothing has been implemented yet

Hungary

Situation in the country

Cinemas and cultural institutions closed by decree, starting 16.03.2020.

Reopening date

Supporting measures taken

Employees places in quarantine receive a sick leave allowance equivalent of 70% of their wages from the government

Meeting to be held with the director of the National Film Institute to request a compensation for arthouse cinemas

UPDATE 16.03.:  Proposition to offer unemployment money for 9 months instead of 3 months; measures still in debate in the Parliament.

UPDATE 25.03.2020:

Based on the 10. point of the Government Decree 61/2020 published on 18 March. (III. 23.) employees in the field of cultural services or film industry are also exempt from the payment of contributions (employers’ contributions: social contribution tax (17.5%), vocational training contribution (1.5%), employee reduced contributions: pension contribution (10%), health insurance contribution (7%), labor market contribution (1.5%)) in March, April, May and June.

Iceland

Situation in the country

Gathering of max 20 people allowed; the only arthouse cinema of Iceland closed since the 24th of March.

Reopening date

Cinemas are allowed to reopen since May 4. Out of 29 screens only few ones decided to officially reopen.

Source: Screendaily

Supporting measures taken

General governmental measures:

  • Companies that experience temporary operational difficulties due to a drop in income will be given leeway, e.g. with later deadlines to submit taxes and public fees.
  • Consideration will be given to temporarily suspending fees that are burdensome for tourism companies, e.g. overnight tax, which will be temporarily suspended.
  • A marketing campaign will be launched overseas when conditions are created to promote Iceland as a destination, as well as a campaign to encourage Icelanders to travel domestically.
  • Measures will be taken that can stimulate private consumption and demand, e.g. with tax or support systems.
  • Increased energy will be put into public construction projects in the current year and the coming one.
  • Active consultation will be established between the government and the Icelandic Financial Services Association on their response to the foreseeable liquidity and payment difficulties of companies in tourism.
  • The Housing Financing Fund’s deposits with the Central Bank will be transferred to banks’ deposit accounts to support banks’ and creditors’ leverage to lend to their clients.

India

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed

Supporting measures taken

 

Ireland

Situation in the country

The closure of all non-essential businesses in Ireland was ordered on March 25, by which time most major cinema chains in the country – including Odeon, Cineworld and Vue – had closed their venues.

Reopening strategies

Cinemas will reopen from August 10, but they will have to follow social distancing guidelines.

Source: Screendaily

Supporting measures taken

  • The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has said that organisations funded under Arts Council strategic funding, arts centre funding, arts grant funding and the festival investment scheme will have their funding commitments honoured, and that there will be no financial penalties for organisations or individuals who cannot deliver key services because of closure due to Covid 19.
  • Organisations who may face cashflow challenges during this time will be able to draw down up to 90% of Arts Council funding with immediate effect.

UPDATE 18.03.2020

  • Existing development and production loan offers which are due to expire in the coming months will all be extended to 31st May 2020.
    Additional marketing and distribution support for upcoming Irish film and TV releases during this period will be provided – Skills development opportunities for industry practitioners, with Screen Skills Ireland delivering some of its planned activity for 2020 online free-of-charge over the next 6-10 weeks.

UPDATE 21.04.2020 

New protective measures for the film sector:

  • Strategic Slate Development Fund for the development of projects with a focus on diversity and inclusion, enhanced Development Support for firms working with writers, the Creative Concept Development Scheme available directly to Irish directors to create finely tuned projects for feature film and television, enhanced investments in the Screenplay Development and Spotlight schemes, financial planning for companies, and the creation and adaptation of funding schemes for the skills development programme.
  • “In addition, the fund will also be making a line of funding available for firms in need of urgent financial planning support. This new measure will provide funding to enable outfits to develop a financial plan with the advice of a consultant. The fund is worth up to €150,000, with companies able to apply for a maximum of €5,000.”
  • Two funding schemes have been repurposed to allow for festivals and organizations making events to provide online industry events and to support industry professionals as they undertake high-level online skill-development courses.
  • Two other funding schemes have been started: “the Screen Mentoring Funding Scheme, which will help professionals to access mentor support over a 12-month period, and the Stakeholders and Guilds Funding Scheme, which will back screen stakeholders and guilds to deliver a range of skills-related activities over the course of a year.”

Italy

Situation in the country

The whole film industry in stand-by: since the 8th of March all the cinemas closed & all the distributors have postponed their releases.

Reopening strategies

Cinemas in Italy may reopen starting June 15, following security guidelines and health measures. Source: Il Sole 24 Ore

ANEC (Italian national federation of cinema exhibitors) is against the measures set by the government, as too strict for cinemas, and is discussing about a possible protocol with better measures and guidelines. Source: Cinecittà

Open air cinema project will also boost the exhibition sector in summer. Source: Cineuropa

Supporting measures taken

  • Taxes and other payments (such as rent loans) are deferred and currently blocked.
  • The trade unions (SLC-CGIL; FISTEL -CISL; UILCOM UIL) of the audiovisual industry presented a statement to the Ministry of Culture, requesting the implementation of the Guarantee Fund provided for by the Cinema Law; starting amount 5 million €
  • In addition, the producers’ associations, in agreement with the trade unions and representatives of the actors and authors, have prepared a series of proposals to be submitted to the Ministry of Culture: general and declined proposals for the various parts of the supply chain (production, distribution, operation, post-production) to promote an Extraordinary Intervention Fund.
  • UPDATE 17.03.2020: Decree “Cura Italia”: http://www.anecweb.it/notiziaevento.php/31914
    – 600,00€ for the employees who are in dismissal mode.
    – taxes blocked until 20.04.2020 for all the cinemas and theatres
    – tax credit to sanification of all work places – remboursement with vouchers for all cancelled screenings and events
    – emergency fund of 130mil.€ for the cultural sector (not yet defined how it will be divided)
    FICE/ANEC are asking the government to to redeem the “Premio d’Essai” (which is given to arthouse cinemas…a bit like the BKM Preis) of 2018 (still havent received those money) and also of 2019. In this way the cinemas can get a “cushion” of financial support to make them breathe a bit. They are also trying to redeem the Tax credits of 2019.

Latvia

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed but able to reopen from May 12.

Reopening Date

Cinemas may open again starting May 12: 25 people per screening.

Supporting measures taken

Lebanon

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed

Supporting measures taken

 

Lithuania

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed

Reopening Date

Cinemas allowed to open on May 31st (max 30 people/auditorium)

Supporting measures taken

UPDATE 10.04.2020

The Lithuanian Parliament approved an additional 5 m EUR in assistance to artists, culture professionals and cultural organisations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis on 8 April 2020. The film sector will receive 2 m EUR.

Mexico

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed. Most of them closed before Governmental decision to do so.

The Asociación Nacional de Cine Independientes (ANCI)  expressed concern to CANACINE, Ministry of Culture and IMCINE.

83 Independent exhibitors with 150 screens around the country.

All large events prohibited.

UPDATE 24.03.2020:

  • Public Health Emergency Declared
  • Some states, amongst which Jalisco, Nuevo León, Chihuahua and Yucatán have recommended sanitary measures and are currently advising to remain at home and smart working (Home working).
  • Closure of cinemasordered in some states.

UPDATE 1.04.2020:

  • About 255,000 people working in the Film Industry are out of work.  1,000 out of them work directly in Independent Cinema Theaters and Art Houses.

UPDATE 9.04.2020:

  • ANCI convey letters to Municipalities/Mayors in order to get some support when Independent Cinemas become operative and help to boost local economy.

UPDATE 17.04.2020:

  • ANCI members sent letters to Mayors proposing schemes for Municipal support after the Health crisis as posttraumatic therapies for population.

UPDATE 18.05.2020:

  • All cinemas are closed.
  • Federal governmental Funds for Cinema (FOPROCINEand,FIDECINE) remain but not for exhibitors. Producers would benefit from such Funds. Government will merge both funds to make only one. No rules yet decided or announced.
  • ANCI (Exhibitors) proposed some measures to Distributors in order to get support for restart of operations.
  • ANCI sent letters to IMCINE, Federal Congress´ Culture and Cinema Commission, and Ministries of Culture, Finance, Trade and Interior to get support.  No response yet.
  • No support from the government to micro, medium or any company or business.
  • Possibility to re-open Cinemas in Mexico City on 15 June 2020.

Supporting measures taken

No financial support from Government yet.

For Cinema Production workers
Mexican Cinema Academy-AMAAC jointly with Netflix launched a program to support financially actors an other film wiorkers along the Health Emergency.

Montenegro

Situation in the country

Country in lockdown and cinemas closed since the 13th of March.

Supporting measures taken

The Ministry of Culture launched, in cooperation with the Film Centre of Montenegro, a public call for emergency support in the amount of 500,000 EUR for cultural workers most affected by the current situation. It will apply to film production companies, cinemas, and individuals, along with others in the creative sector.

Morocco

Situation in the country

Cinemas and cultural institutions closed since 16.03.2020

Supporting measures taken

  • No governmental help for the cultural sector; cinemas struggling to pay at least 2 months of wage to their employees, no alternative programs offered by cinemas.
  • No collective fund for cinemas or cultural institutions
  • Government aid of 10 billion DH (945 700 000 €) for the health system and for the economy generally to maintain employment and companies
  • Moroccan National Film Center has only made a communication to the producers to not have bigger shooting teams than 30 people

Exceptional call for projects to support the Moroccan artistic and cultural scene
The Cooperation and Cultural Action Service of the French Embassy and the French Institute of Morocco have launched an exceptional call for projects to support Moroccan artistic creation, a sector particularly affected by the crisis. The aid could cover up to 60% of the total project budget.

The Netherlands

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed since the 16th of March.

Reopening date

Cinemas set to reopen with safety/hygiene measures and 25-30% capacity on June 1st.

The reopening will be governed by a national protocol and might require cinemas to allow only 25-30% of the audience, to keep still the security distance of 1,5 m. Films will also no longer be programmed at the same time, to prevent visitors from different screening rooms from meeting each other. There will also be more cleaning after the auditorium is empty, such as disinfecting all door handles.

Source: BNR.nl

Supporting measures taken

UPDATE 17.03.2020:

  • General measures: 10-20 billion € package of help from the Dutch government to employers to be able to pay their staff and freelancers; Temporary Emergency Measure Bridging for Work Preservation: the government pays 75% of wage costs – max 90% in the next 3 months. Condition: employers are not allowed to lay off employees and that wages are paid in full. The scheme also applies to employees with a flexible contract and to on-call workers.
  • Self-employed can apply for help at the municipalities to supplement their income up to the social minimum, for the next three months – legal arrangements not yet in place
  • Cultural (hospitality & travel) entrepreneurs who are directly affected by the measures can receive a one-off sum of 4,000 euros for the next three months. The exact conditions have yet to be worked out + they will be granted a tax deferral for the next 3 months. This applies to income, corporation, wage and turnover taxes (VAT)

UPDATE 19.03.2020

Dutch Film Fund announces first measures to protect film industry:

  • First support for festivals, because they have no reserves
  • New measures to be announced in coming days

UPDATE MINISTRY OF CULTURE:

  • coulance in payments, advances, timing of deliveries for projects already supported
  • implementation of additional measures to counter effects of suspension and/or cancellation of projects, including in (pre-) production
  • additional relief fund for cancelled events, festivals.

UPDATE: Vitamin Cineville

Vitamin Cineville https://www.cineville.nl/magazine/cineville-covid

  • Cineville passholders’ subscription is paused starting 1st of April, but they can choose to keep paying their monthly subscription to keep supporting their local cinemas.
  • On top of that Cineville has also launched the platform Vitamin Cineville where pass holders can watch selected films for free. 90% of the Cineville pass income continues to go the cinemas participating in the programme.

Norway

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed on March 12 and reopened on May 7.

Reopening date

Cinemas reopen on May 7, with a maximum 50 people capacity per screen. Exhibitors will have to decide whether or not they want to reopen.

Source: Variety

Supporting measures taken

Norway lowered the VAT by 4% for cinemas, going back to 1.1.2020

Wages covered 100% for 20 days

Poland

Situation in the country

All cinemas closed since the 12th of March.

Cinemas have their own platform, MOJEeKINO.PL, set to start on 21.05.

Reopening Date

Open air and drive-in cinemas open since 18th of May

Supporting measures taken

  • Stowarzyszenie Kin Studyjnych Board (SKS = Art-house Cinemas Society) created a letter to the Minister of Culture and the Director of the Polish Film Institute regarding the situation of Studio cinemas, in particular private cinemas and the effects of quarantine, with a request to talk about compensation or other system solutions to prevent the collapse of small and medium-sized enterprises.
  • Art-house Cinemas Society made a proposal for the Ministry of Development to create a loan fund to cover operating costs, which would be repaid only after making profits. Interest-free loan. – here we still need to talk about how it works.
  • Polish Film Institute has a crisis team consisting of film industry professionals of different parts of the industry – next meeting on the 20th of March
  • Media Europa Program – Art-house Cinemas Society asked Marynia Gierat (member of EC Board) to talk about the possibility of diverting funds from international cooperation to support cinemas
  • Media campaign – Art-house Cinemas Society asked well known journalists for articles dedicated to the situation of the Network and in particular private entities. Then we want to interest the topic of local media.
  • Polish Ministry of Culture works on a package of measures: proposal of a programme for institutions that plan to expand their activities with the use of electronic communication channels and forms of presentation of artistic activities on the web & support mechanism for the organisers of events that could not take place due to the introduced restrictions, including film distributors.

UPDATE 31.03.2020

The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage announced state support for artists and creators, employees of the cultural sector, as well as companies and non-governmental organizations dealing with culture, whose activity cannot be continued during the period of an epidemic threat

The Anti-Crisis Shield includes, among others, state support to cover 40% of employees’ remuneration up to the average remuneration in the national economy, and for persons running their own business activity and working on a contract-order or contract for a specific task, there will be a possibility of a single payment of up to 80% of the minimum remuneration.

2 new subsidy programmes: creativity on the internet (grants for the development of digital ways of presenting artistic content) & Additional programme to compensate for the loss of culture due to an epidemic after the end of the epidemic (launched after the rigours of the epidemic have been relaxed)

Other:

  • flexible approach to the implementation and settlement of tasks in the Minister’s Programmes
  • amendments to the Law on Audiovisual Incentives, extending the deadlines and simplifying the procedures for applying for financial support for audiovisual productions
  • increasing social assistance (aid) for people of culture
  • solutions prepared by the National Institute of Freedom (subordinate to the Chairman of the Committee for Public Benefit) for non-governmental organisations, covering also organisations operating in the cultural sector and introducing, among others, flexibility in the implementation and settlement of projects.

Portugal

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed (update 20.03.2020)

Supporting measures taken

UPDATE Audiovisual and Film Institute of Portugal

  • ICA will maintain the planned closing dates for the calls for cinema and audiovisual support in 2020.
  • The ICA will maintain and, where possible, speed up the procedures concerning the grant of cinema and audiovisual support.
  • In the ongoing processes each situation will be analyzed, on a case-by-case basis, privileging a protectionist action of the candidates and/or beneficiaries, through the application of the regulations, although with flexibility of some formal requirements.
  • For the time being, the ICA foresees the possibility of flexibility in the execution of the distribution and exhibition plans supported in the scope of the ICA film support programmes and the rules of support for the realization of film festivals in the national territory.
  • The need to maintain general obligations for the beneficiaries of support, namely the need to ensure compliance with the remuneration obligations towards creative, artistic staff or any other worker involved in the implementation of the project, is highlighted.
  • Possibility for cinematographic works to have initial exploitation on television or on on-demand audiovisual media services. The ICA will suspend, until indicated otherwise, and including the month of March, the obligation on exhibitors to withhold 7.5% of the retail price of cinema tickets.
  • Amendments to the regulations of the support programmes in order to increase their flexibility.

Romania

Situation in the country

Cinemas are closed.

Supporting measures taken

  • The National Film Center asked the organisation having events affected by the Coronavirus situation in the period of Jan-June 2020 to ask for their contract of subvention being suspended
  • Currently no measures for the economy at all; discussion about measures potentially support for SME-s, cultural actors involved.

Serbia

Situation in the country

UPDATE 18.03.2020 – Cinemas are closed

Supporting measures taken

 

Slovakia

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed, events cancelled by decree on the 10.03.2020, since the 13.03.2020 closed completely

Reopening Date

Cinemas set to reopen on 20 May, restricted to 100 attendees maximum

Supporting measures taken

  • No official information on support of the entrepreneurs or the NGOs in general from the government
  • Slovak Audiovisual Fund, released on 17.03.2020 a statement on the changes of conditions for subsidies in 2020. There are several technicalities they are changing and one of them is that cinemas could ask for loan with zero interest : “Operational granting of short-term interest-free loans from the Fund to cover the necessary operating costs, in particular to small cinemas, which do not have a real opportunity to draw financial resources from their reserve or from the founder’s budget”
  • Since independent cinemas (who don’t belong to municipality) have no support in general, it is difficult to arrange things
  • Network of cinemas in Slovakia has already sent an appeal for support to the Prime Minister and Network of independent cultural centers is doing the same
  • For cinemas/events and distributors that face the harshest immediate consequences (they were forced to be closed/cancelled/suspend their activities by the state): there are horizontal measures prepared on the level of state for example by the Ministry of Economy (possible exemption from social and health care contributions for employees affected); also the fund is planning case by case according to individual needs of the companies to apply some of the following measures (e.g. admission of certain expenses even when an event is cancelled or moved, postponement of payments for loans or levies, specific short-term loans to small cinemas)
  • For productions: flexibility in adjusting the projects including their timelines and other measures (for example postponement of the payments of the loans)
  • Funding activities: this will continue with several limitations (including postponement of the presentations of the projects before commissions, administrative flexibility when submitting the applications, applying for support)
  • Continuous evaluation of the situation by the fund with possible other measures to be taken in the near future, also based on the suggestion by the sector that we are collecting and reflecting on.

Slovenia

Situation in the country

  • Cinemas, schools, public places closed since Friday, 13.03.2020 (some closed even earlier according to local/municipal guidelines, when gatherings of max 100 were still allowed)
  • Risk of losing the collaborators working on film education or other topics, because the freelancers will be forced to get a job while the cinemas are closed.

UPDATE 30.03.2020

  • On 30 March the Government of the Republic of Slovenia issued an additional Decree that, with some exemptions, further prohibits the movement of people outside the municipality of their permanent or temporary residence

Reopening Date

Supporting measures taken

  • So far no proposal to remedy the closure of cinemas (or other cultural institutions) from the government or the Ministry of culture.
  • Art kino mreža Slovenije and several other independent cultural associations will be making public statements, adressing the difficult situation in the cinema sector and will try to liaise with the Ministry of culture – difficult to imagine though because of newly elected right wing government who have established austerity measures last time they were in power
  • As most arthouse cinemas belong to municipalities, there is little support for them – as in they might have their rent payed or the employees wages might be payed. But companies and associations running cinemas have no help.

Updates 08.04.2020

So far there is still no proposal to bail-out cinemas from the government or the Ministry of Culture. A support scheeme has been set up for the self-employed workers, but more than 50% of the self-employed in the cultural sector won’t be able to apply for help. All running projects at the Slovene film center have been ordered to stop by the government and cinemas are afraid that existing contractual obligations won’t be met. This means significant financial cuts in existing film education and arthouse programs.

Spain

Situation in the country

State of alarm starting on the 14.03.2020.: all venues closed (except basic services) & everyone in home-lockdown (except trips to work when home office not possible).

Reopening strategies

The Government of Spain has announced yesterday that cinemas will be allowed to open with one-third of their capacity on 25 May (phase 2); and possibly to half of their capacity from 8 June (phase 3).

Source: Cine y Tele

Supporting measures taken

  • Maybe some help for small companies (and cinemas related to companies), but it might not apply to venues ran by associations or other type of organisations
  • Waiting for concrete financial measures from 17.03.2020 onward.
  • UPDATE 20.03.2020 The government launched a packet ofmeasures for businesses in general, but there are still details to be clarified.
    The two main things are:
    1) More money to be used as “guarantees” for bank credit through the ICO (Instituto de Crédito Oficial)
    2) Flexibility in temporary lay-offs so: a) Every worker will get 70% of their sallary weather they fulfilled the standard conditions or not; b) The social security costs are paid by the state, not the companies.
    No mention of culture specifically or people working in culture or cinemas. Only news mentioning:
    1) messages in social media saying “remember that all this content you’re watching now has been done by artists. please support them”;
    2) The Spanish Film Commmission announcing all shootings are off.

UPDATE 27.03.2020:

Distributor “A Contracorriente Films” created a platform called “salavirtualdecine.com” where they will release in April the films they have planned on releasing earlier. The screening “tickets” are of the same price as a cinema ticket. In a partnership with cinemas, they share the revenues of the films being watched.

Sweden

Situation in the country

Starting with the 30th of March max 50 people allowed to gather, many cinemas closed (mainly to save on costs and lack of film releases).

Reopening strategies

No obligation for cinemas to be closed, but only the Svenska Bio chain has stayed open; the other cinemas have had too many losses in the context of Coronavirus and prefered to remain closed.

Supporting measures taken

UPDATE 30.03.2020:

GENERAL MEASURES

Crisis package for jobs and transition:

  • temporary reinforcement of the unemployment insurance and period extended for introductury/new job
  • max. time for support for starting a business be extended from six to twelve months;

Crisis package for small and medium sized enterprises in Sweden:

  • central government guarantees 70% of new loans banks provide
  • temporary reduction of employers’ social security contributions will be proposed for the period 1 March to 30 June 2020 so that only the old age pension contribution is paid
  • governments facilitates and helps to speed up renegotiation of rents. Central government will cover 50% of the rental reduction up to 50% of the fixed rent.
  • the rules for tax allocation reserves will be temporarily changed so that sole proprietors severely affected by the COVID-19 outbreak will receive tax cuts. Value added tax reported annually from 27 December 2019 until 17 January 2021 will also be covered by the proposal.
  • Increased loan facilities and credit guarantees for Swedish businesses
  • Central government to assume sick pay responsibility for two months

FOR CULTURE SEK 500 million (50 million €) 

  • The funds to culture – SEK 500 million – will be granted to activities that lose revenue as a result of the restriction on public gatherings. Both large and small actors in the area of culture will be able to receive support. Organisational form will not impact the ability to receive support. State institutions are not included, but their situation is being monitored closely.
  • On the 8th of April there will be more information about how the crisis funds will be distributed.

Currently mostly useful for cinemas:

  • Full sick leave payed by the state from day one if someone calls in sick in order to stop people working through sickness (normally the first two weeks are payed by the employer, with a qualification period of one day where you don’t get any support).
  • Since the 16th of March short-time work allowance. The employers can cut employees’ working hours to 80, 60 or 40% of the normal working hours. The employee keeps 90-95% of the salary and the difference is covered by the state. This is possible until the end of the year, and is only applicable if the employer do not lay anyone off or give anyone notice.

Switzerland

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed since the 17th of March.

Reopening strategies

Cinemas might reopen on 8 June if the spread of the virus slows down.

Source: Outnow

Supporting measures taken

The Swiss Film Federation asked for online releases on https://www.kultkino.ch/ to be accepted as a normal releases for the time of crisis. It’s a possible temporary solution to maintain communication and the release of (smaller) films through the platform belonging to the cinema Cultkino. More cinemas try to redirect their audience to the platform. Difference to VOD platforms: ticket sales directly managed by the cinema, contact data and financial control stays with the cinema, ticket price similar to that in cinemas, price shared between exhibitor and distributor as in case of exhibition practices; films don’t go online as long as they play in cinemas.

UPDATE https://www.bak.admin.ch/bak/de/home/themen/coronavirus.html

GENERAL MEASURES OF SUPPORT:

  • The Federal Council decided on 20.03.2020 to cushion the economic consequences of the protective measures to halt the spread of coronavirus and propose compensations for companies, employees and freelancers affected by loss of work and income
  • The mortgage payments are deferredfor a period up to 6 months for employers and employees who might not be able to pay because of a liquidity shortage
  • Liquidity support for companies
  • Extension and simplification of short-time working
  • Compensation for loss of earnings for self-employed persons
  • Compensation for loss of earnings for employees

MEASURES OF SUPPORT FOR THE CULTURAL / CREATIVE SECTOR:

CHF 280 million in emergency aid and compensation in the first two months

1. Emergency aid to cultural enterprises and cultural workers: non-profit cultural enterprises, for example foundations, can receive repayable interest-free loans to ensure their liquidity. Cultural workers can claim non-repayable emergency aid to cover their immediate living costs, insofar as this is not guaranteed by the new compensation for loss of earnings in accordance with the income replacement scheme. This is handled by the cantons (cultural enterprises) or by Suisseculture Sociale (cultural workers).

2. Compensation for loss of earnings: profit and non-profit cultural enterprises and cultural workers can apply to the cantons for compensation for the financial loss associated with the cancellation or postponement of events or the closure of businesses. The compensation for cancellation covers a maximum of 80 percent of the financial loss. The Confederation bears half of the costs awarded by the cantons.

3. Financial aid for cultural associations in the fields of music and theatre can be supported with a financial contribution to cover the financial loss associated with the cancellation or postponement of events.

LEGAL POSSIBILITY BUSINESSES RENTING THEIR SPACES NOT BEING ABLE TO WORK DURING THE LOCKDOWN: since they are unable to carry out their business activities due to the measures taken against the Covid 19 epidemic. related to the provisions on deficiency in the rented property (Art. 259d CO), the impossibility of performance (Art. 119 CO), the concept of affordability (Art. 97 para. 1 CO) and the judicial adjustment of contracts. Depending on the rental contract, there might be an entitlement to a reduction or remission of the rent because the rented space can’t be used, because no activity can be performed or because the tenant can’t afford to continue to pay the rent due to an extraordinary situation.

Ukraine

Situation in the country

Cinemas closed.

Reopening date

Cinemas to reopen in the second week of June.

Supporting measures taken

 

United Kingdom

Situation in the country

Cinemas ordered to close on the 20.03.2020

Reopening date

UK Cinemas may reopen in July. A provisory date has been given: July 4. Cinemas will need to follow, as other venues reopening, COVID-19 Secure guidelines.

Source: Screendaily

Supporting measures taken

UPDATE General Measures by the Government

  • People self-isolating or caring for family members in self-isolation can apply for Statutory Sick Pay, they can apply online
  • Mortgage or rental holiday for 3 months possible, government guarantees for no eviction for 3 months; epayment holidays of 3 months to households in financial difficulty due to COVID-19 for customers who are up to date with the payments
  • SME-s entitled to reclaim the costs of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • Businesses eligible for small business rate relief or rural rate relief in England will be entitled to a one-off cash grant of £10,000
  • Businesses facing cash flow issues as a result of COVID-19 : government will step in as a guarantor for 80% of lendings, for big businesses the Bank of England will buy short term debt from companies

UPDATE 20.03.2020

United States of America

You can follow the trend in US on Art House Convergence website.

Situation in the country

All cinemas are closed since end of March

Reopening date

In the state of Georgia theatres may reopen the last week of April. Source: Variety.

Tennessee is also pushing for reopening.

Texas’ governor allows the reopening of cinemas starting 1 May, but cinemas say they are not ready yet. Source: Deadline.

Cinema theatres are refusing to open, as they have no titles to offer and they don’t want to encourage practices that could be considered dangerous to health; moreover there will be no new films in national distribution as long as all states (or at least the majority of them reopen). Source: Deadline

Currently the launch of Christopher Nolan’s new film could be the first international release date for an American film: 16 July.

Source: Barron’s

Supporting measures taken

Independently gathered good practices and recommendations from member cinemas by the Art House Convergence partly on communication and how to keep cinemas running, but also on how to prepare closure.

UPDATE 23.03.2020:

$2 Trillion Stimulus Package in negotiation to rescue US economy and businesses – including theatres and people working in film industry

UPDATE 01.04.2020

Additional to last week’s $2.2tn stimulus package that passed into law by Congress, a $2.4m relief fund announced this week by NATO and the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, promising to bring assistance to companies looking for loans and the sector’s 150,000 employees trying to pay rent and buy groceries.

NATO working on another stimulus package in its work related to business interruption insurance, rent abatement for exhibitors and other topics of interest

A new initative, the Art-House America Campaign has been launched and it aims to provide financial relief to struggling independent cinemas across the country so they can pay staff and their essential bills and survive until it is safe to reopen their doors. The Campaign was started with an initial donation of $50,000 from the Criterion Collection and Janus Films, and they are inviting friends of independent theaters and art houses everywhere to join them in this fundraising effort. The fund is being administered by the Art House Convergence, a nonprofit association dedicated to sustainability in community-based, mission-driven media exhibition.

Map of temporarily closed arthouse cinemas


To complete the map (created by Art House Convergence), you can register here your arthouse cinema.

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