Cuba legalizes independent movie making

New regulations for independent film and audiovisual creators were announced this Wednesday by Ramón Samada, president of the Cuban Institute of Film Art and Industry (ICAIC).

The legal body of the regulations is included in Decree-Law 373, on Independent Audiovisual and Film Creators, which today publishes the Official Ordinary Gazette No. 43 and which recognizes, in the first place, the labor status of independent film and audiovisual creators.

The new policy has an extraordinary importance in the cultural policy of our nation to promote creative development and film and audiovisual production, said Samada in a press conference, who said that the new rules give these artists a legal status and recognizes the work they do.

He specified that these become economic entities and are at the same time object and subject, they can be hired by or hire natural and legal persons, Cuban and foreign, to carry out their work.

They will have the possibility of "opening current bank accounts to develop their work, and have legal representation recognized by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, and any possibility of representation before the agencies of the Central Administration of the State, mainly the Central Bank".

The new regulations, in addition to Decree-Law 373, of the independent audiovisual and cinematographic creator, consist of Agreement 8613, which approves the Development Fund, the Film Commission and an Office of Attention to Production, and resolutions of the Ministries of Culture, Labor and Social Security and Finance and Prices; the ICAIC and the Central Bank.

Samada referred to the changes brought about by the new policy regarding the recognition and regulation of the work of independent creators, who will have a Registry that will formalize their legal capacity, and the creation of groups of creators, a Fund for the Promotion of Cinema, a Film Commission to facilitate national and foreign production and three new figures of self-employed work.

The ICAIC, to which Decree Law 373 assigns the mandate as rector of cinematographic and audiovisual policies in the country, is responsible for administering the Registry. Samada pointed out that, although it will be a single registry, it will register those who work in the cinema, while the ICRT will register those who work in television.

"To work, filmmakers have to come together. Audiovisual is a lot of industry, many people united, and this figure has been created with its own identity. This collective is made up of up to three creators already registered in the Registry and other people who are part of it," said the president of the ICAIC on the creation of Audiovisual and Cinematographic Creation Collectives.

He stressed that the Collectives participate in all stages of audiovisual and cinematographic production, seek funding, participate in preparation, filming, post-production and marketing of their works, primarily for the development of Cuban cinema.

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