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The European and French Film Academies support the Special Tax Law abolition
30 October 2015
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The Hellenic Film Academy (HFA) has released the following, commenting the support expressed by the European and French Film Academies on the Special Tax Law abolition decided by the Greek government, a decision which, the Greek Vice Presidency announced that will be recalled.

Athens, 27/10/2015

The Hellenic Film Academy reacted instantly to the abolition of the “Special Tax Law” (Imposed on the Price of Film Tickets for the Development of Film Art and Industry), since is not a “Third Party Tax” but a contributory rate which constitutes the main source of support for the Greek cinema industry. Its abolition is a heavy blow, ecpecially at a time when Greek cinema is succeeding internationally.

This is what the Board of the European Film Academy (EFA) also states, in its letter addressing Greek Prime Minister Mr Alexis Tsipras, the Minister of Finance, Mr Euclid Tsakalotos and the Minister of Culture, Mr Aristeides Baltas, as a sign of support to the Greek filmmakers. EFA΄s Board notes that cinema is one of the most powerful tools to inform the global public opinion about a country and urges the Greek government to call off its decision and support the potentials Greek cinema has.

The European Film Academy was founded in 1998. It has more than 3000 members from 49 European countries. Wim Wenders is EFA΄s current President, with Polish filmmaker Anieszka Holland Chairwoman of the Booard, and Spanish producer Antonio Saura, Deputy Chairman.

In a letter of support, the French Film Academy refers to French cinema΄s success as a result of a State-supported program that does not burden the State΄s economy. The Greek Special Tax was based on the French model and its success is undeniable in Greece too. The French Film Academy is very clear: “...Abolishing the Special Tax will lower the Greek film productivity, movie halls will lose their audiences, the state will lose incomes and taxes and unemployment in the field will rise...”.

The French Film Academy was founded in 1974. It has more than 4000 members from the audiovisual sector and is run by prominent personalities, such as producers Alain Terzian, Margaret Ménégoz and Alain Rocca, and writer/director Danièle Thompson.

The Hellenic Film Academy welcomes with a cautious optimism the announcement of the Greek Vice Presidency to recall the abolition of the Special Tax Law. It is time to finally recognise the role that Greek cinema could play in the development and promotion of the country, with multiple benefits. HFA closely watches the latest news and is willing to contribute in a creative way to their development. 

Read below the European Film Academy΄s letter to Prime Minister Tsipras and Ministers Tsakalotos, Baltas:

Berlin, 19 October 2015

Dear Prime Minister,
Dear Mr Tsipras,

Our colleagues from the Hellenic Film Academy have drawn our attention to the abolition of the “special tax” on cinema admissions in Greece.

Cinema is one of the most powerful tools to inform the world about a country. While Greece is currently going through one of its most challenging periods, Greek cinema is, at the same time, succeeding in creating a moment of great international relevance.

The Board of the European Film Academy wishes to express its worries about the abolition of the tax which will put the survival of the Greek film industry in serious danger. As a consequence, one of the most important and powerful opportunities to communicate the current developments in Greece to the world risk to be destroyed. A government that is fighting to protect the rights of the Greek people under extreme circumstances should not prevent its cinema from helping it in that fight.

We urge you to reconsider in a good light the Hellenic Film Academy’s petition for the reinstatement of the tax.

With kindest regards,

Agnieszka Holland, Chairwoman 
Mike Downey, Deputy Chairman
Antonio Saura, Deputy Chairman
  Audiovisual People react to the annulment of the Special Tax Law Imposed on the Price of Film Tickets for the Development of Film Art and Industry
  Hellenic Film Academy official website
  European Film Academy official website
  French Film Academy official website
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