During a speech at the Bicentennial Museum yesterday, president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner announced the creation of a new audiovisual district on Demarchi Island, in Puerto Madero. She also signed a decree raising subsidies to the film industry.
The new district will be placed on Demarchi Island, near the Puerto Madero casino, on state-owned land. The newly created Agency for the Administration of State Property will transfer ownership of 120,000 m2 of land to social security body Anses. Anses will then have 30 days to call for tenders, as all the development will be carried out by private investors. The government estimates investments for up to US$150m in offices, shops, recreational spaces, a stadium, and the areas dedicated specifically to film production.
President Fernández also signed two decrees which will favour the film industry. The first one names filming a “productive industrial activity”, thus awarding the audiovisual industry with the same type of benefits other industries receive, such as access to credits for small and medium-sized companies and tax exemptions. The second decree raises the amount of subsidies the state will give the film industry, as well as the maximum amount the National Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts (Incaa) can give individual projects, from the current $3.5m to $5.5m.
During the presentation, president Fernández highlighted the fact that “Argentina is the fourth worldwide exporter of audiovisual content.”
The announcements were well received by the film industry. “The country needed an audiovisual disctrict, and filming to be considered an industry to strengthen production,” said Liliana Mazure, president of Incaa, to Página 12.
The city government, however, rejected the initiative, claiming that the city already has a similar project underway. They were referring to a city law which awards tax exemptions to production companies located in the neighbourhoods of Palermo, Chacarita, and Colegiales. Buenos Aires chief of cabinet Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said that the government will need the city’s approval to use the land on Dimarchi Island.