Automatic contributions in the audiovisual sector

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Automatic contributions in the audiovisual sector

Automatic contributions in the audiovisual sector

An award for quality

The automatic contributions represent the economic recognition, by the Italian Ministry of Culture, towards the Producers/Distributors of the audiovisual sector, for the success (both economic and cultural/artistic: box office, foreign sales, awards, etc.) of each Work produced.

Contributions are only recognized so that they are reinvested by the Producers/Distributors themselves (by 31 December 2025) in the development, production or distribution of new audiovisual works, which in turn meet certain requirements (including being “Italian” and culturally eligible ).

The amount of contributions is established on the basis of a score, calculated in relation to both the success achieved and the characteristics of the Work.

Calculation of automatic contributions

Contributions are calculated:

  • on the following Works, of Italian nationality: film; television and web works; research and training works; video clips;
  • on the basis of the economic, cultural and artistic results and dissemination to the national and international public, obtained from the aforementioned works, produced or distributed in Italy and abroad, according to the methods established by law 220/2016 and by the Ministerial Decree dated 07/15/2021.

The results, under penalty of inadmissibility, must have been achieved starting from 1 January 2017. The Work contributes to the achievement of the results, for the first time, in the year following that of first exploitation.

Contribution recipients

The following subjects can request contributions (registered in the RR.II., with registered office in the EEA, with a permanent establishment in Italy):

  • Producers with ATECO J 59.11 classification. In the case of television and web works, access is reserved for independent producers only;
  • cinematographic distributors in Italy with ATECO J 59.13 classification;
  • home entertainment publishers with ATECO classification J 59.1 or C 18.20;
  • International Distributors with ATECO J 59.13 classification.

A portion of the contributions must be set aside by the aforementioned subjects and destined for the following authors of the cinematographic, television, web and animation work for which the contributions have been recognized:

  • author of the subject;
  • author of the screenplay;
  • director;
  • author of the music.

The amount set aside, for each of the aforementioned artists, is equal to 1.5% (one point five percent) of the contributions requested by the Producer/Distributor and credited in the accounting position of the same with the Ministry, calculated on the basis of the value of the work and of the results achieved by it.

Therefore, if a producer company requests the recognition of automatic contributions for a film produced by itself and released in theatres/platforms and the Ministry, on the basis of a specific score (based on the value of the film, on the receipts, on the awards received, etc.), recognizes automatic contributions for that particular film for a total of 300,000 Euros, each of the aforementioned authors is entitled to 1.5% of this amount (ie 4,500 Euros).

The procedure to follow to obtain the grants

The procedure that Producers/Distributors must follow in order to obtain recognition, accreditation and, finally, the disbursement of automatic contributions from the Ministry is given below, in chronological order:

  • The Producer/Distributor must request the opening of an accounting position at the Ministry of Culture – Directorate General for Audiovisual Works, i.e. a virtual fund to which the contributions recognized and requested by the Production, accrued for each year, will be credited.
  • The Producer/Distributor submits the application to obtain recognition of the automatic contributions, using the forms prepared by the DGCA (General Directorate of Cinema and Audiovisual of the Ministry of Culture).
  • If the DGCA recognizes that the Manufacturer/Distributor possesses the requirements prescribed by the reference legislation (Articles 23 to 25 of Law no. 220/2016, Ministerial Decree of 07/15/2021 and subsequent directorial decrees), it will issue a decree hoc in which he will indicate the amount of the recognized contributions and the credit on the virtual fund.

Warning: the potential fund of the Producer/Distributor constitutes a certain and liquid credit, but the collectability of the credited sums is subject to the development, production/distribution/diffusion in Italy and abroad of a new Italian cinematographic or audiovisual work, from part of the same company.

  • Once credited to the fund (with an indication of the year within which they must be used), the Production will be able to present a specific request to the DGCA to obtain the disbursement – from the virtual fund to its current account – of the amount it deems necessary to reinvest in the production, development, distribution or dissemination of a new cinematographic / television Work.

This disbursement may take place in a single solution or, more often than not, at each stage of progress.

  • To the reinvestment request, the Producer/Distributor must attach the preliminary development and pre-production financial plan, containing the indication and amount of the financial sources to cover the overall development and pre-production cost of the work, with particular reference to other State aid.

Warning: to obtain the disbursement of the requested amounts, the Production must also demonstrate that it has already set aside the percentage of the automatic contributions (requested, recognized and credited to the account) due to the authors of the Work for which they were granted (1.5% for each, for a total of 6% overall for all authors).

Otherwise they will not be paid.

  • Within 60 days of the presentation of the application for disbursement of contributions aimed at reinvestment, the DGCA notifies the requesting Production of the outcome of the preliminary investigation and, in the event of a favorable outcome, disburses the contribution to its current account, based on the progress reports or directly on balance.
  • However, within the following 30 (thirty) days from the effective disbursement of the requested amounts, the company must transmit, under penalty of revocation of the disbursed contribution, the payment receipt, in favor of the authors of the story and screenplay, of the percentage of contributions due to them.

The sums credited to the potential fund must be used by the company, under penalty of forfeiture, by 31 December of the fifth calendar year following the year in which they were credited.

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