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French Version


Conference calls on state to do more to promote movie industry (Daily Star)

Attendees urge creation of low-cost theaters in rural areas. A conference on the movie industry has called on the state to play a more important role in sponsoring this sector.

The conference, "Toward Another Public Policy Aimed at Encouraging the Cinema Industry," was held this week at the Hazmieh-based Rotana Hotel.

In its conclusion, the conference stressed the role of the Culture Ministry in sponsoring cultural industries, especially the importance of cinema in culture, and urged the state to update certain laws governing these industries.

The conference called for setting up a separate movie theater, "where Lebanese movies could be viewed at a lower costs," especially in rural, rather than urban areas, where no theaters have yet been set up.

Another resolution called for letting movie producers benefit from similar tax exemptions as those given to commercial projects in remote places, as well as tax exemptions on installations related to the filmmaking industry, including electricity and telephone communications.

One of the points also raised at the conference highlighted the possibility of creating capital venture institutions to provide financial aid to future film projects, in addition to setting up an institution for the protection of any investments poured into creating these projects.

As for the promotion of the film industry with the younger generation, and the encouragement of future producers, one resolution called for launching filmmaking awareness campaigns targeting Lebanese youths and improving the publicity surrounding Lebanese films in the local media.

In addition, the conference called for a "better dialogue between local and foreign film-makers" to create further cooperation between the two sides.

Censorship was another issue raised during the meeting, with members urging the government to ease up on certain projects, or even cancelling advanced censorship of locally made films by watchdog committees.

Beirut 21-09-2004
Elie Hourany
The Daily Star



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