Tunisia unveils stimulus package to boost film industry


On August 22, 2010, it was reported that the Tunisian government have recently set up a national committee and unveiled a stimulus package to boost the ailing film industry of Tunisia, a country that boasts Africa's oldest film festival and enjoys one of the most liberal cinemas in the Arab world.

The government set up the National Committee for the Reform and Development of the Audiovisual Sector, and decided to provide more money for cinematographic productions, calling on TV stations, internet services providers and DVD vendors to make financial contributions, at a time when fewer movies were made, and the number of cinemas was down to 20 from the over 100 in the 1960s in Tunisia.

Meanwhile, the Cultural Ministry will increase the film allowance, currently standing at 4 million dinars (about US$2.72 million) per year, on a regular basis, making it possible to finance more films. In 2010, only nine long feature movies received funding from the ministry. Besides, the state will also encourage diversification of partnership involving private investors, and to build modern cinemas in tourist destinations and shopping malls.