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Dutch Government announces investment obligation support local audiovisual productions

The Dutch Government is presenting a new incentive for the audiovisual sector in the form of an investment obligation for all exploitation platforms to strengthen the position of Dutch cultural audiovisual productions. This was announced to the Dutch Parliament on December 19, 2019. The strategic agenda that the Netherlands Film Fund and Dutch film sector have been working towards over recent years has therefore been taken one step further.

Cinemas and video-on-demand services must contribute to the financing of new Dutch films, drama series, creative documentaries, animations and innovative media productions. For cinemas and TVOD providers, an investment obligation of 3% will be applied on turnover. An investment obligation of 6% will be applicable for SVOD providers. This can be done directly or through a private fund. The investment obligation will be anchored in legislation.

In order to create a better functioning system and achieve both greater cooperation and a better functioning sector, a joint vision and strategic plan is required from the relevant parties within the Dutch production- and exploitation sector. In order to reach a sound approach, the sector plan acknowledges the particular interests and particularities of both small and large players.

Worldwide, the production and visibility of independent film and media productions is under increasing pressure. Revenues from exploitation are increasingly shifting to the end of the chain where large internationally operating parties dominate. These parties, in turn, have so far made little or no contribution to financing new local productions or to advancing their visibility.

Independent producers, and the Dutch film sector as a whole, have therefore witnessed a growing difficulty in developing and producing original stories, originating from the makers themselves.

The new investment obligation is part of a package of measures that the Government is taking as a response to the advice of the Culture Counsil ( Raad voor Cultuur) and motions proposed by Dutch MPs Asscher (PvdA) and Belhaj (D66), to enhance audiovisual culture, strengthen original Dutch productions and to create a level playing field with other countries. Previous measures were announced in the Letter to Parliament dated 2 July 2018 and the media letter of June 2019.

The full announcement can be read here.