About Us

The Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual, I. P. - ICA, I. P., is a public institute integrated in the indirect administration of the State, endowed with administrative and financial autonomy and its own heritage, under the Secretary of State for Culture, whose mission is to support the development cinematographic and audiovisual activities.

The Portuguese Institute of Cinema (Instituto Português de Cinema - IPC) was created in 1971 by Law 7/71, of 7th of December, aiming, as specified in Base II of this Law, to encourage and discipline the cinematographic activities in its industrial and commercial modalities of production, distribution and film screenings... to represent Portuguese cinema in international organisations... to promote the international relations of Portuguese cinema in the cultural, economic and financial domain... and to promote cinematographic culture.

The same Law created the "distribution fee” and "display fee”, still in effect today, focusing on "the projection of advertising films in cinemas or television", as well as the "additional to cinematographic show tickets”, sources of financing that contributed to support the actions of support to the cinematographic activity.

Law 7/71 remained in force until 1993, and was revoked by Decree-Law no. 350/93, dated 7th of October, even though, during its term, changes were made in both the organic structure of the IPC of that time, and the models of financial support and mechanisms of their allocation.

With respect to the IPC of that time, it was on 17th of September, 1982, with the publication of Decree-Law no. 391/82, a document that defines its organic status, that this public Institute of legal personality and administrative and financial autonomy was reinforced, which still exists today.

Aiming to create the conditions for the existence of a Portuguese Audiovisual Institute, considering, on the one hand, the growing importance of the audiovisual sector and, on the other, ensuring a coordinated and integrated policy for enhancing the Portuguese language and culture, there was the creation, by the Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 2/90, the SNA, National Secretariat for Audiovisuals, its preamble referring to the structure to be coordinated at a national level of all actions carried out in this sector, and consequently of the initiatives and projects to be carried out in the context of high-definition television, as well as the Eureka programme, which is still under study in the EEC.
Keeping in the tutelary sphere of the member of the Government responsible for the area of culture, IPACA, the Portuguese Institute of Cinematographic and Audiovisual Art (Instituto Português da Arte Cinematográfica e Audiovisual), was created by Decree-Law no. 25/94, on 7th of January — an organism for the regulation and coordination of cinema and audiovisual production, which results from the merging of two structures, IPC and SNA and, according to no. 1 of Article 1, has the nature of public institute, endowed with legal personality and administrative and financial autonomy, which deals with the study and implementation of regulations, supervision and promotion of cinematographic activity and support for audiovisual production.

It is with the IPACA that regulation is created for each of the cinematographic genres: fiction, documentary and animation, as well as support for co-productions and first works, corresponding to different competitions with their own budgetary appropriations, consigning the annual allocation of financial public support to all expressions of cinematographic art.

Under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture of that time, the Institute of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia (ICAM - Instituto do Cinema, Audiovisual e Multimédia) was created by Decree-Law no. 408/98 of 21st of December, based on the recognition of convergence of the cinema, audiovisual and the emerging multimedia sector as a result of the ongoing technological change requires a comprehensive strategy for these sectors which effectively and innovatively articulates the traditional forms of creation, production and dissemination of cinema and audiovisual with the opportunities for development and growth that digitization offers. (See preamble of the above-mentioned diploma).

The publication of Law no. 42/2004, of 18th of August - Law of Cinematographic and Audiovisual Art (Lei da Arte Cinematográfica e do Audiovisual), plus Decree-Law no. 215/2006, of 27th of October, approving the organic of the Ministry of Culture, determined the restructuring of ICAM (see line (d) of no. 4 of Article 26). The Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual, I.P. (ICA, I.P.) was created by Decree-Law no. 95/2007, of 29th of March, and its organisational structure and the respective Statutes were approved by Ordinance no. 375/2007, of 30th of March.

Law no. 42/2004 also foresaw in Article 26 the creation of a new financial instrument, characterized as a capital investment fund for the promotion and development of cinematographic art and the audiovisual.

In this sense, Decree-Law no. 227/2006, of 15th of November, established the FICA - Investment Fund for Cinema and Audiovisual (Fundo de Investimento para o Cinema e Audiovisual), a diploma that established the rules of execution regarding the contributions recorded in this Fund, including the participation of the State.

The liquidation of FICA was established pursuant to Law no. 55/2012, of 6th of September.

Law no. 42/2004, of 18th of August, was revoked by Law no. 55/2012, of 6th of September, Law of Cinema (Lei do Cinema), currently in force with the changes introduced by Law 28/2014 of 19th of May, which establishes the principles of State action in the promotion, development and protection of the art of cinema and of cinematographic and audiovisual activities.

This Law foresees an increase in ICA's revenue, through the creation of a new subscription fee that is imposed on operators of subscription television service. It also foresees a set of direct investment obligations by operators of television, distribution, display and on-demand audiovisual services.

Law no. 55/2012 was regulated by Decree-Law no. 124/2013 of 30th of August.

With regard to the rules and procedures of ICA’s financial support contests, the General Regulations (Regulamento Geral) and its annexes were published in the development of that law.

The regulation of the liquidation, collection, payment and inspection of the fees foreseen in Law no. 55/2012, is contained in Decree-Law no. 9/2013, of 24th of January.