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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – President of Brazil, Michel Temer, announced this week that his administration would be increasing the Ministry of Culture’s budget by more than forty percent. The ministry was the focus of one of the first ‘conflicts’ between Temer and the Brazilian population when the then interim leader announced it was nesting the ministry into the Ministry of Education.

Brazil, Brasilia,President Michel Temer during cultural award ceremony
President Michel Temer during cultural award ceremony, photo by Beto Barata/PR

“I want to say that we are all determined to implement a very solid cultural policy. […] In order to do so, we have increased the budget allocated to the Ministry of Culture by more than forty percent in 2017,” Temer said in an announcement earlier this week during a ceremony to hand out cultural honorary merit awards.

In May, right after taking over as interim president, Temer was severely criticized when he announced he was extinguishing nine ministries from the Rousseff Administration, including the Ministry of Culture. The interim president, however, was forced to back down due to protests from artists and musicians.

“The extinction of the ministry shows this government’s contempt for culture,” said one of the best-known poet and musicians in the Brazilian art scene, Jorge Mautner, following the announcement in May.

On Monday, November 14th, Temer also announced that the government would extend the benefits from the Audiovisual Law until 2022, which allows individuals and legal entities to invest in cultural projects in exchange for tax benefits, within the limits of four and six percent of the tax due, respectively.

“We will be renewing the benefits of the Audiovisual Act for another five years until 2022, ensuring that our production is on its way to success,” Temer concluded.

Last week, Brazil’s National Cinema Agency (Ancine), announced it would invest R$30 million in 22 cinematographic projects, made by independent producers based in seven states including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Bahia, Ceará, Pernambuco and Rio Grande do Sul, as well as the capital, Brasilia.

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