POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - POLITICS

Cinema

New Film Fund rules in development



Film Fund director Guy Daleiden last year said he would welcome new rules to govern the organisation but the government is yet to present a draft law Library photo: Hadrien Friob

Film Fund director Guy Daleiden last year said he would welcome new rules to govern the organisation but the government is yet to present a draft law Library photo: Hadrien Friob

The legal framework of Luxembourg’s Film Fund is set for touch-ups, media minister Xavier Bettel and culture minister Sam Tanson said this week following recommendations by the Court of Auditors.

A 2018 external audit had found failings within the Film Fund, which awards government money to film and television projects, after revelations published by Reporter.lu on mismanagement within the organisation.

Parliament in wake of the document had commissioned the Court of Auditors, a watchdog at the disposal of lawmakers, to carry out an investigation, which last year published a number of recommendations to improve transparency, decision-making processes and accountability.

Bettel (DP) and Tanson (déi Gréng) on Monday told members of parliament that a review of the Film Fund’s legislation would be presented before the summer break.

“Since the audits of the Film Fund, numerous corrections have already been made,” Bettel said, speaking of touch-ups that remain to be formalised. For example, a second person must co-sign decisions by the fund together with director Guy Daleiden, which was previously not the case. 

The ministers on 23 January joined a meeting of the budget supervisory committee, which keeps a check on government spending. The Film Fund in the 2023 budget received €40.5m. However, they arrived empty-handed, saying a consultation with industry stakeholders is ongoing.

Audit criticism

The Film Fund under Daleiden in November last year said it would cooperate with any updates to the legislation that governs its operations.

Both the 2018 audit by Value Associates and the Court of Auditors report had found lax procedures at the fund, unused financial resources and a lack of transparency in decision-making and management.

For example, the Film Fund appointed a deputy director to act on behalf of Daleiden in the case of his absence, but this position does not exist under current rules and regulations.

The Film Fund’s board could grow from three to five members, Bettel said on Monday, to give it a greater supervisory function.

With elections coming up in October, any projects that remain pending in parliament will face some delay as the house will reconstitute after the ballot and new committees must resume working on files, usually including taking stock of all steps already achieved.