"For 20 years there was no cultural awareness in the country. Everything is very new in Brazil. In the United States, it started in the 1930s. It will be a starting point and a further step in a cultural policy focusing on educating and culturing the population. "
Guilherme de Almeida Prado, filmmaker, commenting on the creation of the Culture-Voucher.
"Now we are starting a new process of democratic discussion within the Ministry of Culture, which is the expert forum and can discuss cultural policy with producers. We were happy with this decision because it is a wise and democratic."
Carlos Diegues, filmmaker, praising the fact that the federal government has made it clear that the management of cultural policy lies with the Ministry of Culture.
Is it true the Culture budget has increased in recent years?
One of the signs that the culture has come to be seen as relevant public policy for the Federal Government is in its growing budget from 2003 to 2013. It has grown more than 780%, going from just over R$ 372.6 million in 2002 to almost R$ 3.27 billion in 2013.
Between 2009 and 2014, the number of movie theater screening rooms grew by 32%, going from 2,110 to 2,794 throughout the country. To a large extent, the growth has to do with the Movie Close to You Program, introduced in 2011, with the aim of expanding the domestic market and speeding up the building of movie theaters around Brazil.
Between 1998 and 2002, average domestic feature film releases totaled 26.6 films/year. Ten years later, in the 2008/2013 period, the average rose to 91.2 releases/year. And it didn't stop there. The year 2013 was historic for the national movie scene, with record attendance — the highest since the so-call rebirth of Brazilian cinema in 1995. There were 27.8 million viewers. The number of films introduced was also the highest in history: 127 domestic premieres.
According to the Ministry of Labor, 42 million Brazilian workers earn up to five minimum wages, the target audience of the Culture-Voucher program. Based on an estimate by the Ministry of Culture, Culture may see more than R$ 25 billion injected into its supply chain. In addition to ensuring access to theaters, cinemas, museums, libraries etc. by those who have improved their lifestyles but still could not attend these and other cultural facilities, the Culture-Voucher helps drive an important sector of the Brazilian economy.