Cultural Industry Fund denies accusations of cronyism

The Cultural Industry Fund (FCI) has denied an accusation that it practiced cronyism when granting 5.9 million patacas to a film production company. The FCI launched two subsidy programs in 2019, approving a maximum of MOP11 million to be issued to two companies for two service platforms.

The two platforms consist of a publication service platform, and a television and filming service platform. A maximum of MOP6 million was to be given to a television and film production company to explore the expansion of the market for Macau’s television and film industry.

The FCI approved MOP5.9 million for local film production company, 1220 Film Production Co., Ltd.

A rumor  accusing the FCI of cronyism spread on social media, alleging that FCI members and the person in charge of 1220 Film Production had a personal relationship.

1220 Film Production has proposed that, within two years, the company will attend eight international film festivals, including one in Hong Kong, one in Cannes, and one in the U.S. Additionally, it proposed organizing two Macau film production seminars in Shanghai. In total, the budget for these proposals is MOP10.5 million. The company received MOP5.9 million from the FCI.

In response to the rumor and accusations, Leong Heng Teng, chairman of the FCI administration committee, contended that the fund was transparent and there was an open public tender for the film industry.

Leong further explained that the FCI received several bids for the fund, and claimed that the decision was made after an independent and fair assessment of all tenders.

“There is absolutely no cronyism problem,” said Leong.

There were also doubts regarding the lack of transparency and information about the subsidized film company.

Leong then claimed that all subsidies would be published online, and revealed his hope that the FCI could do better at disclosing information in a transparent manner. He also offered to provide more detailed information regarding the company, should any parties request it. JZ

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