Friday, 26 October 2007

Galician Films Exhibition in Malta

The Consorcio Audiovisual de Galicia and the Embassy of Spain in Malta organize the Galician Films Exhibition, to be held from 8th to 11th November at St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, Valletta.

This initiativa has the aim to show a small sample of the cinema that is being produced by Galician companies. The films selected belong to different genres including triller, drama and animation and have participated in film festivals such as Toronto, Locarno, Montreal, San Sebastian, Sitges, or Seminci. Some of them have won awards in festivals such as Festival de Cine de Málaga or Cinemas d'Espagne et d'Amerique Latin de Bruxelles.

The films selected are Carlos Iglesias' 1 Franco 14 Pesetas, Xavier Villaverde's 13 badaladas, manuel Gutiérrez Aragón's A vida que te espera, and Miguelanxo Prado's De Profundis.

Cans at The Hague

The Hague’s Shoot-Me Film Festival includes this year the screening Los Cortos de Cans with the winners of Festival de Cans 2007.

Both Shoot-Me and Cans belong to AnyWhere Cinema Association, an international non-profit organization intended to collect film festivals around the world sharing a creative way of secreening films. Both film festivals share key features: a taste for unusual locations screening films in places where you might not otherwise go, and focus on filmmakers from all over the world as well as from just around the corner.

Films included in this screening are Carlos Contreras’ Agroglamour, Juan Pablo Etcheverry’s A Flor mais grande do mundo, Fernando Cortizo’s A Promesa, Antón Coucheiro’s Las Carreiras Secretas, Jorge Saavedra’s Sen Chumbo, and Alexandre Marzoa’s Temporada 92-93.

Shoot-Me is held in The Hague from October, 25th to October 28th.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Present and Future

According to the annual report of FAPAE, the Federation of Spanish Producers’ Associations, Galicia represents 24% of the regional financial incentives to the audio-visual sector available in Spain, only surpassed by Catalonia with 37%, and ahead of Andalusia or Basque Country. On the other hand, and according to data in the same report, Galicia has not yet reached 4% of the audio-visual Spanish market.

Nevertheless, we are experiencing a remarkable presence, at least in qualitative terms, in the international audio-visual panorama. This presence is materialized, for example, in the success of co-productions of the Raíces program like The Hairy Tooth Fairy, the more profitable Spanish film this year so far, or The Mud Boy, an opera prima with excellent results in international festivals. We also assist to the positioning outside Galicia of some Galician producers, or to the consolidation of our fiction production for television, with products that together with news programs contribute to maintain an average share for TVG around a reasonable 15% in a tremendously competitive context.

All this, along with the institutional initiatives that the General Secretariat of Communication develops through the DG Audiovisual Communication, the actions that the Galician Audiovisual Consortium carries out in the field of the commercialization and outer promotion, and – of course - the efforts of the private sector, keep Galician audio-visual products visible beyond the Galician borders.

Nevertheless, these aspects - the availability of relatively abundant public financing, and some external visibility – should not hide what, in my opinion, are the main challenges that our audio-visual sector will have to face sooner than later, fundamentally related to financing and marketing models.

Insofar state and regional public financing is concerned, although quantitatively reasonable, they are not efficiently distributed along the value chain. As a consequence, far from being a real boost factor for this sector, they contributed to lead it to a certain state of continuous crisis.

In my opinion, solutions are bound to models that take into account in an integral way the viability of the projects when taking investment decisions. That is, models that assess the projects throughout all the value chain, from their conception to their commercial exploitation. On the other hand, public support initiatives should facilitate the incorporation of private capital in the instruments available. For example, the agreement signed a couple of weeks ago by the Regional Government of Galicia, the financial organization Caixa Galicia and the Galician Audio-visual Consortium, will be an important step towards this direction. Incidentally, this is one of the first initiatives in Spain – if not the first one – that, assuming the inherent risk in any economic activity, as been designed based on recovery and sustainability criteria.

With respect to marketing and commercialization, and although Galicia is not an exception in the European context, we are beginning to work towards a quality-driven production that will facilitate a greater acceptance by audiences. There are reasons to be optimistic for the future. With the development of new audio-visual mass media in Galicia - around fifty new local and regional private broadcasters - the development of mobile TV, and the consolidation of the Internet as a mainstream audio-visual diffusion channel, and, new business opportunities appear. In this context, quality and talent are both the challenges and the key factors.

Galicia at the Heartland Film Festival

Gustavo Ron’s Mia Sarah has two nominations at the 16th Heartland Film Festival to be held in Indianapolis, from October 18th to October 26th. This festival honors beautifully made films that celebrate the positive aspects of life. The festival, a non-profit organization, is devoted to recognize and honor filmmakers whose work explores the human journey by artistically expressing hope and respect for the positive values of life. The motto of the festival is Dramatically Different.

Mia Sarah is co-produced by Galician producers Formato Producciones (70%), Filmax- Castelao Productions, Área 5.1 Factoría Audiovisual, and CRTVG (8%), with Galician locations in A Coruña, Betanzos and Sada, and Richmond (London, GB).

Monday, 1 October 2007

Galician public-private coin, Inc.

The regional government of Galicia Xunta de Galicia and largest Galician savings bank Caixa Galicia have reached an agreement to create a company to participate as co-producers in audiovisual projects with other Galician private co-producers.

The company starts with an € 3 M share capital, and will invest up to € 600,000 in selected projects.

Candidate projects must have a budget of at least € 2,2 M, and the Galician producer must participate with at least € 100,000 from its own money (capital grants and other public subsidies are not eligible for this).

Projects will be selected according to their production design and marketing and distribution agreements, trying to maximize the chances of cashing back the invested funds. The aim is to make this initiative sustainable.

European private and public institutions sharing together risks in audiovisual investments. What a change, isn't it?