Export body to tout Spain

Embassy-based ops to open in major territories

MADRID — Spain’s Fapae producers association has announced plans to create a film export body coordinating the international promotion initiatives of Spanish state, industry and export institutions.

Seeking to push Spanish films and Spanish stars, the new body would open embassy-based operations next year in major territories including the U.S., Japan, France, Germany, the U.K., Italy, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, Fapae prexy Pedro Perez announced Friday at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival.

Financing would mix public coin and private sponsors, he added. Spanish film promotion activities currently are split largely between Spain’s ICEX export board, its ICAA film institute and Fapae.

The move comes as Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s new government has announced two major thrusts for its film policy: the strengthening of the “cultural exception” — quota and subsidy incentives — and the promotion of Spanish culture abroad.

“My government will make culture our most important ambassador in the world,” Zapatero told Spain’s lower house April 14 in his maiden speech as Spain’s new prime minister.

Using the platform of the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, Spain’s biggest showcase for local films, Perez offered stats for last year’s Spanish pic production: 110 films were produced in all, including 43 co-productions. Total film production investment stood at an estimated E248.4 million ($298 million). Total revenues for indie film and TV production reached $1.69 billion.

Perez reiterated Fapae’s call for the government to overhaul the subsidy and tax break system in Spain and to ensure broadcasters comply with quotas that oblige them to invest 5% of annual revs in European films.

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