Lara tapped chief of ICAA pic org

Replaces departing Estremera

MADRID — Fernando Lara, the longtime director of the Valladolid Intl. Film Festival, will replace Manuel Perez Estremera as the director general of the ICAA film institute, which runs Spain’s biggest subsidy fund.

Wednesday’s appointment comes two days after Perez Estremera was tapped as director of TVE, the TV division of Spanish pubcaster RTVE.

Lara took over at Valladolid in 1984, quickly turning it into a launchpad for high-profile art pics gleaned from the world’s top festivals.

Under Perez Estremera, the ICAA has nearly doubled its subsidy fund to E64 million ($85.5 million) in 2005.

But Lara still faces challenges. Subsidies are awarded on a pro-rata basis, according to how much money ICAA has in the till. That throws the film financing process into chaos, producers argue.

The film industry is also tub-thumping to get subsidy payments rapidly and for larger film and TV tax breaks. They stand at 5% of investment.

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