Events underscores improving quality
BARCELONA — Belgian TV movie “Vidange Perdue” (The Only One) won best film at the 5th ZoomIgualada European TV Movies Festival, which wrapped Sunday in Igualada, a town an hour’s drive west of Barcelona.
Made by Ghent-based Fobic Films, and directed by Geoffrey Enthoven (“Children of Love”), “One” is a deftly-told, humor-laced chronicle, portraying the increasing decrepitude of an eightysomething widow.
Screenplay went to “Wut” (Anger), helmed by German-Turkish Zuli Aladag (“Elephant Heart”). Written by Max Eipp, “Wut” describes a Turkish youth’s bullying influence on a middle-class German family.
Pic nabbed five of Germany’s Grimme awards in the fiction category this March.
Produced by Barcelona’s Benece, “The Clown and the Fuhrer” took the audience award. Helmed by Eduard Cortes (“Nobody’s Life”), this ethical drama, based on a play, imagines a performance put on by the legendary Catalan clown Charlie Rivel for Adolf Hitler. “Clown” has had film fest play, world preeming at Valladolid,
Standouts in the eight TV movie competish included Edmund Coulthard’s applauded pacy romantic thriller “Soundproof,” which received a special jury mention, and “After the Rain,” helmed by Agustin Villaronga (“The Sea”), a claustrophobic choral drama.
While other Spanish fests are adding TV movie sidebars, Zoomigualada is Spain’s only Euro TV movie fest, aiming to vindicate TV movies as major film fare. The high quality of this year’s lineup helped its case.
As Spain’s theatrical market slows, more established directors are turning to TV movies. “Producers sometimes prefer TV movies, due to the time it takes to put together a feature,” said ZoomIgualada fest director Jordi Comellas.
Catalonia is especially active in producing TV movies: production levels have shot up from 10 in 1999 to 30 last year, aided by Catalan pubcaster TVC’s doubling its investment per TV movie to a hefty Euros 400,000 ($583,730).
Spanish TV movies can currently look to three financing sources: regional broadcaster coin and subsidies; co-production coin from other Spanish producers, and European co-productions, said Xavier Parache, director of cinema and TV development at the Catalan Institute of Cultural Industries.
TV movie production could, however, receive a big boost from a new Spanish film law, currently before parliament, which envisages national state subsidies for TV movies.
“The impression is that Spanish film authorities are encouraging TV movies production, to reign in the number of feature films produced,” said “Clown” producer Xavier Atance.
Last year 150 features were made in Spain.
Fest ran Nov. 7-11.