Catalonia forges Portuguese alliance

BARCELONA — TVC and RTP, the pubcasters of Catalonia and Portugal, are poised to close a framework agreement to co-produce TV fiction, animation and historical documentaries.

Deal will be signed between July 19 and 20, during the Catalan president Jose Montilla’s official visit to Portugal.

First production up is “1640.” In the early stages of development, it will deal with Portugal’s declaration of independence in 1640, which sparked the Restoration War.

Portugal’s rebellion coincided with an uprising in Catalonia, known as the Catalan Reapers Revolt, also challenging the drive by Spanish monarch Philip II to centralize power in Madrid.

“We envisage ‘1640’ as a mini-series,” Jordi Serra, TVC head of co-productions, told Variety.

The framework deal falls within the broadcasters’ obligations in Spain, as contemplated by a draft law, to plow 5% of annual turnover into the production of Spanish and European movies, animation, TV movies and documentaries.

“TVC and RTP have very similar ideas about production. The deal will range between miniseries, docs, cinema, animation… We’ll support independent Portuguese and Catalan production houses interested in making these productions,” Serra explained.

TV3 is actively exploring far-flung partnership agreements.

“There’s a lot of industry for such a small broadcaster as TVC,” said Serra.

TVC is in co-production talks with broadcasters in Brazil, which can now reap advantageous tax breaks, and strengthening relationships with Finland, Norway and China, where it is negotiating a production agreement with Suzhou TV, Serra added.

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