PARIS — Gustavo Ferrada, one of Spain’s most respected TV and film execs, has stepped down as head of cinema of Television Espanola (TVE), the TV arm of Spanish pubcaster Radio Television Espanola.
Ferrada will be replaced by Eva Cebrian, who has served as director of programs at TVE since 2007.
Cebrian has experience in film as he worked as part of the cinema commission that decided purchases of Spanish films at TVE.
RTVE looks set to stand by Spanish filmmaking.
Following a recent General Audiovisual Law, TVE’s budget for broadcast rights to local movies will even edge up slightly on 2009’s to more than Euros36 million ($45 milion) a year.
In principle, as under Ferrada, TVE will also seek to tie down rights to some Spanish films with large audience potential. But, in other ways, Ferrada’s departure looks like the passing of an era.
A producer from the mid-90s at the Fernando Bovaira-run and highly successful production house Sogecine, owned by Sogecable, at TVE Ferrada backed films from an increasingly popular young generation of filmmakers.
Relatively recent pickups include Jaume Balaguero’s “Sleep Tight,” Alex de la Iglesia’s “Sad Trumpet Ballad” and Mateo Gil’s “Blackthorn.”
Taking up his post at TVE in October 2007, Ferrada also brought modern entrepreneurial strategies and drive to RTVE’s film policy, taking both international and Spanish home entertainment rights to films, and backing up pickups with publishing, merchandising and vidgame initiatives.
Having run down its sales operation abroad and vid distrib launches at home, RTVE’s roll in the Spanish film industry looks to be much more restricted to its pickups — pre-buys made at script stage — of just Spanish broadcast rights: a downscaled role for a downscaled pubcaster, which saw its advertising totally nixed from the beginning of 2010.