Seville fest taps new topper

Cienfuegos joins Euro-skewed event

Jose Luis Cienfuegos has been tapped as head of Spain’s Seville European Film Festival, a mid-fall meet for Europe’s movie industry and institutions.

Cienfuegos was director of Spain’s Gijon Festival from 1995 to January, building it into a vibrant event focused on arthouse and crossover fare, with a strong U.S. indie presence.

Seville will have a budget of around €950,000 ($1.2 million), significantly down from past years due to austerity cuts.

“But at least Seville has a festival, which is an achievement,” Cienfuegos said, in reference to other Spanish sprocket operas that have been nixed as regions battle slashes in funding.

Cienfuegos replaces journo-filmmaker Javier Martin Dominguez, who helped turn Seville into an important meeting point for European producers, distributors and institutions — such as the European Film Academy and Eurimages, both of which received showcases — as well as a launchpad for European films in Spain and for Andalusian producers in Europe.

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