Three Manu Weddings

With Southern Europe’s economy troubled films need to travel far

The current byword in Southern Europe’s debt-ridden economies is “export or die,” and Spanish producers have taken heed in order to counteract uncertainty over public subsidies and plummeting TV investment.

“Spanish producers are increasingly trying to generate international sales, not just targeting the domestic market,” says DeAPlaneta’s Gorka Bilbao.

New genres are also coming to the fore, especially romantic dramas and innovative comedies.

“France has shown that sophisticated, well-made comedies can travel,” says Film Factory’s Vicente Canales. “Our producers are moving in that direction — developing comedies that click with local audiences but also appeal internationally.”

“Latin movies have great potential,” he addes. “Not just in Spain and Latin America, but also in the U.S., Russia, Europe and Asia.

Imagina’s Geraldine Gonard concurs: “There’s great interest in Spanish language and culture. The European market is tough, but Latin America is great, especially Brazil and Mexico. The U.S. is strengthening and Russia and Eastern Europe are very receptive.”

For example, Imagina’s teen romance “I Want You” grossed $1.9 million in Latin America, $4.8 million in Russia.

“It’s taking longer to develop films in Spain,” says Latido Film’ Silvia Iturbe. “But there’s wonderful Spanish and Latin American talent. It’s actually a great time for Spanish-language films.”

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