Indie distrib team

Spanish distributors form industry organization

MADRID — Spanish indie distribs DeAPlaneta, Filmax, Lauren Films, Manga Films, New World Pictures and TriPictures have teamed to create trade body DICA (Associated Independent Film Distributors), unveiled Tuesday in Madrid.

The association aims to underscore the key role played by independent distribution in the local industry.

It will lobby for its members’ sales to TV networks; explain the toughness of the Spanish distribution market to international producers and sales agents, and to the Independent Film & Television Alliance (AFMA); fight piracy; and work with other international associations of independent film distribs.

One reason for the creation of DICA was “the pay TV monopoly enjoyed by Sogecable’s digital TV platform Digital Plus, which distorts the free market,” said org prexy Luis de Val.

According to de Val, Digital Plus has said it will not buy indie product until around 2007-08, since it holds output deals with U.S. studios and has a large catalog of product inherited from its merger with Telefonica’s Via Digital.

Telefonica and Sogecable merged their digital platforms, Via Digital and Canal Satelite Digital, in July 2003.

De Val also slammed some state broadcasters, especially nationwide pubcaster RTVE, that “haven’t bought films from indie distributors in the last five years and are married to majors.”

Films distribbed by DICA members grossed E104.4 million ($128.9 million) in 2003, 16% of Spain’s B.O. haul for the year.

The only significant indie distributor of foreign pics that has not joined DICA is Aurum Producciones. It recently was bought by Canada’s Alliance Atlantis and lacks the majority-Spanish capital base needed to join the association.

DICA intends to meet shortly with government reps and private-sector execs to outline its concerns.

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