Jump in Spanish film bodies

Commissions leap from five to more than 20 in three years

MADRID — Spain has jumped to the forefront of European growth in film commissions. According to Carlos Rosado, prexy of the Spain Film Commission, there were five commissions in Spain in 2001. That number has now risen to north of 20, in 2004, and another 10 are being created.

This explosion in local film offices reflects a larger growth in Europe, Rosado said. “Film commissions used to be an exclusively North American phenomenon. Europe had only 28 in the year 2000, but now it has 160.”

The increase in the number of commissions in Spain, can be put down in part to political factors.

For local authorities, commissions are high-profile entities working in a cutting-sector attracting, if they’re lucky, large interna-tional shoots. Movies which shot in Spain last year, include Ridley Scott’s “The Kingdom of Heaven.”

Though Spain lacks tax breaks and local subsidy coin for international productions, the commissions can at least push the coun-try’s lower shooting costs.

Per Jose Luis Escolar, the line producer on “The Kingdom of Heaven,” “Salaries in Spain are at least 20% cheaper than in France and Italy and much cheaper than in the U.K.”

Rosado revealed the dramatic growth in Spain Film Commission’s infrastructure at Monday’s presentation in Madrid of the Spain Film Commission’s first Production Guide, a weighty tome which gives an overview of Spanish production, including extensive production and post-production contact lists, as well as details of film commissions and institutions. The guide will soon be put up on the Internet, said Rosado.

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