RTVE says si to more Spanish pix

Will co-finance two-thirds of pics produced in Spain

MADRID — RTVE will hike its commitment to the Spanish film industry next year, according to Juan Menor, director of the pubcaster’s TV division, TVE.

This year, RTVE will co-finance almost two-thirds of the feature films produced in Spain, earmarking E36.9 million ($46.7 million) for 66 movies. It already has acquired 54 local features, three toon pics and seven feature-length docs, Menor said.

Around 20% of all movies broadcast by RTVE in 2004 will be Spanish pics, he added, but he wants to up that to 30% in 2005.

The drive into local pics is part of a far larger thrust at RTVE under new director general Carmen Caffarel to strengthen its public service activities.

That means RTVE is drawn two ways. Big U.S. movies would pump up its failing ratings — just a 19.3% total market share Oct. 1-28, compared with Telecinco’s 22.3% and Antena 3’s 22.2%.

RTVE signed a volume deal with Warner Bros., sharing product with Spanish regional pubcasters. And it recently inked a package of pics from Paramount. But also it is genuinely committed to supporting local production.

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