BARCELONA — Carmelo Romero has been tapped as the director of the Malaga Film Festival, the leading showcase for Spanish cinema.

Considered an institution in the local film industry, Romero served as deputy director of Spain’s ICAA Film Institute from 1978 to 2000, his responsibilities including the promotion of Spanish cinema abroad.

While ICAA numero unos came and went, Romero stayed the course, his network of international contacts and festival knowledge proving priceless to his bosses.

In 1998, the Berlin Film Festival honored Romero with the Berlinale Camera, in recognition of his contribution to the festival.

Romero brings experience as a festhead to his new job: he served as director of the Seminci-Valladolid Film Festival in 1974, 1975 and 1978.

Outgoing Malaga fest director Salomon Castiel held the position from the fest’s launch in 1998.

Romero has already worked with the Malaga fest, overseeing its disparate markets, which for the first time will take place simultaneously, running Dec. 1-3.

Malaga’s market spread includes the Malaga Screenings, which focuses on feature films, Mercadoc, the TV Market and Art TV.

“TV, cinema and documentaries are increasingly related in terms of production and distribution. The lion’s share of Spanish features are pre-bought by broadcasters. We should take advantage of these synergies,” Romero said.

The 12th Malaga Film fest runs April 17-25.