Maybe it’s the zeitgeist.

Juan Antonio Bayona’s “The Impossible” kicks off with a tsunami; Pedro Almodovar’s latest, comedy “I’m So Excited,” threatens to end with an airplane crash.

Like events in the films it produces, is Spain’s film industry a slow-mo disaster in the making?


Variety surveyed slates at 25 higher-end producers plus recent shoot announcements. In all, producers have close to 50 fiction movies in production or with very good greenlight chances.

But crisis pressures are clear. “Either you have foreign equity or financiers or TV co-production, or you won’t be able to shoot in Spain,” says producer Adrian Guerra.

Just some international film highlights: Jake Gyllenhaal starrer “An Enemy,” co-produced with Canada by Roxbury Pictures and Mecanismo Films; $50 million epic “Libertador,” with Edgar Ramirez, involving Madrid’s San Mateo Films; Morena Films’ sci-fi thriller “Last Days,” from the Pastor brothers; and Kandor Graphics’ tooner “Justin and the Knights of Valour.”

Twenty are international co-prods, and a similar number shot in English, such as Filmax’s Canadian co-production, horror-thriller “The Returned,” and Globomedia Cine’s road movie “A Night in Old Mexico,” with Robert Duvall and Jeremy Irvine.

Many films were financed before Spain’s crisis deepened. Now the growing trend is low-budget or micro-budget fare.

“More personal films will be produced, without TV financing, maybe by cooperatives,” says Eddie Saeta’s Luis Minarro, adding that more marginal auteur films are likely to be playing in quite significant alternative circuits.

World Report: Spain 2012
A return of investors in Spain? | Co-prods, English-lingo pics help Spain biz survive a hard landing | Web, low costs, lead to profits

San Sebastian Film Festival @ 60
Stars buoy San Sebastian Fest’s spirits | Spanish bizzers dig for future B.O. coin at fest | Event connects with local after turbulent times |