Madrid Prepares Animation Incentives, Creation of a Toon, VFX Hub

Jose Luis Farias and Manuel Cristóbal

Isabel Díaz Ayuso, president of Madrid Region announced Friday that she aims to transform Madrid into will the most important animation and VFX “hub” in Southern Europe, via an ambitious plan for incentives and other support programs.

The result, Díaz Ayuso added, will be the creation of employment in this buoyant sector.” Madrid’s president made the announcement during a speech as she was officially reconfirmed as head of Madrid’s regional government having won new regional elections in May with a landslide victory.

The regional investment in animation would mark the first direct aid for the animation sector in Spain marking it out as a strategic priority for economic growth. Historically, Spain has sorely lacked specific incentives for animation and suffered from low TV pre-buys compared to much of Europe. In very recent years, however, given the recent and escalating demand for animation content led by global streamer studios, the sector is beginning to boom with one challenge being to broaden Spain’s talent pool and financial muscle sufficiently to meet such demand.

Madrid regional government’s plans take the form of five action lines: internationalization; the attraction and celebration of international animation and VFX events; incentives for Spanish nationality animation productions led by companies based in the Madrid region; a fund to generate IPs for regional companies.

The ambitious gameplay is backed by Madrid’s Pixel Cluster, a forum of 16 key companies in Madrid’s animation and VFX sector.

Pixel Cluster has already organized initiatives such as Next Lab, coordinated by José Luis Farias (pictured), a program which aims to

promote new technologies application to in animation and digital content. Next Lab includes a workshop, a projects’ pitching event and an online platform.

Business trips are planned for animation companies to priority territories such as Canada, Ireland, the U.S., Germany and U.K.

Also on the agenda is an international event focused on the impact of AI on contents, training facilities and the creation of internships to promote youth employment.

“This is great news because it values our creative talent and production capabilities in animation and digital content creation,” said Nico Matji, president of Pixel Cluster Madrid and producer of animated feature hits “Tad, The Lost Explorer” and “Capture the Flag.”

He added: “This plan will give us the strength to attract talent and resources and make us more agile and competitive. Madrid has always welcomed talent and has always looked beyond its borders.”

Animation and digital creation represents 25% of employment in the audiovisual sector in Spain. More than 50% of Spain’s animation and videogames revenues come from companies based in Madrid.