Located in northern Spain, Navarre currently has six animated features in development, two in production, one recently launched, and two shorts, according to Ana Herrera, audiovisual and digital projects manager at the Navarre Government.
“For a community of 663,612 inhabitants, these are very stimulating statistics.,” Herrera said.
Herrera went on to underscore the importance of the partnership between private companies and public institutions to boost the sector, which takes in several government areas – economy, employment, Navarre’s tax office and culture. Key are both a state-sector business development arm Sodena and a favorable tax regime.
A third initiative is “training, to generate and attract talent. Finally, the aim is to build international collaboration with other European regions and develop co-production mechanisms,” Herrera summarized.
Founded in 2007, the Clavna Navarre Audiovisual Cluster and industry org Napar are other important axes in Navarre’s new cinema-TV landscape.
Sodena has backed loans for a total amount of €2.1 million ($2.2 million), made to three animation productions, for a total amount of €2.1 million ($2.2 million), in addition to issuing $312,000 in bank guarantees, Herrera said.
She explained that another objective is to establish new financing models and links with video games and new technologies.
This year will also see the first edition of Next Lab Finance & Tech, a forum intended to encourage such connections.
Navarre’s government also offers grants for animation development, capped at $41,600 and for feature production, for a maximum of $104,000 per title. It also funds promotion, exhibition and events.
Its crown jewel, however, is its biggest tax break, set at 40% of the first €1 million ($1.04 million) in investment, deductions having a ceiling of €5 million ($5.2 million) and 80% of a title’s total budget.
International productions shooting in Navarre can tap tax deduction is established at 35% of investment.
Projects to be pitched at the Navarre Goes to Annecy include Carlos Fernández de Vigo and Lorena Ares’ “DinoGames,” a 3D production from Dr. Platypus & Ms. Wombat about two siblings and friends who are magically brought to another universe via their VR video game; and the much-awaited first animated feature of Pablo Berger (“Snow White”), produced by Arcadia and sold by Elle Driver. It tells the adventures and tribulations of Dog and Robot in New York during the 1980s.
Other projects take in Toni García’s “Super Bernard,” a bit¡g screen makeover of the popular paunchy polar bear’s adventures, which has proved a massive hit on YouTube. It is produced by Apolo Films, a Navarre-based company founded by Claudio Biern.
Also due to be pitched is the comedy adventure “I Wish,” directed by César Cabañas and produced by DeMiranda Animation Studio, which follows the travails of a small girl trapped in a time-bubble.
The measures make up “a significant bet.” They are really encouraging both for the animation industry and the region in general,” producer Carlos Fernández de Vigo told Variety.
He added: “This sector generates a lot of quality jobs and cultural wealth. Its growing prospects are unusually large. We all expect a true boom in the next few years.”
Next Lab Finance & Tech will be held in Pamplona over June 27-29. The event marks a new branch of Madrid’s think tank, projects lab Next Lab Generation, whose winners of past editions will also be pitched at Annecy during a session entitled Next Lab Generation: Disruptive Technologies in the Animation Industry, held on June 16.