As Spain moves ever more onto the big-shoot locations industry radar, the Spain Film Commission is experiencing rapid growth of its nationwide network as well as helping to drive the ambitious Spain AVS Hub plan.

Following the March 2021 announcement by the Spanish government of the launch of the Spain AVS Hub plan – with a €1.6 billion ($1.7 billion) budget – a Royal Decree in October granted €5 million ($5.3 million) in. direct support to the SFC for actions eligible for subsidy over 2022-24.

“From the very beginning of the AVS Hub plan, the SFC figured as the only truly specialized part of the audiovisual sector – along with a broad spectrum of public departments – that could be instrumental in applying the plan,” said SFC general manager Teresa Azcona.

During her Focus Spain. Keynote: Spain Film Commission, delivered on Wednesday at Toledo’s Conecta Fiction & Entertainment, Azcona outlined the main aspects of the five “highly interrelated projects” that form part of the SFC’s action plan:

*The creation of a social network focusing on Spanish talent, with the Spain Film Talent Network, and a special emphasis on women.

*The strengthening of the SFC’s territorial network, contributing to the transformation of the audiovisual sector (Spain Film Friendly Land).

*An overhaul of SFC’s website, updating contents and formats and transforming the site into a transmedia platform.

*The promotion of Spain as an international destination for shoots and audiovisual sector investments under the Shooting in Spain brand – an initiative that has gained momentum from a few years ago.

*Spain Virtual Locations: The creation of pilot schemes for 3D models of outstanding monuments, buildings or urban spaces. “The SFC role here is to explore our strengths. More new tools will come soon,” she unveiled.

“The mandate (of Spain AVS Hub) recognizes the SFC role as an instrumental entity with a network of 34 non-profit film offices, which work for the audiovisual industry as a whole,” Azcona explained. “We attract international shoots, but we also attend shoots from Spain, we support young short filmmakers and promote production,” she explained.

Highlighting the main advances achieved so far by SFC, Azcona stressed the co-organisation alongside with the Feria de Valladolid of a second edition of Shooting Locations Marketplace, an event open to the participation of national and international production companies, location scouts and representatives of shoot destinations, which will take place Oct. 20-21 in Valladolid.

As part of the Spain Film Friendly Land action, she noted the addition of four new members – the San Sebastian-Gipuzkoa Film Commission, Vigo Film Office, Menorca Film Commission and Pontevedra Provincia Film Commission – to its network, which raises to 34 the number of film office and commission members of the SFC spread across the country.

“We are very heterogeneous partners, (representatives of) regions, cities, provinces, counties… with enormous wealth and diversity, like those of our country.”

“For us, what really matters is the development of the audiovisual in each territory, because the institutions behind us understand that it has a positive impact on the economy and employment,” she said.

She added: “We are physically where the talent is. Talent is present throughout Spain and one of our main objectives is for the whole territory to be able to compete in a very diverse audiovisual sector.”

Another of the biggest, recent moves by SFC has been a Fam Trip – organised in partnership with ICEX-Invest in Spain – in which some 50 representatives of member companies of the MPA and other high-profile American audiovisual platforms and companies were invited in May to visit Spain – including Madrid, Andalusia and the Canary Islands – to appreciate the competitive advantages of the local industry. New international missions of this kind, an initiative which kicked-off five years ago, are in the works.