For the Andalusian audiovisual industry, the positive side of the pandemic was a move without precedent: The coalescence of all its sectors under the umbrella Plataforma del Audiovisual Andaluz.
The PPA alliance brings together 27 industry entities from all the sectors, also taking in creative organizations.
“Suddenly, we have a unique voice with which to express ourselves and convey messages to the public administration. We are more united than ever,” said La Claqueta’s Olmo Figueredo, president of Ancine, Andalusia’s biggest film producers’ association.
While the Andalusian audiovisual industry grows, so do its infrastructures. And they do so at a critical moment, when film and TV financing models are rapidly changing, after the global irruption of TV platforms and the regulation of the sector.
Alongside Catalonia, Andalusia is the only Spanish region which boasts a specific film law -approved in 2018- currently in legal development.
“The law is a key change, above all because it will greenlight co-productions and qualify films, plus further advantages related to subsidies and the strengthening of the audiovisual sector,” says Maestranza Films producer Antonio Pérez.
Current regional subsidies for film production and movie rights pre-purchased by public broadcaster Canal Sur, although modest, mark a major relief for the sector.
Industrial structure grew in August with the launch of the Andalusian Film Academy during the Malaga Film Festival. Headed by Áralan Films producer Marta Velasco, the Academy aims to boost the region’s film promotion and protection.
“What we want is for it not only to be the place where we meet, but also to serve as promotional encouragement, as a springboard to put the Andalusian industry in the strategic areas where it deserves to be given its cinematographic category,” Velasco said.
Another Andalusian film-TV hallmark is that it hosts three of the best-known film festivals in Spain: Malaga, Seville and Huelva, which often serve as new film talent platforms.
“With all the circumstances we have experienced this year, we felt the need for a bigger union between the entire sector, and especially the three major festivals,” said Manuel H. Martín, director of Huelva Ibero-American film festival.
This is how the Profestivales21 initiative was born, “aimed at joining forces, making it a space to share reflections. We are a fundamental part of the Andalusian film industry,” he argued.
Both Málaga and Huelva share their Spanish-language, Latin American focus; Seville eyes Europe and hosts the ceremony of the European Film Awards nominations.
Málaga and Huelva also serve as a platform for Latin American auteurs in Spain and Europe, also representing a meeting point for Andalusian filmmakers to meet creators from other territories, as Seville does with European talent.
They increasingly offer an opportunity to acknowledge standout Andalusian film personalities. Huelva, for example, recognized “The Plague” co-creator Alberto Rodríguez with a City of Huelva Award this year.
The three festivals promote not only ilm but also tourism for their respective cities and the region.
Several films which screened at November’s 46th Huelva Ibero-American festival are currently playing Argentina’s Ventana Sur, among them, Juan Ignacio Sabatini’s “Matar a Pinochet,” a Chile-Argentina-Brazil-Spain co-production which was in Huelva’s Official Section.
Others include Sismo Section players “Ellas es Cristina,” directed by Chile’s Gonzalo Maza; “Los conductos,” a Berlin winner from Colombia’s Camilo Restrepo; Argentinian Sol Berruezo’s “Mamá, mamá, mamá”; and Fernanda Valadez’s Sundance and San Sebastian winner “Identifying Features.”