Few nations in the world have developed such a variety of film commissions as Spaina country forged from its regions, whose governments have energetically adhered to the benefits of foreign and local shoots.
As the country moves more and more on the industry’s radar of big-shoot locations, the Spanish Film Commission is experiencing rapid growth in its national network and is contributing to the ambitious Spain AVS Hub plan.
Following the central government’s announcement in March 2021 of the launch of the Spain AVS Hub plan – with a budget of 1.6 billion euros ($1.6 billion) – a royal decree in October granted $5 million in direct support to SFC for grant-eligible actions from 2022-24.
Created in 2001, the SFC covers almost the entire territory and its members integrate a network with a homogeneous management model, respecting the independence and territorial extent of their partners.
“SFC has gone from being a wasted driver of the audiovisual economy to a competitive production engine, which generates employment and image in the industry,” said SFC President Carlos Rosado.
With the arrival of the AVS Hub plan, “for the first time, the Spanish government has identified the audiovisual industry as a strategic sector and has given it a financial endowment”, explains Rosado.
SFC’s key plans encompass five interrelated projects: The creation of a social network focused on Spanish talent; strengthening the territorial network of the SFC (known as Spain Film Friendly Land); the launch of a cinematographic transmedia platform; promoting the country as an international shooting destination (Shooting in Spain initiative); and the creation of pilot projects for 3D models of exceptional monuments, buildings and spaces (the Virtual Locations program).
“The five points are going to be decisive for the future of the [production] industry in Spain,” says Rosado.
One of the objectives of the Spain Film Talent Network is the search for a common point of reference with national stars inside and outside the country. For this, the Spanish film commissioner called on a who’s who guide to the local industry.
Together with strategy consultants Olsberg SPI, the SFC is preparing a conference at San Sebastian Intl. Film Festival to discuss with Mexico and Brazil the need to establish a stable corridor of talent relations.
The push to strengthen SFC’s territorial network under the Spain Friendly Land program was an instant success. The SFC is already represented in all Spanish regions except Murcia. The autonomous city of Melilla could join in October.
SFC is setting up a discussion forum on technical analysis to determine how to treat the virtual places of the Parc Audiovisuel de Catalunya de Terrassa.
It also participates as a partner in the Spanish Audiovisual Office, a revolutionary initiative launched in early May to promote Spain as an international destination for filming and audiovisual investments, led by ICEX Spain Trade & Investment – the national export office and foreign investment.
Another of SFC’s biggest recent initiatives has been a Fam Trip – organized in partnership with ICEX-Invest in Spain – in which around 50 representatives from MPA member companies and other film platforms and companies- leading American television were invited to May to visit Spain. Now, SFC also hopes to attract shoots from India and Australia.
Additionally, Rosado devised a strategy to transform the SFC into a state entity, which requires some legal adjustments, in line with Film France, the British Film Commission and the California Film Commission. The project is to transform the SFC into a hyper-specialized entity, working in close collaboration with regional and local administrations.
“The SFC is a success story that misses the last leg: status as a government institution,” says Rosado.