MOD Producciones, El Deseo and Morena Films, producers of this year's most-nominated films, assess the influence of the Spanish awards on their titles' international sales.
Each year the Goya Awards, the highest honour in the Spanish film industry, celebrate the quality of our cinema. On January 25th, the city of Malaga hosted the gala ceremony for the 34th edition of the awards.
A few of the most highly-nominated producers from this year discuss the international success of their films, and the awards power to entice potential international buyers.
“While at War” (Mientras dure la guerra), by Alejandro Amenábar, was this year’s most-nominated title with 17 nominations, including Best Picture, Director and Actor in a Leading Role (Karra Elejalde), and it ultimately walked away with 5 Goyas.
Following screenings at major film festivals such as Toronto and San Sebastián, the film was released in Spain on September 27th and performed brilliantly at the box office, selling 1.9 million tickets and earning more than 11 million euros.
Film Factory Entertainment has already sold the film on the main international markets, although a few areas have yet to be finalised. The next step will be the release in France, planned for February 19th, through the production company and distributor Haut et Court.
“The Goyas are a pat on the back: we’ve observed their effects since receiving the nominations a complement to their sales trajectory. Next we’ll see how sales go in France, to see whether other distributors show interest,” explains producer Fernando Bovaira, founder of MOD. “The film was very successful in Spain and we would like it to be shown everywhere,” he adds.
“Pain and Glory” (Dolor y gloria), by Pedro Almodóvar, arrived at the Goyas with 16 nominations following a highly successful tour of the international competition circuit. It won with 7 awards.
This El Deseo production also achieved several milestones in its international sales, managed by FilmNation Entertainment. “The international sales of “Pain and Glory” really took off in the wake of the last Cannes Festival, thanks to the film's participation in their official selection,” explains producer Agustín Almodóvar.
Now available worldwide, the film has earned more than 36 million dollars at the box office, with particularly strong sales in areas such as France, where it brought in 5.9 million, the US (4.2 million) and Italy (3.6 million).
Furthermore, the film's recent Oscar nominations for Best International Feature Film and Best Actor in a Leading Role for Antonio Banderas - the outcome of which will be announced on February 9th - add to the Malagan actor's many previous recognitions, at both Cannes and the European Film Awards.
“In general, the Goya Awards don’t help with international sales, although they do have a huge influence on the film's recognition within the national market”, explains Almodóvar. As such, in Spain, where it was released in March, “Pain and Glory” holds fifth place among the best-selling local films from the past year, with 5.8 million euros in sales and almost 1 million viewers.
“The Endless Trench” (La trinchera infinita), directed by Aitor Arregi, Jon Garaño and Jose Mari Goenaga, triumphed at the San Sebastián Festival in September, winning the Silver Shell for Best Director and the Jury Prize for Best Screenplay (Jose Mari Goenaga, Luiso Berdejo). This co-production from the Basque companies Irusoin and Moriarti Produkzioak with Andalucian producer La Claqueta and the French Manny Films from France received 15 Goya nominations, including Best Picture, Screenplay, and Actor and Actress in a Leading Role for Antonio de la Torre and Belén Cuesta respectively. It won 2 Goyas.
Released in late October in Spain, “The Endless Trench” has thus far made 1.2 million euros in Spain, bringing more than 203,000 viewers to the theatres.
In addition to having guaranteed the film's presence on the SVOD market via a deal with Netflix, this drama about the Spanish Civil War will also be available on the French market thanks to an agreement with Parisian distributor Epicentre Films, which will release the film over the course of 2020. Film Factory is managing international sales.
Morena Films, producer “Out in the Open” (Intemperie) -by director Benito Zambrano-, will once again this year be a member of the select group of producers whose work has been nominated for Best Picture, following the resounding triumph of “Champions” (Campeones) last year. The film, which received a total of five nominations resulting in 2 awards, earned 515,105 euros in Spanish cinemas and has been enjoyed by 86,553 viewers since its release on November 22nd.
Morena Films co-produced “Out in the Open” with Andalucian company Áralan Films and Ukbar Filmes from Portugal. The film also received support from Movistar Plus, RTVE and Canal Sur. German agency The Match Factory is managing international sales.
“I think the Goyas help as long as the film hasn’t yet topped its sales market, and always if it’s a clear winner, meaning it has won a minimum of 4 or 5 Goyas,” notes producer Juan Gordon.
“Out in the Open” made an outstanding tour of the festival circuit, including a screening at the opening gala for the 64th Seminci de Valladolid and at the 32nd Sevilla European Film Festival.
Although “Out in the Open” is doing “OK” internationally, according to Gordon, the film “is suffering from the current sales trend: Only very famous films sell, and as there are a lot of viewers who’ve already seen the films on streaming services, the cinemas are left with the ten biggest releases of the year”.