Enhancing their virtual profile to remain useful to the industry
Given the exceptional situation caused by the Coronavirus, many of the meetings of the spanish audiovisual industry scheduled for this spring have been postponed or redesigned as virtual events.
Others such as Conecta Fiction 4, have been transformed into hybrid events, while those taking place in the final stretch of the year, such as the San Sebastian Film Festival, keep all possible venues open.
Although uncertainty persists among the organizers of these events, the horizon may become clearer in the coming weeks.
The Hybrid Format
Conecta Fiction, the series co-production meeting between Europe and America, which was to hold its fourth edition from June 22nd to 25th, has chosen this year to launch Conecta Fiction Reboot, in which a series of virtual activities will be scheduled for the week of June 15th, as well as a face-to-face meeting to be held in Pamplona on September 2nd and 3rd.
The organization of Conecta Fiction has carried out an extensive survey among executives participating in previous editions and, once the results have been evaluated, they decided to opt for this hybrid format.
"The decision has not been easy but it has been necessary and in line with the decision made by the heads of other international events such as Series Mania, Sunny Side of the Doc or MIFA, with whom we have been in contact" explains Geraldine Gonard, director of the meeting.
"We want CF4 to offer the opportunity for a reunion, where talent and new co-productions regain their space and we gradually resume a path for the international industry that cannot and must not be lost", she adds.
For its part, Iberseries, the new international meeting between fiction creators and producers, scheduled to take place from May 22nd to 25th in Granada, has announced a postponement without final dates, "given the exceptional situation of the global health crisis we are facing.”
The Secuoya Foundation, organizer of the event, already had for this first edition the competition of general television stations both in Spain and other markets of reference for series in the Spanish language, as well as the main content platforms.
Despite the current context, Iberseries maintains its commitment to creating debate spaces addressed to professionals on both sides of the Atlantic.
Among the actions developed by Iberseries during confinement days, are the weekly opening of a window dedicated to fiction series in which producers and screenwriters reveal the keys to their work, as well as the organization of virtual meetings where professionals discuss the situation of the Spanish-speaking audiovisual industry.
The celebration of the first edition of Platino Industria, a market created to join together the audiovisual, tourism and education sectors, which was to take place from May 1st to 3rd in the Riviera Maya, has also been postponed until 2021.
Platino Industria’s debut was scheduled to take place during the seventh edition of the Platino Awards for Ibero-American Cinema, which has been postponed without a new date assigned.
Without leaving the Latin American sphere, the third edition of the Quirino Awards, scheduled for April 18th in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, has changed dates and format as a result of the pandemic.
The new awards ceremony, the main showcase of Latin American animation, sponsored by the Tenerife Council (Cabildo de Tenerife) through the Tenerife Film Commission, will be held digitally on June 27th, and broadcast on YouTube.
The awards ceremony will be the final touch to the so-called “Quirino Month" (Mes Quirino), in which a series of online activities and events will take place, structured around the Coproduction and Business Forum, a platform for Latin American animation professionals which runs parallel to the awards since 2018, has the collaboration of ICEX, Animation From Spain and Proexca.
San Sebastian Reinforces its Industrial Side
San Sebastian Film Festival’s organizers, the most important film event in the Spanish-speaking world, are still planning to hold its 68th edition in September.
Among the range of options considered is that of a hybrid format, combining the physical with the digital.
"We do not want to do a digital festival, but we may still do some sections or activities. What is certain is that the Official Section and the New Directors section, whose films are absolute premieres, we would never make them digital,” the Director of the festival, José Luis Rebordinos, recently told EFE.
San Sebastian has become a key meeting point for the industry and such profile has been boosted in recent years thanks to initiatives such as the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum, which has just opened the call for projects for its ninth edition, with a deadline of June 15th.
This industrial side of San Sebastian was reinforced in March, together with the Zurich Film Festival, with the announcement that both events for the first time will offer buyers from all over the world, a program that will include films previously selected at the US festivals South by Southwest in Austin and Tribeca in New York.
In a statement, San Sebastian stressed that this initiative "is the result of the effort of the film community to support and create a market for independently financed projects in new scenarios."
Working in collaboration with both festivals, CAA Media Finance is leading this initiative, also supported by Wild Bunch and FilmNation, to transform both San Sebastian and Zurich into sales markets that "will bring together a global consortium of agencies, international companies, distributors, funders and buyers.”
Without leaving the Basque Country, the FesTVal in Vitoria, another great meeting oriented to the television industry, continues with the preparations for its 12th edition, in agreement with all the national television channels.
According to Zineuskadi sources, an association dedicated to supporting and promoting Basque audiovisuals, "it is most likely that there will be no red carpet, and that due to capacity reduction there will be screenings that will have to add audience by streaming. They also continue to work on FesTValPRO’s industry section and will offer a series of online conferences.
On the other hand, Seriesland Bilbao, the international festival for digital series, continues with its June edition, although the majority of the audience will be local, given the circumstances. "That's why they have developed a digital platform to cover the international market share. This platform will allow them not only to continue with the networking task, but also to broadcast conferences and other interesting content via streaming,” says Zineuskadi.
A classic on the autumn festival circuit, San Sebastian Horror and Fantasy Film Week will open its call for entries in early summer for its 31st edition, scheduled to take place from October 31st to November 6th.