From San Sebastian to Rome, Spanish Screenings continue to promote Spanish industry and talent

Emiliano de Pablos
17 September 2023

Talent is a critical factor in attracting the interest of international companies in local production.

Spanish Screenings XXL, the ambitious international market platform, is heading into an intense fall with two of its events—Spanish Screenings Financing & Tech and Spanish Screenings on Tour—taking place close to each other in the calendar, as part of the San Sebastian Film Festival and the MIA market in Rome, respectively, in its aim to globally promote our industry.

Last September, in its first year, the Spanish Screenings Financing & Tech, the meeting of creative investors held as part of the San Sebastian Film Festival, brought together the largest known concentration of influential U.S. executives at this classic event on the international film agenda.

Attendees agreed that these were very enriching meetings and that both the ideas presented there and the sincerity shown by the executives when analyzing the industry's state and future were far superior to what is normally seen at most seminars on the subject.


High expectations

Logically, expectations are very high for the new edition of the Spanish Screenings Financing & Tech—one of the pillars of Spanish Screenings XXL, the international market platform for Spanish production—which will take place from September 26 to 28 as part of the San Sebastian event.

Along with headliners Roeg Sutherland of CAA Media Finance, Vincent Maraval of Goodfellas, and John Sloss of Cinetic Media, other senior executives confirmed for this second edition include Teresa Moneo of Netflix, Jeb Brody of Amblin Partner,s and David Davoli of Anonymous Content, as well as Matías Mosteirín of K&S and Axel Kuschevatzky of Infinity Hill.

With a focus on panels and informal discussions, the conference will also include networking sessions and one-on-one meetings. One of the most anticipated parts of this event will be led by the Spanish production company Morena Films together with Anonymous Content.


Spanish content for the global market

Juan Gordon, co-founder of Morena, and David Davoli, president of International at Anonymous Content, will discuss different aspects of a partnership announced in May to launch a joint venture to develop and produce Spanish-language content for the global market.

Both companies state that "the partnership aims to leverage Morena's enormous reputation" as one of Spain's key production companies "to continue developing and producing premium film and television projects."

Since establishing AC Chapter One in 2018 as part of its drive to expand globally, Anonymous Content has created multiple joint ventures with international partners.

Having produced titles by important Spanish and international filmmakers, Morena's impact on the Spanish box office is indisputable: Two of its productions, the thriller directed by Daniel Monzón Celda 211 in 2009 (grossing €13.2 million) and Javier Fesser's comedy Campeones, released in 2016 (with box office sales of €19 million), are among the top 20 box office hits in Spain.

On the same day of the Spanish Screenings Financing & Tech, Spanish producer Fernando Bovaira, founder of Mod Producciones, the company behind such successful and iconic titles as Los otros ( 2001), Agora (2009) and Biutiful (2010), will discuss Production Perspectives for 2023 onwards with Carole Scotta, CEO of French production company Haut et Court, and Emily Morgan, of UK-based Quiddity Films.

Also, Vicente Canales, founder of Barcelona-based international sales agency Film Factory Entertainment, will discuss The global market for Spanish-language content with Argentinean executive Axel Kuschevatzky, CCO and founder of Infinity Hill, and Elisa Alvares, founder of Jacaranda Consultants, the Romania-based company.


Zinemaldia Startup Challenge

As part of the Spanish Screenings: Financing & Tech initiative, a specific competition for Spanish entrepreneurs and startups was created in 2022. This year's event selected projects from Basque company Bonzo Studios, Uttopion, the metaverse creator for content creators, and Union Avatars, which offers tools for digital identity management through avatars.

The Spanish selection also includes VRMulticam, which brings together immersive audiovisual technologies with broadcast and WitScript, which uses automatic speech recognition (ASR) models based on deep learning and artificial intelligence.

Second edition of SSOT

After San Sebastian, the second edition of Spanish Screenings on Tour will take place during the celebration of MIA—Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo—in Rome from October 9 to 13 under the slogan Spanish Audiovisual: Talent and Future.

The Rome event seeks to promote the globalization of the Spanish audiovisual industry in all its genres and formats and in its different stages of development and production.

Some 30 Spanish titles at different stages—development, work in progress, market premieres, or upcoming releases—or even those with the greatest potential to sell their adaptation rights in other markets- will be exhibited before executives from international companies.

The selection of titles suggests a renaissance of the thriller scene in Spain, with a trio of films—La Espera by F. Javier Gutiérrez, Todos los nombres de Dios by Daniel Calparsoro and La Capilla by Carlota Pereda—as the headliners of this second edition.


Art-house cinema open to the market

This platform also highlights the growing trend of art-house cinema films that are increasingly open to the market, such as Saturn Return by Isaki Lacuesta, Chinas by Arantxa Echeverría, El salto by Benito Zambrano and Bajo Terapia by Gerardo Herrero, which was actually one of the best-selling films at the Malaga market last March.

Talent appears to be a key factor in attracting the interest of international companies in Spanish production.

In the second year of the Spanish Screenings on Tour, the production company Alba Sotorra presents two titles: the project in development Strange River, the debut of the Catalan director Claret Muxart, which Alba Sotorra is producing together with the Galician Miramemira—with whom she already produced Sica—and, in the Spanish WIP section of films in postproduction, the 2D animation film Rock Bottom, by María Trénor, starring in Annecy.

Rock Bottom chronicles the life and work of British rocker Robert Wyatt and is also produced by Jaibo Films, Empàtic, and GS Animation.

Barcelona-based Alba Sotorra has embarked on international co-production with great determination and already has at least six projects established as co-productions abroad.

"Co-production is not only a financing strategy, but it makes a project more international and attractive from a creative standpoint," she says.


The remake business

Among the Spanish films with potential to be adapted in other markets, Javier Fesser's Campeones stands out, the most prominent Spanish hit in the local box office since 2016, which has generated significant sales business also as a remake, which includes Champions, its U.S. adaptation directed by Bobby Farrelly and starring Woody Harrelson.

Released on August 18 and produced by Luis Manso, of Películas Pendleton, and Álvaro Longoria, of Morena Films, Campeonex, the sequel to Campeones, has already become the highest-grossing film of the year in Spain and has closed out its first international deals with Latido Films, including both the sale as a completed film and its adaptation rights.

Both Spanish Screenings on Tour and Spanish Screenings: Financing & Tech are at the core of Spanish Screenings XXL, an initiative carried out in the framework of the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan to reinforce Spain's role as an audiovisual hub in Europe.

Spanish Screenings XXL is supported by the Ministry of Culture and Sports through the ICAA, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and Digital Transformation via ICEX Spain Export and Investment and the Malaga and San Sebastian festivals.


Related news