Country Focus: Spain
FAPAE also opposes the European audiovisual single market
by Alfonso Rivera
- “The creation of a single market for the distribution of audiovisual works will mean that the sales of a film for the entire territory of Europe will be lower than if it is sold on a country-by-country basis. This step taken by the European Commission conflicts with producers and distributors, and that is why, at the Cannes Festival’s Marché du Film, the International Producers Federation will demand that it be withdrawn,” Ramón Colom, president of FAPAE (the Spanish Confederation of Audiovisual Producers), stated yesterday morning at the Málaga Film Festival. “This regulation,” Colom continued, “is only of benefit to the major European investment funds (above all those in Luxembourg), but it is harmful to other nations, which need the international markets to ensure the survival of their films.” With this statement, FAPAE has added its voice to the other grievances on the continent, such as the one raised by Germany (read the news).
However, not all of Colom’s statements were along the same lines: he assured those present that Spanish audiences have changed their perception of their country’s cinema and now go to movie theatres more often, keen to experience different kinds of emotions. Nevertheless, the number of productions has fallen by 20% in comparison with the same dates last year, and the average budget of Spanish movies is still plummeting, having dropped from €3 million in 2009 to €1.2 million at present.
He also stressed the positive relationship that FAPAE has with the Minister of Culture and the ICAA (the Film and Audiovisual Arts Institute), “although things move slowly in the palace”, he said, referring to the eagerly awaited draft of the new film law and the possible lowering of cultural VAT (from the current 21% to 10%) in the run-up to the next elections. In addition, he made an appeal for the six new licences for digital terrestrial television channels that will be granted in Spain to be awarded “in proportion to the percentage of each channel’s film production, although the private channels currently only produce five or six titles per year, which compels TVE to support 20 or 30, meaning that the budget to be shared out has to be split among too many of them”.