Enrique González Macho announces plans to close Alta Films
- The distribution company, practice and production, a great ally of auteur cinema and European cinema, is on its way to close down its activities due to unsustainable economic conditions
The Spanish cinema industry was shocked to learn last night that Enrique González Macho (photo), head of the Cinema Academy, and head of the distribution and production company Alta Films has announced his decision to stop all the company’s activities due to unsustainable economic conditions, the daily newspaper El País reported this morning on its front page.
If the piece of news is confirmed, it is safe to say that the economic crisis affecting Spain, including the culture and film sectors, has taken its first victim of excellence. It may be more correct to describe this death as the effect of a lack of protection given to the cultural and creative industries by government institutions. The latter have done little to maintain the Spanish audiovisual industry’s competitiveness. Instead, they adopted measures, like a disproportional jump in taxes (from 8% to 21%), which decisively contributed to the collapse of the sector (read the news story).
Through its distribution division, Alta Films became a reference for auteur cinema and original versions, as well as a major ally of European production. Thanks to it, Spain was exposed to the old continent’s best, which would probably not otherwise have been distributed. Such films include Headhunters [+see also:
film profile] by Morten Tyldum, Fish Tank [+see also:
interview: Andrea Arnold
film profile] by Andrea Arnold, A Prophet by Jacques Audiard, Four Lions [+see also:
film profile] by Chris Morris and Le quattro volte [+see also:
interview: Michelangelo Frammartino
interview: Savina Neirotti
film profile] by Michelangelo Frammartino, together with other films by more famous filmmakers like Paolo Sorrentino, Michael Haneke, Ken Loach, Juan José Campanella and Michael Winterbottom.
“The Spanish public for auteur cinema will disappear hand in hand with it no longer being on offer… And this is the worse possible effect of globalisation, because there will only be one type of cinema left to see,” González Macho declared from the pages of El País.
In its most expansive moment, Alta Films managed 200 cinemas in eight Spanish cities, reserved to auteur cinema and original versions. As it stands, only seven of these are left, with four whose days are counted.
(Translated from Spanish)
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