Catalonia, Major Trends, Strengths, Illustrated by 2023 Cannes

Bolstered by sturdy public-sector funds, a savvy new technology of filmmakers — lots of them ladies — and world-class movie faculties, Catalonia has grow to be certainly one of Europe’s most vibrant regional audiovisual forces.

The proof could be discovered at this yr’s Cannes Film Festival. More than 50 Catalan corporations — some 100 executives and creatives — are anticipated to attend. Five movies, 4 by new administrators, have made the official reduce at Cannes; six tasks play in Marché du Film showcases.

The three greatest Catalan motion pictures on the pageant, Elena Martin’s “Creature,” Pham Thiên An’s “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell,” each in Directors’ Fortnight, and Pablo Berger’s “Robot Dreams,” taking part in out of competitors, additionally underscore robust traits coursing by means of present Catalan cinema, together with worldwide co-production and an exploding animation scene.

“Co-producing is at the core of the European cinema industry and has always had more pros than cons,” says Vilaüt Films’ Ariadna Dot, a producer of Elena Martin’s “Creature,” made with regional partnerships in Spain: right here Catalonia’s Lastor Media, Barcelona-based Vilaüt, Avalon in Madrid and Valencia’s Elástica Films (the producers of Berlin Golden Bear winner “Alcarràs”).

Among Vilaüt’s most up-to-date movies, nevertheless, “Alcarràs” was co-produced with Italy, “Libertad” with Belgium and “Mediterráneo” with Greece. Its subsequent characteristic movie, Carlos Marqués-Marcet’s “Polvo serán,” filming later this yr, is with Switzerland and Italy.

“The obvious pros to co-producing would be cost-sharing and an access to wider audiences,” Dot says, including: “Co-producing can help reduce production costs for the majority co-producer and this can result in higher-budgeted films, which usually translates into better quality films because a bigger budget usually means more time.”

As in 2022, allotted audiovisual funding at Catalan tradition trade company ICEC can be simply over €41 million ($45.5 million). That compares to €12.6 million ($14 million) in 2019. ICEC launched a minority co-production fund in 2020.

“Co-producing gives one the opportunity to work with different talent, crew and working styles and while some things do get lost in translation, it is very rewarding all the same,” says Adrià Monés, CEO-producer of Barcelona-based Fasten Films, a minority co-producer on Pham Thiên An’s debut characteristic, “Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell,” with Vietnam’s JK Film, Singapore’s Potocol and affiliate producer Deuxième Ligne Films of France.

Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell
Courtesy of Fasten Films

Fasten has “La Gang,” a co-production with the Dominican Republic, and “Cuatro amores,” with Belgium, in improvement.

Being a younger lady within the movie trade has its personal set of challenges, says Vilaüt’s Marta Cruañas, who has an MFA in inventive producing from Columbia U. Working as an unbiased additionally “has been a challenge itself since, in Spain, you really need to have a production company in order to produce. That made me partner with different pro- duction companies, which was an opportunity to meet new people and observe different work ethics,” she provides.

Women direct 17 of 31 Catalan movies chosen this yr by the Festival or Marché or receiving market screenings.

“‘Creature’ explores the relationship that a 30 -year- old woman has with her sexuality and how it has been built up over the years, within an apparently progressive family,” says Martin.

“In past years, many new directors have been women and have had a presence at international festivals, winning awards and receiving recognition,” Martín factors out. She provides that this has certainly been encouraging to different aspiring feminine administrators though there may be nonetheless much more to be completed.

“It is true that it is increasingly common to see women behind the cameras; without going any further, our last three shorts have been directed by women,” concurs Marc Guanyabens, whose firm, Fractal Films, partnered with Croatia’s Antitalent on coming-of-age brief “The Real Truth About the Fight,” which world premieres in Cannes’ Critics’ Week.

He cites knowledge, nevertheless, from Dones Visuals, the Catalan Assn. of Women Cinematographers and Audiovisual Media, that experiences year-on-year advances for ladies producers, administrators and crew members reaching parity, nevertheless it’s at the moment hovering under 30% and never budging. Another progress space is animation, as a number of Catalan corporations are shifting into that sector. “Robot Dreams” is produced by Arcadia Motion Pictures, which is behind Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s “The Beasts.” Barcelona-based Mr. Miyagi Films launched “Hannah and the Monsters” in late April, and has “Dalia and the Red Book” in submit. It will begin manufacturing later this yr on “Juul,” and can pitch “The Day Ewan McGregor Introduced Me to His Parents” at Annecy in June.

Top Spanish indie distributor A Contracorriente Films is backing buddy film “The Inseparables”; “20,000 Species of Bees” producer Inicia Films is behind “The Treasure of Barracuda,” from animator Adrià García. Alba Sotorra will current the Robert Wyatt-inspired “Rock Bottom” at Cannes’ Annecy Animation Day.

In all, 5 options are accomplished, together with “Tender Metalheads,” which, like “Robot Dreams,” will play Annecy’s Contrechamp in June, whereas three extra are in manufacturing, and 5 in improvement.

Three components drive the expansion in animation, says Mr. Miyagi Films co-founder David Matamoros: “ICEC’s commitment to support animation, both series and cinema, tax incentives and talent. If we add ICAA to this equation, the result is a handful of films, very different and distinctive, from auteur to commercial, that resonate beyond our borders.”

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