The Spanish Film Institute (ICAA) has been forced to half its funding for individual film projects from $1m (€800,000) to $500,000 (€400,000) based on their commercial success, due to the economic crisis.

The Spanish government introduced a new General Audiovisual Law back in January this year, which approved subsidy support of up to a maximum of €2m for each film project, including international co-productions. This was split between €1.2m for development and production support (known as ayuda complementaria) and €800,000 based on the film’s commercial success (ayuda general).

But now, due to budget constraints, the €800,000 has been reduced to €400,000 dealing a blow to local producers already struggling to find funds for their film projects, especially with a noticeable reduction in TV funds.

To access the ayuda general, producers need to score up to a maximum of 120 points, based not just on box office success (to receive the maximum amount they need to make nearly €3m), but also numbers of internet downloads, festival awards, whether the film was made and distributed in 3D and much more.  

However, although disappointed, not all in the industry are totally surprised or dejected with this latest development. “The amount of funding increased from €1m to €2m for each project under the new law, which was a big and some might say slightly unrealistic leap. So for it to now be at a combined €1.6m is still good,” Denis Pedregosa, vice president of productions at Kanzmanan Films told ScreenDaily.

Meanwhile, the Catalan government with the support of regional broadcaster TV3, has introduced new funding for two international minded projects a year worth up to $1.5m (€1.2m) for each project. International producers can apply for the funding through the ICIC (Catalunya’s government subsidy body), and funding will be awarded on a selection basis.

“We (the ICIC and TV3) already supply up to $2.3m (€1.8m) each for four Catalan-language projects a year [such as Kike Maillo’s Spanish-French-Swiss co-production Eva and Daniel Benmayor’s Bruc], and now we will also be providing funding support for projects in other languages, including English, as long as they include some Catalan influence, such as shooting in the region and use of local crew and producers,” Xavier Parache, finance director at the ICIC told ScreenDaily. “We have already received a lot of interest from producers with big projects and will make our decision on who receives the funding this year at the end of October.”