Source: Klaudia Reynicke


The Catalan film industry has built on the Golden Bear-winning success of Carla Simon’s Alcarràs in 2022, and is back at the Berlinale with four films in festival selection and a delegation of more than 80 companies.

In 2023, the Government of Catalonia invested more than €50m ($53.6m) in the local audiovisual industry. Some 40% went to film production, with 20% going to services such as dubbing and subtitling, and 14% to TV production. Smaller awards were made to Catalan exhibitors, film and TV development, and supporting the presence of Catalan professionals and filmmakers at festivals and markets worldwide.

“The Catalan industry is rich in artistic talent, backed by a vibrant ecosystem of independent producers and first-class training centres, such as the Escac film school,” says Edgar Garcia, director of the Catalan Institute for Cultural Companies (ICEC). “Producers have been working locally and internationally for a long time and we have a splendid array of locations. Catalan Films is now a strong brand, with almost 40 years’ history.”

At the Berlinale, Antonella Sudasassi Furniss’s Memories Of A Burning Body is playing in Panorama. The film is about three women, who grew up under Franco, who now share memories and their deepest desires. It is produced by Catalan PlayLab Films with Costa Rica’s Substance Films. Bendita Film Sales is handling international rights.

Reinas, the third film of Swiss-Peruvian director Klaudia Reynicke, is screening in Generation Kplus following its world premiere at Sundance. It is also a portrait of three women, set in Peru during the tumultuous year of 1992. Reinasis produced by Inicia Films, the company behind Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s Berlin 2023 award-winner 20,000 Species Of Bees, with Peru’s Maretazo Cine and Switzerland’s Alva Film.

The Berlinale’s Forum is hosting the world premiere of The Human Hibernation, the feature debut of multidisciplinary artist Anna Cornudella, produced by Japonica Films and Batiak Films. The Human Hibernation depicts a community that hibernates through the winter.

The fourth Catalan film at the festival is Lucía G Romero’s short film Cura Sana in Generation 14plus. Produced by Barcelona’s Escac film school, it follows two sisters who endure domestic violence. Cura Sana is also part of Shortcat 2024, showcasing short films by Catalan production companies.

Memories Of A Burning Body and Reinas were beneficiaries of the Government of Catalonia’s Catalan Minority Co-production Fund. Launched in 2020, it has allocated funds to 42 features to date. Fiction, documentary and animation projects are eligible, and the maximum allowable amount is set at €300,000 ($322,000), not exceeding 60% of total Spanish investment.

Edgar Garcia, director of the ICEC copy

Source: ICEC

Edgar Garcia

“The fund strengthens the know-how of local producers working internationally and also builds a relationship of trust with the international industry, so Catalan producers can work as majority producers in the future,” says Garcia.

In 2022, the Government of Catalonia introduced a funding line devoted to TV series. It has awarded five grants of €1.5m ($1.6m) each to five series so far, including Nanouk Films’ This Is Not Sweden. To qualify, productions must be shot with Catalan as the majority language and have budgets of more than €4m ($4.3m).

Industry activities

The European Film Market’s Co-Production Market is showcasing the project Hold Time For Me as part of the Rotterdam-Berlinale Express initiative. Set in Angola, the sci-fi story is produced by Catalonia’s Migranta Films with Germany’s Seera Films and Angolan outfit Uika Filmes.

Additionally, Queralt Pons, Toni Vidal Llorens, Ricard Sales and Mireia Vilanova have been selected by the Berlinale Talents development programme and Alberto Gross’s March 14th is participating in the Script Station.

Some 16 Catalan films are market premieres in the EFM. They include Víctor Iriarte’s neo-noir Foremost By Night, produced by Isaki Lacuesta’s La Termita Films and Inicia Films and sold by Alpha Violet; Caye Casas’s comedy horror The Coffee Table, produced by Alhena Production and sold by MPM Premium; Angeles Hernandez’s Restless Waters, Shivering Lights, a dramatic thriller produced by Mr Miyagi and sold by FilmSharks, which is also selling Miguel Faus’s The Quiet Maid, produced by Calladita Film.

Barcelona-based Filmax is at EFM with a diverse slate that includes Laura Alvea’s The Sleeping Woman (produced by Coming Soon Films), Patricia Font’s The Teacher Who Promised The Sea (Lastor Media and Minoria Absoluta), Carlota Pereda’s The Chapel (Filmax) and Paula Ortiz’s Teresa.

Begin Again Films is talking to international buyers about Negu Hurbilak (Cornelius Films) and The Imminent Age (Ringo Media), both directed by filmmakers’ collectives. Further Catalan features at EFM include Eva Parey’s Aamelat. Day Laborers Of War, Ibai Abad’s Gold Lust, Pau Dura’s Birds Flying Eastand Claudia Pinto’s While You’re Still You.

ICEC can be found at EFM’s Gropius Bau C1 stand, with the representation of Catalan Films and the Catalunya Film Commission.