1- This is not Sweden_Lucia Faraig

Source: Lucia Faraig

This Is Not Sweden

Catalan TV talent is attending Series Mania 2024 to amplify the richness and diversity of their work. The high-end TV production fund financed by the Catalan government has given the local industry the chance to embrace their international ambition.

The TV professionals are treading in the footsteps of their cinema counterparts. Catalan filmmakers such as Carla Simon with her Golden Bear-winning Alcarras, have made Catalan productions a regular presence at festivals around the world.

In 2022, the growing demand for premium scripted content around the world prompted the Catalan government to take the innovative step of allocating public funding to support the production of series made in the Catalan language. Last year, of the more than €50m ($54.7m) invested in the local audiovisual industry, 14% went to promoting the production of high quality fiction series. (40% went to cinema productions.)

In order to acces the high-end TV production fund of up to a €1.5m ($1.6m) per project with international appeal, Catalan must be the majority language used in the fiction and the production must have a minimum budget of €4m ($4.4m). Further requirements include the number of episodes (between six and 10) and the involvement of an free-to-air broadcaster in Catalonia as well as the participation of a second broadcaster or streaming platform.The producer must also retain 25% IP.

The goal is to mirror the success that public support has had on the film industry on the production of high-end TV fiction series. The funding line allocates €1.5m ($1.6m) per project, with an emphasis on high-quality storytelling and innovative concepts.

The results are already there. Comedy series This Is Not Sweden (Això no és Suècia), by all-women directing team Mar Coll, Aina Clotet, Sara Fantova and Celia Giraldo, has been an audience and critical success since airing on Catalan’s TV3 and Spain’s RTVE in November 2023. It won the Prix Europa given by the European Parliament to best European TV fiction series of 2023. It will compete in the official selection of Canneseries in April.

Created by actor-director Aina Clotet, who also stars and produces. with Valentina Viso and Dani González it tells the ups and downs of the life of a young family who move to a chic-back-to-the-woods village in the hills overlooking Barcelona. 

Backed by the Catalan government’s high-end TV production fund, This Is Not Sweden, was produced by Nanouk Films and Funicular Films in Catalonia and Anagram in Sweden, in co-production with Televisió de Catalunya, RTVE and SVT (Suecia), with NDR (Germany) and YLE (Finland). It was the first series in Spain to receive the Green Film label for a sustainability production. 

Hoping to replicate this success is actress, director and producer Leticia Dolera,who is in production on the drama series Pubertat (Puberty). The series deals with the complex topic of abuse among teenagers. Barcelona-based Distinto Films and Corte Y Confección de Películas are producing.

Other series projects in the works include El Mal, produced by The Mediapro Studio and directed by Lluis Alcarazo; Ravalejar, produced by Arcadia Motion Pictures and directed by Isaki Lacuesta and Pol Rodríguez and El Fill Del Xòfer, produced by Zeta Audiovisual SAU and On Cinema 2022 AIE, also directed by Lacuesta. 

Under the umbrella of Catalan Films, the international promotional arm of the Catalan Institute of Cultural Companies (ICEC), 18 Catalan companies are attending Series Mania. They include production outfits 11 Varas, Alhena Production, Angeli Pictures, DeAPlaneta, DiagonalTV, Drac Blau Media, Fasten Films, Filmax, Funicular Films, KaBoGa, Mediacrest, Moiré Films, Rodar y Rodar, Scenic Rights, Soul Pictures and Veranda.

Also at the event will be TV festival Serielizados Fest and public Catalan public broadcaster TV3 - Televisió de Catalunya.

 “At the heart of the Government of Catalonia’s audiovisual strategy lies a commitment to the local AV industry by enhancing creativity, diversity, and excellence,” says Edgar Garcia, director ICEC, the Catalan Institute For Cultural Companies. 

”By supporting high-quality fiction series with international ambition, we’re not only enriching and empowering the audiovisual cultural landscape for Catalan independent producers, but also driving economic growth for our whole industry, from specialsed training centres to local technical and artstic talent, as well as positioning Catalonia as a hub for innovation and talent in the global entertainment industry.”

Contact: Joan Ruiz, International Promotion, Catalan Films

Find out more: catalanfilms.cat/en