Local and international producers will be relieved to see that the cultural requirements are pretty straightforward and in some cases quite generic.
The Spanish Film Institute, ICAA, has approved a new cultural test to qualify for automatic government film funds, which requires a project to be at least 75% from the EU and must pass at least two of a list of 10 culturally specific requirements.
Local and international producers will be relieved to see that the cultural requirements are pretty straightforward and in some cases quite generic, such as having a script based on pre-existing literary work or on real people; cultural, political, religious themes relevant to the EU, and the film should be educational for kids.
But there are also more locally specific requirements, which the Spanish Film Institute encourages projects to follow, such as having the film made in one of the original languages of Spain; one of the leads or secondary roles should be a Spaniard; the shooting should take place in the country and the themes of the film should be related to Spain.
“The decisions [on the cultural requirements and who qualifies] are taken by the Advisory Committee on Cinema Production, composed of 12 professionals elected for two years,” Ignasi Guardans, who chairs the committee and is director general of the ICAA, told ScreenDaily. “The new cultural certificate will be requested for Spanish films opening after July 1, and will not be required for films already submitted to a content control by the Committee.”
Guardans conceded that these cultural requirements were “closely inspired by the existing criteria” in other European countries, such as the UK and Germany.
The cultural test is related to a new Spanish government film fund worth $125m (€85m), introduced earlier this year under the General Audiovisual Law, which provides money to local projects and international co-productions from development to exhibition, taking into consideration not just box-office success, but also internet downloads and festival awards based on a points system.
There will be up to $1.1m (€800,000) available per project based on a film`s commercial success (known as the ‘ayuda general’) and up to $1.7m (€1.2m) per project available through the development/producer side of the new fund (the ‘ayuda complementaria’), as long as the project has been approved as officially Spanish.