Shooting in Spain: Effective Policies, Strong Services and the Most Obvious Production Advantages

“Shooting in Spain” Film Industry Special Promotion Conference of the SIFF Market was held at Shanghai Exhibition Center during the 24th Shanghai International Film Festival. A number of industry insiders dedicated to film cooperation between China and Spain gave a detailed introduction of the latest policies and unique advantages of the Spanish film industry.

 Shi Moran, Head of Chinese and Spanish Film Industry at White Oak Films, said that the Spanish film industry has been serving the world’s film and television companies with a more international view and a complete film industry system. “I’m here this time to serve as a matchmaker between the Chinese film industry and the Spanish film industry, aiming to bring good projects of the Chinese film industry to Spain, and meanwhile introduce good technologies of the Spanish film industry to China,” he added.

Data shows that over 250 Spanish feature films were produced in 2019, following only Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Italy in the EU. Last year, there were three Spanish works among Netflix’s top 20 works. This achievement couldn’t be made without support from the local government to the film industry. Shi Moran revealed that the Spanish government announced at the beginning of this year that it will invest more than 1.6 billion euros from 2021 to 2025 to support the development of the film industry. “This policy will directly promote the foreign cooperation of Spanish films, and more can be done here at less cost,” he added.

There are many successful cases of film cooperation between China and Spain, including many popular films such as Dying to Survive and Soul Mate. Spanish teams got involved in the post production of all these films. “Spain has an obvious advantage in film post production. It boasts international production standards and more importantly, high cost performance,” explained Shi Moran. Regarding content development, she said Spain has been seeking quality overseas IPs for localized production.

The Canary Islands, located in the northwestern waters of Africa, are an autonomous region of Spain. Cai Aiduo, the official representative of the local government, introduced his beautiful hometown to the guests. He said that there are strong support policies from the government for filing in the Canary Islands, and the experienced film production teams here can also help with filming. “There are almost all terrains, including deserts, forests, cliffs, oceans and rare volcanic landforms here. It can be said that you can find every kind of view here.” And it is such a charming place that gave birth to many well-known Hollywood films such as Allied and The Fast and the Furious.

Rafael Martín Rodríguez, a Spanish professor at Fudan University, talked about the various connections of Chinese films and Spain on the scene, saying that Hongkew Cinema built by a Spanish businessman A. Ramos was opened in Shanghai over 100 years ago. “This was the first commercial cinema in China and marked the beginning of the relationship between Spanish and Chinese films.” After the construction of Hongkew Cinema was completed, A. Ramos also purchased cameras from abroad to shoot films with Chinese directors and actors. Rafael said that the international cooperation in films started more than 100 years ago. “Today, we should follow in the footsteps of our predecessors and keep exploring new developments.”