Independent cinema accuses government of succumbing to the interests and dangers of private television


The director of the ICAA considered resigning ahead of the approval of the audiovisual law, against which independent producers protested again today.

Tsar Bentez, Fernando Colomo and Gerardo Herrero at yesterday’s protest in Madrid.efe

View for contrast. While the independent Spanish production took to the red carpet in Cannes on 26 May, the Minister of Culture, Mikel Iketa, and the Director of the Film Institute (ICAA), Beatriz Navas, shook hands with parliament for socialist votes and abstaining. We can make out of PP and United Le General Audiovisual Which in the opinion of independent producers itself meant “marginalization” (“death”, some of those affected had come to say) of absolutely independent cinema.

i.e. at the same time and same day (by the same hour) that he was busting his chest because movies like ‘beast’by Rodrigo Sorogoyan, ‘peace’, The possibility that the same could happen to other films in the future, by Albert Serra, was condemned according to their producers. According to sources close to the organisation, facing embarrassment, misunderstanding and, once again, contradiction, the head of the ICAA considered resigning himself.

Well, on Thursday afternoon the producers returned to focus in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Economic Affairs to emphasize the protest and embarrassment. “We are saddened that the government is unable to take advantage of the favorable position of the audio-visual sector to harness the potential of our cinema. This is a strategic clumsiness as the potential for growth is left in the hands of a larger conglomerate with foreign capital,” he comments under the banner. Jose Antonio Hergueta Garcia As spokesperson for all of this in general and for MAPA (Regional Audio-Visual Producers Board) in particular.

According to the non-conformists, the government has not only responded to none or very few of their requests, but, and here the conflict, the most embarrassing point has changed at the last moment: the definition of free production. Which is far from being a meaningful issue which is economic and theoretical. Keep in mind that what is clear is who is in a position to receive 5% of revenue from digital platform Which, according to European regulations, must invest in protecting cultural diversity by supporting independent production. And what is that percentage? Those are all approximate calculations, but on the table and in the various meetings he had with the sector, he also talked about 100 million euros per year.

Private television channels and their affiliated production companies are left out if independent production means in accordance with current film legislation that understands and determines. If an independent production company is any production company that provides a service to a larger one, then there we can find, for example, Atresmedia or Telecinco Cinema. Another ‘keep in mind’: these groups are first and by the cinema law of Europe obliged to invest 3% of their income in Spanish cinema. Now, and according to the new norm, they went from give to take. “Hurry up we are facing a case of legal insecurity”, Spokesperson says.

“As I was saying,” Hargueta continues, “we are saddened by the government’s lack of vision, but what bothers us is not just the lack of words. [se cambi el texto en el ltimo momento y sin aviso para estupor de los socios de Unidas Podemos] but above all Some hidden or invisible forces that have changed the face of the executive”,

And who is this invisible hand? And here’s what producer Gerardo Herrero speaks for himself and as a spokesman for his production company Tornasol, which just launched ‘restaurant’, A film directed by the former Minister of Socialist Culture Nagels Gonzalez-Sinde. “You just need to connect the dots,” he says. And he continues: “It seems clear that PSOE doesn’t want to go against it in the next election with television. It’s that simple. There will be a new call in a year and a half and the last thing will be news from Antennas 3 and Telesync.” They are receiving more than they already have, not to mention radio stations and print media, which in one way or another control it. Just go to the land registry. The puzzle is solved.” And of embarrassment too. And another reflection from Herrero: “We don’t know what we’re talking about Freedom of expression Can anyone imagine a television commercial creating a significant product beyond the currently produced white comedy? To facilitate independent production is to facilitate diversity and criticism. Just like in France and the rest of Europe.”

For now, the only response from the Ministry of Culture (Thursday’s protest is in front of Nadia Calvio’s office) has been to accuse independents who represent 100% of being “exaggerated.” Hergueta says that in the many meetings held, the only thing she has been promised is “a kind of compensation” in the film law that is pending and pending review. The “problem”, the spokesperson continues, “is that the law waits at least a year and a half. And beyond that, pending everything from the classic system of cinematography funds and subsidies to who knows whether it grows or not. At the moment, it is about 70 million euros. That is to say, its first draft was far from 100 established in, but for barely above 30 years of crisis.

In any case, the most common complaint of Spanish independent production, increasingly focused on co-production with European countries, is that there is hardly an option to compete with current regulations (Spanish films are not seen at international festivals). is) are condemned because they are to do precarious work. And pending approval in the Senate after the general audiovisual law passes Congress, in the opinion of those affected, it won’t change anything. “They want to keep us with the drip,” Hergueta concluded.

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