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They Love Us More Abroad

Photo of Sydney Levine By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz July 3, 2012 at 1:11PM

Spanish films continue to attract large audiences abroad, where they grossed €140.66m in 2009. This is even more than on the domestic market, where box office takings for the same period were €140.37m. Pedro Pérez, president of the Federation of Spanish Audiovisual Producers Associations (FAPAE), called the figures “surprising” when they were presented to the press at the fifth edition of Madrid de Cine - Spanish Film Screenings.
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PAPA

Spanish films twice as successful abroad by Sergio Ríos Pérez 21/06/2012.  Credit: Cineuropa.org

“They love us more abroad”. So concluded the president of Spanish producer federation FAPAE, Pedro Pérez, at the end of a recent presentation on Spanish film sales. While Spanish productions and co-productions (whether majority or minority) made €93m in Spain in 2011, they made almost double that amount abroad in the same year (€183m).

Pérez was not only referring to better admissions abroad (figures that often depend on whether a film’s title is appealing to international audiences, as was the case this year with Spain - United States parity co-production Midnight in Paris (ISA:Imagina International Sales), which has made €100m worldwide), but also to a part of the Spanish population's continuous lack of support for local films.

Figures for Spanish film sales abroad, presented during the business breakfast on the last day of the seventh edition of Madrid de Cine – Spanish Film Screenings, are very positive, with a 20.9% increase in the number of titles released (from 91 to 110 titles).

 Los Amantes Pasajeros starring Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Paz Vega
Los Amantes Pasajeros starring Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas, Paz Vega

In view of the Spanish film sector’s current precarious financial climate (the latest issue is a 14% drop in box office sales during the first months of 2012 compared to the same period last year), many have called on producers to develop projects with an international focus.

“We need to reach outwards in philosophy as well as in sales,” said Gonzalo Salazar Simpson, from the AEC, the state’s film producer association. "Projects need to be conceived internationally, and international sales agencies should be involved from the word go."

Producer Agustín Almodóvar agreed : “There is a path for Spanish cinema abroad. Pedro [Almodóvar]’s next film, Los amantes pasajeros (ISA:FilmNation), has already been sold worldwide and has been fully funded without any money from the Spanish market.”

This article is related to: International, International Sales Agent, International Film Market, U.S. Distributors and Distribution, Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz, Midnight in Paris

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