31 May 2019 2:52 PM

The last few years have seen a huge growth in Spanish film production accompanied by worldwide critical praise.

One of the key films to be premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was the latest film from the legendary director Pedro Almodovar, 'Pain and Glory.'  It stars Spain’s two biggest international names, Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas.  Another two films by Spanish directors – 'A Sun that Never Sets' and 'Freedom' have been selected for the Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes.

Spain’s national film body, Instituto de cinematografia y artes visuales (ICAA) have done a marvellous job.  ICAA administers $78.5m in state support for film productions and steers government policy on the film industry.  There is further financial support from the country’s regional government and public broadcasters.

There are new incentives for animation including a provision of 8% of annual funding being received.

ICAA is strongly supporting international co-production particularly with European and Latin American producers.

The Spanish box office is the third biggest market in Europe.  Ticket sales in 2018 were $97.7m which is behind France ($200m) and the UK ($177m).

Netflix opened its first European production hub in Madrid with the prospect of employing over 20,000 people.  Amazon and HBO are also increasing their production of Spanish language contest.  Barcelona based film and TV group Mediapro plans to invest $171m in the development and production of film & TV projects.

All in all this amounts to a sunny story.