Aqui y Ahora: TV and Film Production in Contemporary Spain International Conference


Over the past few years in Spain, film, TV and other audiovisual production has undergone enormous change under the impact of economic, political, legal and social changes. Film production has been hit hard by government funding cuts, with the industry seeing a 36% reduction in national funding support to 49 million Euros in 2011 - moreover, the vast majority of this amount was spent covering debt from the previous year. At the same time, ticket prices have gone up due to the crisis bailout that has seen an increased tax of 21% in entertainment events – a tax that affects cinemas, but also theaters, concerts, and nightclubs amongst others. Meanwhile, film attendance has been at an all-time low, reaching only 8.2 million viewers in 2011, for example, an almost 50% in viewership from the previous year.

Despite this adversity – the country’s biggest economic crisis since the 1970s – the Spanish film industry is experiencing something of a renaissance. Spanish films are currently showing more of an international appeal and, as Juan Sarda (2013) argues, there is ‘more dynamism and more creativity than ever in its history’. Furthermore a number of big Spanish productions have also been met quite favorably by the national public – Ocho apellidos Vascos, The Impossible, and La isla mínima have broken national records and have been lauded by both audiences and critics alike as a re-invigoration of Spanish narratives and also an example of how Spanish productions can become world-renowned films. As such, it is pertinent to ask if this phoenix-like effect has been driven by adversity, and if so, why and how.

This conference seeks to interrogate the current state of affairs in Spain’s television and cinema industry, and it aims to open discussions about (but not limited to):

  • new independent productions
  • current financial models
  • new avenues for Spanish film and television productions
  • the face of the new film and television consumer
  • men and/or women representations
  • representations of the LGBTQ community
  • alternatives to traditional film (the case of online-only film content)
  • traditional vs. new narratives
  • international appeal
  • new television formats
  • the surge of Spanish television fiction content
  • international co-productions (particularly with Latin-America, for example: the recent case of Oscar nominated Relatos Salvajes)
  • the use of new media platforms (instagram, etc) in the film industry
  • the impact of socio-economic changes to the film industry
  • social, financial, and cultural change representation on screen, etc.