Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film Sets Spain As Country Of Honor – Deadline

Spain has been named as the country of honor for the upcoming edition of the Cannes Film Festival’s Marché du Film running May 16 to 24.

The showcase comes amid a $1.7B government-backed drive by Spain to become a major European film and TV player, under its “Spain, Audiovisual Hub of Europe” plan.

The Ministry Of Industry, Trade & Tourism’s business-faced body ICEX Spain Trade & Investment and the country’s Institute of Cinematography & Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) are leading the focus.

It will showcase Spanish talent and content across all formats, ranging from cinema to documentary, animation and extended reality.

The focus is supported and funded by two major Spanish government economic growth initiatives –  the “Spain, Audiovisual Hub of Europe” plan and its post-pandemic “Recovery, Transformation & Resilience” plan.

The “Spain, Audiovisual Hub of Europe” plan has a planned public investment of $1.7B (1.6B euros) for the period from 2021 to 2025 and aims to increase audiovisual production in Spain by 30% by the end of that period.

Launched in 2022, the plan is one of the major axes of the Digital Spain 2025 agenda, which aims to turn Spain into a key audiovisual hub in Europe.

The ambitious project will be presented in detail along with other tax incentives at a conference hosted by the Marché du Film.

Leading audiovisual professionals from Spain will detail how the country plans to promote national audiovisual production and attract investment and economic activity, at the same time as strengthening companies in the sector, improving their competitiveness through digitization and support for talent, and further reducing the gender gap.

Beyond these business ambitions, Spanish cinema has been enjoying a high-profile time on the festivals and awards circuit over the last 18 months.

Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s first film 20,000 Species of Bees won three awards at the Berlinale Festival, including the Silver Bear for its young lead performer Sofia Otero, while Cannes 2022 selections Pacification by Albert Serra and The Beasts by Rodrigo Sorogoyen, were feted at France’s Lumière and Cesar awards.  

These successes follow Carla Simón’s Berlinale Golden Bear win for Alcarràs and Alberto Mielgo’s Academy Award Best Animated Short Film prize for The Windshield Wiper in 2022.  

More than 12,500 audiovisual professionals are expected to attend the upcoming edition of the Marché du Film. The event will screen and showcase more than 4,000 completed feature films and in-development projects in 33 screening venues.

This year will see Guillaume Esmiol flying solo as executive director of the market for the first time, following the scheduled departure of long-time market head Jérome Paillard at the end of last year’s edition.

“For my first year as the head of the Marché, I am particularly grateful and thrilled to build this 2023 edition with such a creative country,” said Esmiol.

“Spain will have a large presence in the Marché du Film’s programs and is looking forward to sharing with the entire film professional community its impressive ambition to support international co-production and strengthen the role of Spain as a major audiovisual hub in Europe.”

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