It’s a very joint effort. On Friday, a Basque Country–Brazil Co-production Meeting unspools in Sebastian, co-organized by the Basque Country’s Extepare Institute in association with the EPE-APV and Ibaia producers assns., Audiovisual Cluster Eiken and Media Antena Euskal Herria.
Event includes networking workshops, informal meetings and one-to-one huddles. The new edition dovetails with San Sebastian’s 1st Europe-Latin America Co-production
Forum, on which the Basque Government’s Industry Department put up Euros 270,000
“Our aim is to back any Basque cultural production and to explore new ways to distribute
it, expanding its international reach,” says Aizpea Goenaga, Basque Institute director.
Seventeen projects from Basque production companies will be presented at the Meeting,
while Cinema do Brasil will introduce eleven projects. 150 professionals will attend
the event, per its organizers.
“Confidence between partners is crucial to establish the basis of future joint ventures
or any kind of association», Itziar Mena, Eiken Audiovisual Cluster director, assures.
In a classic financing model, Basque features tap three sources: Regional pubcaster
ETB, local government subsidies and ICAA Spanish Film Institute incentives. In addition,
Basque producers can apply for low-interest credit lines.
The Basque country’s total 2012 budget for cinema production reached Euros 2 million
($2.6 million). It suffered a 10% cut in 2012, in line with general culture area cuts. A central government fund for production in Basque, Catalan and Galician has been nixed.
Basques once produced annual film slates off 10-11 productions, counting toon-pic and
longform docs. This year, production levels look set to slide about 40%, according to
producer assn. forecasts.
So any foreign returns are manna from heaven.
“We don’t have a common language, but as an emerging giant like Brazil should definitely be looked at,” said Joxe Portela, at Ibaia.
“We have to establish commercial links abroad. Crisis will sharpen our industry ingenuity,”
said an optimist Carlos Juárez, EPEAPV prexy.
Patxo Telleria and Aitor Mazo’s Bypass, Maru Solores’ Camera Obscura, Ricardo
Ramón and Joan Espinach’s Papá, soy una zombie, and Iñaki Elizalde’s Baztan are some of Basque productions at San Sebastian sections.
Baztan’s international sales rights have recently been picked up by Vertice Sales.
A small market, Basque Country produces many talented helmers. 16-year-old Kimuak, the admirable Basque short film program overseen by Txema Muñoz, underscores the point. Previous annual editions include Jorge Dorado, Borja Cobeaga, Pablo Malo, Nacho Vigalondo, and Oskar Santos.