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65th San Sebastian Film Festival
22/30 September 2017 - #65ssiff

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You are in: Home > 2018. 66th Edition  > Festival Diary > Basque Cinema Drives Into Co-production
Basque Cinema Drives Into Co-production
Tuesday, September 25th, 2018

A caustic, multiform and kinetic vision of Ryszard Kapucinski reactig to the horrors of Angola’s 1975 Civil War, Basque movie Another Day of Life is a highpoint of European animation this year. But it is also a mark of the Basque cinema’s drive into international coproduction, enrolling five European partners to complete its financing and production.

Once an exception, international coproduction is now becoming a general trend, at least among highprofile projects and productions. Of the 20 features highlighted by Variety this year in a production survey, nearly half (9) are coproductions. Take out documentaries –usually lowerbudget, so easier to finance 100% domestically– and this ratio rises to over 60%: 8 out of 13.

Why is another matter. Basque films can sell abroad. But coproductions open markets in a much simpler fashion, said Aitziber Atorrasagasti, the Basque government’s head of culture promotion.

There’s also an economic consideration, she added. “Coproductions allow companies to take on ever more ambitious projects with larger budgets, which present our history to the world.”

Basque producers can also now bring more to the table in international coproductions. Though not yet totally harmonized, 30% tax credits are now available to Basque producers in the three Basque provinces.

“In the last few years we’ve been producing in Gipuzkoa in a pretty stable fashion using the 30% tax credits,” said producer Marian Fernández Pascal at Txintxua Films, producer of San Sebastian Special Screening Dantza and New Directors entry oreina/Deer.

Also, the sector’s maturing. “We’re becoming more ambitious, getting known more abroad. It’s natural, organic and logical that we’re not limitinourselves to the Basque Country,” says producer Leire Apellaniz, at Sr. y Sra., whose anticipated “Advantages of Traveling By Train,” directed by Aritz Moreno, will be coproduced by France’s Logical Pictures.

Every coproduction is different, says Irusoin’s Xabi Berzosa, producer with Moriarti of milestone Basque productions Loreak, Spain’s Oscar submission, and Handia, which won 10 Goyas. The challenge: Collaboration with international coproduction partners to be as automatic as Irusoin’s partnerships in Spain. But the Basque Country has at least hit the coproduction road.

John Hopewell, Jamie Lang

 

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