"Spanish Co-Productions: Commercial Need or Common Culture? An Analysis of International Co-Productions in Spain from 2000 to 2004"
Co-Productions, Film Industry, Spain, Europe, Latin America
Issue Date: 
Cambridge Scholar Publishing (Newcastle)
Barriales-Bouche, Sandra y Marjorie Attignol Salvodon (eds.), Zoom In, Zoom Out: Crossing Borders in Recent European Cinema, Cambridge Scholar Publishing, Newcastle, 2007, pp. 89-127.
Co-productions have clear advantages for film producers in Europe, chiefly the possibility of sharing costs and risks, along with access to territories that are difficult to reach without the help of local producers or distributors. Between 30 and 35% of Spanish film productions in the last five years, for example, are international co-productions (considering only those films in which Spanish participation is 50% or greater). Between 2000 and 2004, productions of all-Spanish films amounted to 576, while the number of co-productions was 215, for an annual average of 115 all-Spanish films and 43 co-productions, which is an indication of the sharp increase in international co-productions in this period. The trend is toward an increasingly world-wide audio-visual market, so it may be safely predicted that the number of co-productions will continue to rise in coming years, thanks in part to the maintenance of the current system of subsidies and pan-European and pan-Latin American training programmes which lead to greater collaboration between producers from different countries. Usually the term ‘co-production’ has been related to the question of ‘national identity’ and ‘crossing-border’ culture. Nevertheless, as Ian Christie suggests, the unity to which the European film industries aspire should be a strategic one based upon ‘commercial need’ rather than ‘common culture’. This article proposal addresses these issues from the industry and market perspective: to what extent the raise of international co-productions in Spain during the period under study reflects either a business-oriented strategy and/or a shared identity with Europe and Latin-America. In addition, it will analyse the role of Spain as a natural bridge between both continents.

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