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Cannes Names Spain Country of Honor at Marche du Film

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The Cannes film market, the Marché du Film, will this year pay tribute to the Spanish movie industry, naming Spain its official country of honor for 2023.

Spain is the Marché’s second country of honor, following India last year. The tribute is meant to spotlight a nation’s film industry across the spectrum, from features and documentaries to animation and extended reality. Spain’s ministries of trade and investment and its Institute of Cinematography & Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) will work together with the Marché to highlight Spanish content and talent in Cannes this year. The umbrella promotional group Cinema from Spain will again be on-site to boost the presence of Spanish industry professionals.

“We are proud to have Spain as our country of honor for this special market edition,” said Marché executive director Guillaume Esmiol. “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. 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.”

Spain’s audiovisual industry has enjoyed a sustained boom over the past several years, driven in part by the success of streaming hits such as Netflix’s Money Heist and Élite as well as a new generation of filmmakers whose work is resonating internationally.

Last month, Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren’s debut feature 20,000 Species of Bees won Berlin’s Best Leading Performance Silver Bear for first-timer Sofía Otero, just a year after Carla Simón took the Berlinale’s Best Film Golden Bear for her Catalan family drama Alcarràs. Two Spanish Cannes entries for last year — Albert Serra’s Pacification and Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s The Beasts – were honored at this year’s César awards in France, with Pacifiction star Benoît Magimel winning the best actor honor and Artur Tort taking the best cinematography prize, with The Beasts winning the best foreign film award.

Carla Simón’s ‘Alcarràs’ won Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2022

Courtesy of LluisTudela

The Spanish government is investing heavily in its local industry, with €1.6 billion ($1.7 billion) of earmarked public investment aimed at boosting audiovisual production in Spain by 30 percent by 2025. Those plans, launched last year, as well as details on Spain’s tax incentives for visiting producers, will be presented in detail at an event at the Marché’s Palais Stage.

Spanish talent will be visible across all sections of the Marché this year, including the market’s Producers Network, which brings together more than 400 producers from around the world each year for a series of meetings and events aimed at boosting networking and coproduction opportunities and the Goes to Cannes section which highlights next-generation filmmakers and presents original works-in-progress hand-selected by the Marché’s partner festivals. Spanish professionals from the animation, documentary and XR sectors will also have a privileged spot in the different networking activities, roundtables, workshops and conferences of Animation Day, Cannes Docs and Cannes XR events.

Spanish experts, financiers and decision-makers will take part in the Marché’s Cannes Next and impACT programs, which focus on the future of the entertainment sector and the industry’s environmental impact and sustainability efforts. Spain’s latest short films and rising talents will also be highlighted in Cannes’ Short Film Corner and at the Rendez-vous Industry, the festival’s official forum to connect emerging filmmakers with programmers, distributors, buyers and other industry professionals.

The 2023 Marché du Film runs May 16-24 during the 76th Cannes International Film Festival.

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