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Spagna / America Latina

Rubén Zarauza • Presidente, Cluster Audiovisivo delle Canarie

"Speriamo di creare legami con i produttori emergenti di Europa e America Latina"


- L'organizzazione ha lanciato l'Acceleratore di Cinema dell'Atlantico, un laboratorio di produzione che si terrà a Tenerife alla fine di febbraio e il cui bando è aperto fino al 9

Rubén Zarauza  • Presidente, Cluster Audiovisivo delle Canarie
(© Zhana Yordanova)

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The first edition of the Atlantic Film Accelerator (Aceleradora de Cine del Atlántico) will unspool from 28 February-8 March, and its call for participants is open until 9 February. To get the low-down on its most interesting aspects, we chatted to Rubén Zarauza, president of the Canary Islands Audiovisual Cluster, the promotional body touting this lab, which is intended to give six up-and-coming production companies a genuine boost.

Cineuropa: How did this initiative arise, initially? Which needs or desires was it fuelled by?
Rubén Zarauza:
It came about as an additional step in the Canary Islands Audiovisual Cluster’s commitment to strengthening the profile of executive production, emphasising its key role in the development of film projects and corporate structures in the audiovisual world – those whose cornerstones are talent and the creation of intellectual property. It was also born of the natural transatlantic ambitions that we have on the Canary Islands, given our position between three continents, as we’re a crossroads between Europe, Latin America and Africa. We understood that not only was it important to make progress on developing specific projects, which is something that we had already been doing with an accelerator that had more of a regional scope, but it was also necessary to work with producers on the financial development of their companies, which is the tool that will allow them to produce a whole slate, or bundle, of projects, and do it with their eye on the international stage.

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Who are your promoters, and what previous experience do you have?
It’s promoted by the Canary Islands Audiovisual Cluster, the main private organisation active in the Canary Islands’ audiovisual sector, and the audiovisual cluster with the second-highest number of partners in Spain. We were able to count on the experience we racked up at the five previous editions of the Canary Islands Film Accelerator, which began in 2017, fostered by PROEXCA, a Canarian public company attached to the government’s Regional Ministry of Economy and focused on internationalisation. Now, we can boast the vital support of the Subdepartment of Cultural Industries of the Spanish Government’s Ministry of Culture, alongside several other contributors: the Puerto de la Cruz City Council, the Tenerife Film Commission, MEDIA Desk Spain and the Spanish Audiovisual Cluster Network.

Who is this initiative aimed at?
We’re in search of production companies, both Spanish and international ones (primarily those that are European and Latin American), which have released at least one feature film. We wish to help those that are in the process of expanding and growing, which already have a filmography behind them, an editorial policy and a structure, but which are not yet well established and need to shore up their financial foundations. We’re not looking for any project in particular, but rather a company with at least two projects in development. That’s the main thing that differentiates us from other labs, which tend to home in more on audiovisual works. Here, the focus is on the company, which has to have robust intentions to shoot or co-produce on the Canary Islands or in Spain, and have a good command of the Spanish language.

Where is it being held, and what is the significance of this location for the film market?
It will be held on the island of Tenerife, for the most part in a beautiful spot in the north of the island, Puerto de la Cruz, one of the most pioneering cities when it comes to tourism in the archipelago, but also a coastal settlement that’s becoming a cultural hub for the region, with festivals and artistic experiences of an extremely high quality, as well as a major tradition of attracting distinguished travellers, such as Agatha Christie. The idea is to work with the selected producers in a hotel that tends to their every need. In addition, on certain days, we will go on excursions to familiarise ourselves with the most striking locations on offer across the landscapes of Tenerife. We will also visit MiradasDoc because the first major festival of the year on the Canary Islands, revolving around non-fiction, is being held at the same time, and we don’t want to pass up the opportunity to meet with its promoters and its guests.

What results do you hope to achieve with this lab?
Companies with clearer ideas and with the tools they need to better manage their day-to-day activities and their slate of projects. We are also looking to generate synergies, between the group of participants as well as with the local sector. In fact, on the last day, we will be organising a networking event with production outfits, institutions and companies from the Canary Islands. We’d like it if the local and Spanish production firms had a more international vision for their model, and we’d also like to attract some interesting international projects to the islands or to Spain.

What international impact would you like the Accelerator to have?
We hope to form bonds with emerging producers from Europe and Latin America. At this first edition, the group will be smaller. It’s a very exclusive lab because we want to prioritise the quality of the meetings and the level of the group work. But we hope to grow bigger for subsequent editions.

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