Madrid sets a new record for series shot in the city in 2019

Madrid centro de producción de series

66 series and 35 feature films have chosen the city as a filming location in 2019.

The balance of audiovisual filming in Madrid during 2019 shows how the capital has established itself a reference centre for global content production. National platforms and networks, such as Movistar+, RTVE, Atresmedia and Mediaset, veritable driving forces behind the production of series in our country, have been joined by such major international platforms as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, HBO and Viacom International Studios, not to mention the investment that The Mediapro Studio is putting into international content production.

Balance of filming during 2019

At the end of 2019 11,760 applications for filming in public thoroughfares had been processed, according to data from Madrid City Council’s Filming Authorizations Bureau. Of those, 4,438 applications (38%), corresponding to 944 different projects, were permits to occupy space. In total, they generated a revenue of 522,069.42 euros in municipal taxes, a 55.5% increase over the previous year. The remaining 62% of the permits were free-of-charge communicated actions for small crews.

Annual evolution of registered applications by type of permit. 2015-2019 Source: Filming Authorizations Bureau (Madrid City Council) Data analysis: City of Madrid Film Office

As for the territorial distribution of the filming, with 34,8% of the applications, the Centro district still concentrates a significant part of the film shoots carried out within the municipality. This district is followed by Retiro (12.2%), Moncloa-Aravaca (7.4%), Salamanca (6.5%) and Chamberí (5.8%).

A significant increase in the number of series filmed

The most significant aspect of the 2019 balance has been the strong increase in the number of fiction series shot in the city, with a total of 66 series, 20 more than in 2018. As far as national platforms are concerned, Movistar+ launched 11 series that were shot in the city, including Antidisturbios (Riot Police) (Caballo Films), Dime quién soy (Tell me who I Am) (DLO Producciones), La Unidad (The Unit) (Vaca Films) or the miniseries En el Corredor de la Muerte (On Death Row) Bambú Producciones). Atresmedia has participated in 10 series, including several new releases such as La Valla (Good Mood), 45 Revoluciones (Bambú Producciones) and Veneno (Suma Latina and Apache Films). RTVE is behind 9 projects that have been shot in Madrid, such as Mercado Central (Central Market) (Diagonal TV), Promesas de Arena (Promises of Sand) (Atlantia Media), Estoy Vivo (Good Mood) and the much anticipated new season of El Ministerio del Tiempo (The Ministry of Time) (Onza Entertainment and Cliffhanger). Lastly, Mediaset shot 7 series, including Señoras del Hampa (Dangerous Moms) (Mandarina Produccione

Evolution of number of series by platforms. 2017-2019 Source: Filming Authorizations Bureau (Madrid City Council) Data analysis: City of Madrid Film Office

It should be particularly noted that 2019 saw an important investment by international platforms in collaborations with local industry. Netflix took part in 15 series that were shot in Madrid, including the new seasons of the acclaimed La Casa de Papel (Money Heist) (Vancouver Media), Élite (Zeta Audiovisual) and Las Chicas del Cable (Cable Girls) (Bambú Producciones), new projects such as Valeria (Plano a Plano) and El Vecino (The Neighbour) (Zeta Audiovisual), the Spanish-British co-production White Lines (Vancouver Media), and the international productions of Narcos: Mexico (Gaumont International Television) and La Casa de las Flores (The House of Flowers) (Noc Noc Cinema). At the same time, Amazon Prime has taken part in 5 series, with titles like Pequeñas Coincidencias (Little Coincidences) (Onza Entertainment and Medio Limón) and La Templanza (Temperance) (Atresmedia Studios and Boomerang TV). Not to be outdone, this year HBO started shooting 3 original projects series in Madrid, Por H o por B (XHOXB) (Lacoproductora and Globomedia), 30 Monedas (30 Coins) (Pokeepsie Films) and some footage of Patria (Alea Media).

In addition to Netflix’s the international productions that have already been mentioned, we should add the Brazilian series Vacaciones en Familia (Family Holiday) (Globosat TV), from Britain, Intergaláctica (Intergalactic) (Sky One) and from the US, For Life (AMC), Rubí (Televisa) and No te Puedes Esconder (You Cannot Hide) (Telemundo).

Shooting of the series La Valla (The Fence) in Colonia Pico del Pañuelo. Image © Madrid FO

Other outstanding productions

In the 2019 balance, we should of course mention the 35 feature films shot in the city, of which 26 were national productions, 6 were co-productions with other countries (Italy, France, the Netherlands, Argentina and Uruguay) and 2 were international films: the Hong Kong blockbuster Line Walker 2 by Jazz Boon, and the Colombian El Olvido que Seremos (Forgotten We’ll Be) by Fernando Trueba.

Among the national and co-produced films we should highlight Way Down by Jaume Balagueró, the first film to be declared a ‘filming of municipal interest’ by the City Council, which brought an estimated investment of 7.15 million euros to Madrid. The city was also the location for Padre No Hay Más que Uno (Father There is Only One) by Santiago Segura, the highest grossing Spanish film of 2019; Historias Lamentables, the new film by Javier Fesser; Un Mundo Normal (A Normal World) by Achero Mañas; Malasaña 32 by Albert Pintó; Invisibles by Gracia Querejeta; Un Efecto Óptico (An Optical Effect) by Juan Cavestany; Hasta el Cielo (Sky High) by Daniel Calparsoro; or Ventajas de Viajar en Tren (Advantages of Travelling by Train) by Aritz Moreno, among others.

The city has also been the setting for the shooting of many national and international television shows. Among the latter we should mention travel shows like Cult @ The City and 2 für 300 (Germany), A Long Weekend in … with Rory O’Connell (Ireland), Discovery of the World Mysteries and Shokunin Wagon (Japan), Leela Me (Thailand), Spatula Travels The World (Malaysia) or Homeland Dreamland (China). And we should add to these the acclaimed Spanish travel show Spain Passion and several episodes of the successful Chinese reality show My Dearest Ladies, which shows the increasing interest Asian audiences have for Madrid.

Shooting of the film Way Down in the Plaza de Cibeles. Image © Madrid FO

By project type, commercials still occupy the top spot in terms of the volume of projects filmed in the city: 401 commercials and 64 photographic reports requested occupancy permits in 2019. Locations in Madrid have been the setting for campaigns by such brands as Adidas, Nike, Zara, El Corte Inglés, Audi, BMW, Ford, Mazda, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Renault, Seat, Suzuki, VW, Iberia, Air Europa, Mahou, Alhambra, Beefeater, Budweiser, Heineken, San Miguel, Aquarius, Coca-Cola, Campofrío, El Pozo, Nespresso, Telepizza, Burger King, McDonald’s, Samsung, Nintendo, Movistar, Vodafone, Orange, Telefónica, Banco Santander, BBVA, Banco Sabadell, Bankia, ING or Línea Directa, among many others

Activity of City of Madrid Film Office

The City of Madrid Film Office, the municipal department of Madrid City Council that is responsible for promoting and advising on filming, dealt with 287 projects in 2019, a 79% increase over the previous year. Of these, 193 were national and 94 were international (62 European, 15 Asian, 10 North-American, 6 Latin-American and one from Oceania), and we should note the assistance provided to 32 series, 22 films and 69 television shows.

With regard to actions to promote the city and its industry, in 2019 the office participated in several national and international marketplaces: European Film Market (Berlinale), Series Mania Forum (Lille), Mafiz (Malaga Film Festival), Marché du Film (Cannes Festival), Conecta Fiction (Pamplona), Industry Club (San Sebastián International Film Festival) and Focus (London).

The Cinema from Spain stand at the European Film Market (Berlinale).

The office also promoted meetings and training days aimed at professionals from Madrid. In collaboration with the prestigious Erich Pommer Institut and Creative Europe MEDIA, the office brought to Madrid the international courseEuropean Co-Production: Legal and Financial aspects. It also hosted the presentation in Madrid of the ACE European Producers Network and the masterclass “Festivals and Markets: an Introduction to the Labyrinth”, organised within the framework of PROGRESSIO, an international platform supporting emerging audiovisual projects at Cineteca Madrid, the city’s Film Archive.

With the aim of raising awareness and promoting sustainable measures in the audiovisual sector, the Film Office supported the training day Sustainable Production is Possible, organised within the framework of the Another Way Film Festival in collaboration with Fiction Changing the World. Following this action, a working group has been set up composed of different agents from the industry, with the purpose of developing strategies and tools that make it easier to integrate sustainability criteria in audiovisual productions.

Another line of work of the Film Office is the dissemination and promotion of Madrid’s audiovisual legacy. The actions that were undertaken include theexhibition Cruz Novillo de Cine, a co-production with the DIMAD Foundation at the Central de Diseño at Matadero Madrid. The office also organised the first edition of the #MiMadriddeCine Awards in collaboration with EGEDA, inviting citizens and visitors to explore the city from the perspective of a location scout.

Inauguration of the exhibition “Cruz Novillo de Cine” at the Central de Diseño.

The City of Madrid Film Office participated in the first edition of Fitur Cine, promoted by the Spain Film Commission. The Office had its own stand and organised two activities: the roundtable Actors and Communication Strategies in Cinema and Tourism and the debate Film Routes: The Madrid of Almodóvar and of Arde Madrid, which focused on the new audiovisual tourism itineraries created by the Madrid City Council’s Tourism department. The office also supported the second edition of Mira Madrid, a programme dedicated to the discovery of places in the city, which this time centred on spaces that have been locations for film shoots.

The office has continued improving its website, conceived as an information tool aimed at professionals and companies in the sector. In 2019, it opened a professional directory and by the end of the year, 197 companies and 209 professionals had registered. It also has a new section that provides information on cinema and tourism. The catalogue of locations was increased by 105 new spaces, reaching 400 references in total, and during the course of the year, the news section published 67 items related to the office’s activity and Madrid’s audiovisual .

Presentation of the course “European Co-Production: Legal and Financial Aspects” by the Erich Pommer Institut.

Finally, we should mention the support the City Council has given to the industry through such different actions as its collaboration during the fifth edition of theMadrid Film Window, the international co-production forum which this year featured Argentina, Canada and Brussels as guest countries and regions; the Film Academy’s Programme of Residencies; its hosting of the last edition of the Ibero-American Advertising Festival El Sol; the grants for contemporary creation, which include audiovisual projects, and its contribution to the Crea SGR Fund, which makes it easier for companies in the creative and cultural industries to access fundin