Make it possible in Madrid, an audiovisual production hub.

Make it possible in Madrid presents the city and the region as a centre for audiovisual productions by showcasing Madrid Content City and the filming of the blockbuster Way Down.

City of Madrid Film Office presented the panel Make it possible in Madrid within the framework of the European Film Market during the 70th edition of the Berlinale. A presentation was given by Miguel Sanz, Director of Tourism of Madrid City Council, the executive producer Sandra Hermida and the producer Eneko Lizarraga, which put across the advantages and possibilities of the city of Madrid as a filming location using the production details of the feature film Way Down which was shot in the city during the spring of 2019.

Previously, the Community of Madrid, represented by its department that looks after film shoots, Film Madrid, presented Madrid Content City, the major audiovisual production centre run by Grupo Secuoya in Tres Cantos, which currently houses Netflix’s European studios. The largest audiovisual production centre in Spain, and one of the largest in Europe, its facilities will be expanded until they occupy an area of 140,000 square metres, comprising film studios, production services and a university campus with restaurants and sports and leisure facilities.

Shot in Madrid. 

In the conference Shot in Madrid, Miguel Sanz showcased the advantages of the city as a destination, highlighting the connectivity, enormous possibilities of accommodation, climate and safety of the city of Madrid. Other noteworthy factors were the diversity of filming locations and the professional quality of the audiovisual industry of Madrid. He also presented the regulatory mechanism “Declaration of Filming of Municipal Interest” which was included in the Mobility Ordinance, a declaration that, in the case of the feature film Way Down, was approved on 4 April 2019 by the Governing Board of the City of Madrid due to its special characteristics regarding its economic impact, the international projection of the image of the city and its potential for attracting tourism.

This declaration, and the collaboration on the part of Madrid City Council was a fundamental tool, as producer Eneko Lizarraga said, to be able to achieve such a complex production in the very heart of the city of Madrid. Together with Sandra Hermida, the executive producer, they presented the long day of filming during which the robbery of the Bank of Spain in the Plaza de Cibeles was filmed under the direction of Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza. A working day that involved 320 crew members and 1,000 extras, organised in 4 complete units filming simultaneously in the same area.

Hermida, executive producer of the project, and a production director who has worked in major productions such as The Impossible or A Monster Calls, expressed his gratitude for the collaboration of the City Council and the assistance offered by Madrid Film Office during the filming of Way Down. She described the city as an incredible place to film, putting the spotlight on the richness of its architectural heritage after having filmed in the Zúrich and Metrópolis buildings, the Círculo de Bellas Artes, the Cibeles Palace, the Instituto Cervantes, the National Library, or the Buenavista Palace. Other noteworthy factors were the communication network and the ability to accommodate large crews and international stars. Finally, she stressed the importance of the professionals and companies in the audiovisual sector, which make Spain in general a benchmark in the relationship between quality and production costs for any audiovisual project that has an international vocation.

Way Down will be screened worldwide.

A production of the feature film Way Down, which has pioneered a co-production agreement between two of the largest commercial media corporations in Europe, Mediaset España and France’s TF1 Group, which obtained excellent results at the European Film Market where they signed distribution agreements with cinemas in almost every region of the world.

A thriller with an international cast starring Freddie Highmore, which competes in production quality with the industry in North America, as was highlighted by Ghislain Barrois, CEO of Telecinco Cinema, during its presentation in Berlin. A production work that has brought together Telecinco Cinema, Ciudadano Ciskul and Think Studio as well as the post-production of the El Ranchito studios in Madrid. Filmed during April and May last year, it generated an economic investment of 7.15 million euros for the city. 14 service companies from Madrid, 250 audiovisual professionals and 2,500 indirect jobs were involved in the shoot. These data reflect its economic impact to which we should add the estimated 10 million viewers when it is released in film theatres in November of this year 2020.

Madrid’s audiovisual industry attend the European Film Market

Berlin was the centre of the international audiovisual industry during the European Film Market, a trade fair that closed with a record numbers of attendees, no less than 11,423 participants from 133 countries.

Alongside the participation of the Madrid-based production company Morena Films at the Co-production Market with Cerdita (Piggy), a project in progress, also on the Cinema from Spain stand were such operators as the online platform Filmarket Hub, whose events include the organisation of the Madrid TV Pitchbox, the marketing firm The Film Agency, The Mediapro Studio and the sales agency Latido Films.

The production company Elestudio was presented during the trade fair. This is the new company of producers Enrique López Lavigne, (The Impossible), Mexico’s Pablo Cruz and Argentina’s Diego Chialvo, who will have offices in Mexico, Los Angeles and Madrid. The company presented more than 60 fiction projects currently either in development or in production, and it has agreements with important international operators such as Sony Pictures, Netflix, HBO, Lionsgate, Viacom, Movistar Plus and Beta Film, among others. A new Spanish-language content creation company that has a solid network of creators after the 30 years of experience its producers have accumulated and the corporate backing of Medianet Partners.

Environmental sustainability and technology as central themes

One of the main themes of the meeting forums at the European Film Market was environmental sustainability applied to audiovisual productions and the impact on film shoots. The European Film Forum, a forum for dialogue between European institutions and operators in the audiovisual industry, also devoted its annual meeting in Berlin to environmental concerns and to the measures taken by the sector in order to achieve more sustainable film shoots that reduce their environmental footprint. One of the guests at the roundtable was Álvaro Longoria, a producer with Morena Films and a pioneer in introducing sustainability measures into film shoots. Longoria was also present as a director at the ceremony at which the Honorary Green Oscar was awarded to the documentary Santuario (Sanctuary) (2019) at the gala of the Cinema for Peace foundation.

Interest in improving the environmental sustainability of audiovisual productions can also be seen in the introduction of new technologies for the audiovisual industry. For example, the EFM Horizon section, where the market selected a number of technological entrepreneurial projects to connect them with the film industry and the media. These included the Madrid-based company Willco, a start-up that is developing a cloud-based app for film and television production, with the subsequent savings in costs and the reduction of environmental impact at different stages of production.