The city of Madrid was the setting for 41 films, 55 series and more than 410 commercials in 2023

Madrid Film Office responded to 3,272 specific requests for assistance during the year, almost 17% more than in 2022

During the course of 2023, Madrid City Council processed 11,133 applications to film on the public highway through its Filming Authorisations Bureau

In its efforts to promote Madrid’s audiovisual sector and the city as a filming location, Madrid Film Office participated in 14 festivals and audiovisual marketplaces and sponsored 7 events in the city in 2023

In 2023, Madrid Film Office introduced new products and programmes designed to strengthen its commitment to screen tourism and the promotion of Madrid’s audiovisual heritage

2023 was a year of intense filming activity in the city of Madrid, so much so that the figures for the year just ended confirm its privileged position as a major centre for audiovisual production in Europe. According to Madrid Film Office, the city was the setting for 41 films, 55 series and more than 410 commercials last year. In total, more than 930 medium and large projects were filmed on the city’s streets, 8% more than in 2022.

During the course of 2023, Madrid City Council processed 11,133 applications to film on the city’s streets through its Filming Authorisations Bureau, part of the Environment and Mobility Division, compared to the 10,849 applications that it handled in 2022. 39% were permits that allowed medium and large crews to occupy the public highway (4,365 applications), while 61% (6,768 applications) were free-of-charge communicated actions involving small crews.

In 2023, Madrid Film Office provided assistance to more than 584 different projects (557 in 2022) during their pre-production, production and promotion phases. More specifically, during the year the office responded to 3,272 specific applications for assistance related to location scouting, guidance and support in the management of filming permits, as well as requests for it to coordinate and mediate between different public and private bodies and companies. This represents an increase of almost 17% over 2022. In 2023, the office provided support to 66 international and 518 Spanish projects, including 105 series, 80 films, 94 commercials, 69 documentaries and 99 television programmes, many of which were shot in the city during the year, while others are scheduled for 2024.

How Madrid Film Office supports the audiovisual sector

In addition to providing support for film shoots, Madrid Film Office works to enhance the visibility of the city as a filming location, encourage the development of projects and support the industry in Madrid. During 2023, the office participated in 14 festivals and audiovisual marketplaces: European Film Market (Berlin International Film Festival), MAFIZ (Malaga Film Festival), Documenta PRO (Madrid), Marché du Film (Cannes Film Festival), Conecta Fiction & Entertainment (Toledo), Industry Club (San Sebastián International Film Festival), Iberseries & Platino Industria (Madrid), South International Series Festival Cádiz 2023Shooting Locations Marketplace (Valladolid), Animario PRO (Madrid), Ventana CineMad, Ventana Sur (Buenos Aires),FITUR (Madrid) and FOCUS (London).

Many of these marketplaces included not only meetings with industry professionals, but also round tables and events designed to showcase the industry in Madrid and the support that the authorities provide to the sector, such as the Algo se cuece en Madrid event hosted in San Sebastián and the round tables on Madrid as a bridge for co-productions held in Buenos Aires in collaboration with the Community of Madrid. The office also either organised or helped to organise 3 fam trips to Madrid for international producers and location scouts so that they could see some of the city’s most outstanding locations for themselves and appreciate the opportunities that Madrid has to offer as an audiovisual production centre. As far as the provision of information is concerned, Madrid Film Office also organised three webinars to promote the city as a production centre and the business and training opportunities offered by Madrid’s audiovisual sector: one for Canadian producers, with the support of the Canadian Embassy in Spain, and two to raise the profile of the RTVE Institute’s HAZ Project.

Webinar on the HAZ Project Instituto RTVE

The office is convinced of the need to create meeting spaces and industry forums in the city of Madrid to foster synergies between creators, producers, companies and other players in the sector, which is why, in 2023, it worked relentlessly to encourage the exchange of knowledge, projects and innovations. During the year, it held two new “Cortamos para…” after-work networking sessions which went down very well with the sector, and, in an effort to add more industry forums specifically geared towards the documentary and animation sectors to its catalogue of events, it increased its collaboration with the Documenta Madrid and Animario festivals, both of which are organised by the Cineteca film archive at Matadero, a centre that belongs to Madrid City Council’s Department of Culture, Tourism and Sport.

Madrid Film Office also stepped up its support for festivals, awards and events held in the city that foster industry meetings, professional training and the promotion and dissemination of Madrid’s audiovisual industry. For example, it sponsored the tenth edition of the prestigious Platino Awards, the third edition of the Iberseries & Platino Industria audiovisual marketplace, the Actors’ Union Awards 2023 and the AEC Microsalon 2023, the film industry’s most important annual event in the field of cinematography. The office also sponsored the Notodofilmfest online short film festival, which for the third year running included a special award for projects filmed in the city of Madrid; the Madrid Hub List, a new matchmaking initiative for projects in development; and a new edition of the“Training for Committed Filmmakers” conference, which aims to raise awareness of and promote sustainable practices in the audiovisual sector.

And the list goes on: the office provided support for other events such as the Serielizados Fest Madrid 2023, which included the fourth edition of the “Madrid in Series” round table, the RIZOMA 2023 Festivalthe Fulgor Lab 2023, the PRODU 2023 Awardsthe Adapta Book Madrid 2023, the FCM-PNR Madrid Film Festival, the conference“Challenges for the Audiovisual Industry in the Age of Artificial Intelligence”, organised by the Academy of Television and Audiovisual Arts and Sciences, and the conference Madrid and the Future of the Audiovisual Sector”, organised by the Madrid Open City Association.

The office contributed to training and development programmes and events for audiovisual projects promoted by the Madrid City Council through the Office for Strategic Projects and Corporate Involvement, such as the well-known Film Academy Residencies, the Ventana de Cine Madrileño co-production forum, the FeatureLab workshop run by the prestigious international audiovisual laboratory TorinoFilmLab, and the Cartoon Springboard 2023 pitching event. Also worth mentioning are a number of actions aimed at promoting the development of a robust and competitive cultural and industrial fabric, such as the support provided by the office to ALOMAD, the Madrid Association of Location Scouts, which helped to get it up and running, to Matriz, the Madrid Association of Film Festivals and Exhibitions, through the “Madrid with the Film Festivals” project, as well as its collaboration in the creation of the Madrid Audiovisual Cluster, which came together to strengthen and energise the audiovisual sector based and operating in Madrid, and with Pixelcluster Madrid.

Presentation of the Madrid Audiovisual Cluster

Last but not least, Madrid Film Office also carried out actions to promote screen tourism and disseminate the city’s audiovisual heritage among residents and visitors alike. These actions included the publication of the brochure“The Landscape of Light on the Screen”, which invited people to discover and explore this part of the city— declared a World Heritage Site in 2021— through the films and series shot there, and collaboration with programmes such as the Veranos de la Villa FestivalMadrid Otra Mirada  and the Open House Madrid Festival which organises guided tours of the city’s most emblematic buildings. During the year, it also organised the “De Madrid al Cine” screenings together with Canal Somos to celebrate and share Madrid’s film heritage with the city’s residents, and it collaborated with Hoy por Hoy Madrid, the radio programme that airs on Cadena Ser, and with esMADRIDmagazine and eme21mag to showcase some of the city’s locations that have appeared in series and films. Madrid Film Office’s commitment to screen tourism is also demonstrated by its participation in FITUR Screen, a specialised area of FITUR dedicated to this type of tourism.

As the Councillor for Tourism, Almudena Maíllo, points out: “All of these actions show how strongly the City Council’s Tourism Department, through Madrid Film Office, is committed to Madrid’s audiovisual sector and how it showcases both its heritage and its potential as a centre for the development and production of new projects. More than 80 million people decide where to travel based on what they see on the screen”. Anyone interested in following the activities of the Madrid Film Office can do so via its website (madridfilmoffice.com) and its social networks – in 2023 it published no less than 1,215 posts of its own, with 21,293 followers on LinkedIn, 8,525 on Instagram and 2,803 on Twitter. Furthermore, since April the office has also been sending out a monthly newsletter with information on activities, calls for proposals and projects.

Madrid, a set for films and series

In 2023, Madrid once again positioned itself as a prime film location – it was the setting for such diverse films as Hildegart by Paula Ortiz, Father There is Only One 4by Santiago Segura, Menudas piezas by Nacho G. Velilla, Al otro barrio by Mar Olid,The Night My Dad Saved Christmas by Joaquín Mazón, Anathema by Jimina Sabadú and Quién es quién by Martín Cuervo. The city also provided the backdrop for projects such as Buscando a Coque by Teresa Vellón and César L. Calvillo, Alumbramiento by Pau Teixidor and La mitad de Ana by Marta Nieto, all of whom took part in the Film Academy Residencies, a programme supported by Madrid City Council that provides emerging and professional filmmakers with the resources they need to develop audiovisual projects related to Madrid. Moreover, 16 of the 41 films shot in the city received one of the Grants for the Audiovisual Sector currently awarded by Madrid City Council through the Office for Strategic Projects and Corporate Involvement of the Coordination Department of the Mayor’s Office. These include Políticamente incorrectos by Arantxa Echevarría, Buffet Libre by Zoe Berriatúa, Las chicas de la estación by Juana Macías, Tu madre o la mía by Chus Gutiérrez and El correo by Daniel Calparsoro.

La Navidad en sus manos (c) A Contracorriente Films. Foto Andrés Paduano

It is worth noting that at least 15 of the films shot in Madrid in 2023 were international co-productions. These include Adiós Madrid by Diego Corsini (a co-production with Argentina), Daniela Forever by Nacho Vigalondo (Belgium and the United States), The Wailing by Pedro Martín-Calero (Argentina), Escape by Rodrigo Cortés, Segundo Premio by Isaki Lacuesta and Volveréis by Jonás Trueba (all three with France), Mientras Cupido no está by Alejandro Aimetta, Sobre las olas by Horacio Alcalá and V de Víctor by Frank Ariza (all three with Mexico), Hamburgo by Lino Escalera and Goat Girl by Ana Asensio (both with Romania) and El silencio de Marcos Tremer by Miguel García de la Calera (Uruguay and the Dominican Republic).

The 2023 data also show that Madrid continues to lead the way in the production of series. Of the 55 series that were recorded, 6 were docu-series and 49 were fiction series. The city was the setting for new series such as Berlin (Netflix. Photo of the shoot at the top of the article), the eagerly awaited spin-off of Money HeistRed Queen (Prime Video), based on the Juan Gómez-Jurado’s best-selling thrillers, The Purple Network (Atresmedia), the adaptation of the novel by Carmen Mola, Vestidas de azul (Atresmedia), the sequel to the award-winning series Veneno, Perverso (Prime Video and RTVE), a spin-off of the series Parot, Ena (RTVE), the new series by Javier Olivares based on the novel by Pilar Eyre, Demokracia (RTVE), winner of an award at Conecta Fiction 2020, Eva & Nicole (Atresmedia), the new series by Daniel Écija, and La caja de arena (Atresmedia), a fiction series that sets out to raise awareness of the problem of bullying in schools. Several renowned filmmakers also chose Madrid as the setting for their series. Álex de la Iglesia, did so, for example, for 1992 (Netflix), Daniel Calparsoro, for Asalto al Banco Central (Netflix), Clara Roquet, for Las largas sombras (Disney+), Rodrigo Sorogoyen, for New Year’s Eve (Movistar Plus+), Paco Plaza, for Maestro (Disney+) and Javier Fesser, for his first-ever series Custodia compartida.

Produced by the American production company The Immigrant with the aim of breaking into Spanish-speaking markets on both sides of the Atlantic, the latter series is just one of a number of international productions. Others include the Dutch project Máxima (Star+), the third season of the Spanish-Japanese series The Head (The Mediapro Studio and Hulu Japan), Los Artistas, produced by Isla Audiovisual for the American streaming service Vix, and Bellas Artes, created by the Argentinians Andrés Duprat, Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat and due to première simultaneously on Movistar Plus+ and Star+. The new seasons of The Inmortal (Movistar Plus+), Elite (Netflix), Wrong Side of the Tracks (Mediaset), Alpha Males (Netflix) and Holy Family (Netflix), among others, were also filmed in the city.