Rubén Zarauza • President, Audiovisual Cluster of the Canary Islands

“We hope to connect with emerging producers in Europe and Latin America”

– The organization has set up the Atlantic Film Accelerator, a production laboratory which will take place in Tenerife at the end of February; the call for applications is open until February 9

(© Zhana Yordanova)

The first edition of the Atlantic Film Accelerator (Aceleradora de Cine del Atlántico) will run from February 28 to March 8, and its call for participants is open until February 9. To find out more about its most interesting aspects, we spoke with Ruben Zarauzapresident of the Canary Islands Audiovisual Cluster, the organization promoting this lab, intended to give a real boost to six young production companies.

Cineeuropa: How does this initiative arise, at first? What needs or desires did they fuel??
Ruben Zarauza:
This is a further step in the Canary Islands Audiovisual Cluster’s commitment to raising the profile of executive production, highlighting its key role in the development of film projects and business structures in the audiovisual world – those whose cornerstones are talent and property creation. It was also born from the natural transatlantic ambitions that we have on the Canary Islands, given our position between three continents, as we are a crossroads between Europe, Latin America and Africa. We understood that it was not only important to move forward on the development of specific projects, which we had already done with an Accelerator which had a more regional scope, but that it was also necessary to work with the producers on the financial development of their companies, which is the tool that will allow them to produce a whole list, or set, of projects, and to do so with an eye on the international scene.

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Who are your promoters and what experience do you have?
It is promoted by the Audiovisual Cluster of the Canary Islands, the main private body active in the audiovisual sector of the Canary Islands and the audiovisual cluster with the second largest number of partners in Spain. We have been able to rely on the experience we have accumulated in the five previous editions of the Canary Islands Cinema Accelerator, which began in 2017, encouraged by PROEXCA, a Canarian public company attached to the Regional Ministry of Economy of the government and focused on internationalization. Today we can boast of the essential support of the Cultural Industries Sub-Department of the Spanish Government’s Ministry of Culture, alongside several other contributors: Puerto de la Cruz City Council, Tenerife Film Commission, MEDIA Desk Spain and the Spanish network of audiovisual clusters.

Who is this initiative for??
We are looking for production companies, both Spanish and international (mainly European and Latin American), that have released at least one feature film. We want to help those who are in the process of developing and growing, who already have a filmography behind them, an editorial policy and a structure, but who are not yet well established and need to consolidate their financial bases. We are not looking for a particular project, but rather a company with at least two projects in development. This is the main thing that differentiates us from other laboratories, which tend to focus more on audiovisual works. Here, the focus is on the company, which must have strong intentions to shoot or co-produce in the Canary Islands or Spain, and have a good command of the Spanish language.

Where is it to be held, and what is the meaning of this location for film market?
It will be held on the island of Tenerife, largely in a beautiful location in the north of the island, Puerto de la Cruz, one of the most pioneering towns in terms of tourism in the archipelago, but also a village coast that is becoming a cultural hub for the region, with festivals and artistic experiences of very high quality, as well as a great tradition of attracting distinguished travellers, like Agatha Christie. The idea is to work with the selected producers in a hotel that takes care of their every need. In addition, on some days we will take excursions to familiarize ourselves with the most striking places offered through the landscapes of Tenerife. We will also visit MiradasDoc because the first big festival of the year in the Canary Islands, around non-fiction, is being held at the same time, and we don’t want to miss the opportunity to meet its promoters and guests.

What results do you expect to achieve with this lab?
Companies with clearer ideas and with the tools they need to better manage their daily activities and their list of projects. We also seek to generate synergies, between the group of participants as well as with the local sector. In fact, on the last day we will organize a networking event with production teams, institutions and companies from the Canary Islands. We would like local and Spanish production companies to have a more international view of their model, and we would also like to attract interesting international projects to the islands or to Spain.

What international impact Would you like the accelerator to have?
We hope to forge links with emerging producers in Europe and Latin America. At this first edition, the group will be smaller. It’s a very exclusive lab because we want to focus on the quality of meetings and the level of group work. But we hope to grow for the next editions.

(The article continues below – Commercial information)

(Translated from Spanish)

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