Valladolid Film Office goes for the international market

VAFO presents its balance from last year, marked by the advances in tax incentive policies at the national level, and the strengthening of collaboration structures in the local arena 

Ana Redondo, Councilor for Culture and Juan Manuel Guimerans, Director of the Culture Area

10/22/2017. – The 2016/2017 season was the third active year of the Valladolid Film Office (the fourth since its formal creation). VAFO (its acronym) was constituted in 2013 following the successful model of other Film Offices in Spain as a public technical office whose purpose is to attract and support the film production in the city and province.

The VAFO project is part of the Valladolid tourist internationalization plan launched by the Sociedad Mixta, S.L. (Joint Society of Tourism Promotion of Valladolid), whose results thus far have been more than satisfactory, as evidenced by the increase in foreign visitors provided by the National Statistics Institute, and that in 2017 are reaching historical levels of financial gain exceeding two figures in the better part of the year, and with increases of visitors making overnight stays that are higher than the national and regional average.

The main objective of Film Offices or Film Commissions (the terminological difference lies in the different territorial scope – Office is used for local or provincial entities, while Commission is reserved for regions and nations), and therefore also the Valladolid Film Office, is to promote the audiovisual industry from all points of view. The technical office, enabled by the Joint Society of Tourism, facilitates the development of any film, television or advertising production in Valladolid.

In its first years, VAFO has focused mainly on the promotion of the region as a set for all types of audiovisual shoots, indirectly provoking the rediscovery of an unknown reality in Valladolid: the great potential of this land in the cinematographic field, from the point of view of film locations, as a space for great professionals, who, unfortunately, have too often developed much of their career outside the region.

Within the promotional activities, VAFO continues its commitment to attracting Indian productions, taking advantage of the synergies derived from the presence of Casa de la India (an official foundation which promotes Indian culture and bilateral relations between India and Spain) in Valladolid, and to this end have continued to develop works from Asian countries, home to the greatest worldwide potential in terms of the volume of audiovisual productions. Within this section, it is worth noting the visits made by several Indian producers to this location, which Valladolid officials hope will end up paying off in the coming years, if the national incentive policy and local collaboration are consolidated.

The institutional activity has also been very intense, especially the one that aims to convert Valladolid into the place from which the consolidation of the so-called Screen Tourism or Cinematographic Tourism is promoted in Spain, which is relevant in countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland and France, with the tourist profitability of the whole cinematographic creation process and its connection to the region. The result of this work has been the start-up of the Cinematographic Tourism Working Group within the Spain Film Commission, which is coordinated from Valladolid, a field of firm commitment by the most relevant Spanish institutions (ICEX-Invest in Spain, TurEspaña and ICAA). Today, we can enjoy the presentation of a project that demonstrates the relationship between Tourism and Film, with the help of Film Set, a project funded by the European Union and to which Valladolid pledges its support in its next edition of the Festival.

Calavia, Redondo and Guimerans

The work of the Spain Film Commission, which brings together all the local, provincial and regional bodies in Spain, promotes the attraction and development of audiovisual shoots. The board of directors together with the vice-president of the commission and the VAFO coordinator, Juan Manuel Guimeráns, focus their participation mainly on the promotion of the concept of cinematographic tourism, which essentially links the region with creativity, and through which they hope to consolidate in 2018 some of the main efforts started in 2017.

Among these efforts, it is worth mentioning the agreement with the GIRAC (Research Group Recognized in Architecture and Cinema) of the University of Valladolid (the only university group expert in this field in Spain), through which they are preparing the first catalog specialized in unique buildings that can serve as locations for audiovisual productions, put together by specialists from the University. The initiative, in the hands of Seminci itself and the Audiovisual Platform of Castilla y León, also aims to produce short films in the immediate environment, within the framework of the VAFO-Seminci Factory, and whose winners will be announced tomorrow (Monday).

Also noteworthy is the recent celebration, on October 19th and 20th, of the first Valladolid Advertising Film Producers Association Days, which have served the main companies in the sector, both as advertisers and as filmmakers and locators, and which can be entrusted to know more about the city and province, so that it will be included in the short term among their shooting options.

The VAFO continues to suffer from a lack of resources, especially human resources, given the restrictions that limit the capacity of public sector action in the country, a situation that officials are overcoming with an exceptional effort on the part of the professionals of the City Council and the Joint Society that collaborate with VAFO, and the increasing support of Seminci and the Audiovisual Platform of Castilla y León.

The potential of Valladolid and its province remains very important, as do the prospects of working with important national and international producers, but it is essential to be able to count on greater resources, and above all, with a national context of improved incentives and greater involvement of the private sector, if that potential is to continue to develop.

Posted in 62nd Seminci, Featured.