Through various panels and conferences, public entities, professional associations and companies analyzed the current situation of the Spanish audiovisual sector. The avant premiere of the first episode of Disney original series Santa Evita brought the first day of the forum to a close.

The first day of Conecta Fiction & Entertainment, the largest international marketplace dedicated to the co-production of fiction and entertainment contents between Europe and America, has given full prominence to Spain as the focus country of this sixth edition.

The opening speech was given by Patricia Franco, Councilor of Economy, Business and Employment of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, who praised the work carried out by Castilla-La Mancha Film Commission since its foundation in 2017. She also stressed the region’s commitment to the development of the audiovisual sector, which allows “creating synergies between the industry, the generation of employment and the strengthening of tourism to obtain the greatest possible potential”.

This was followed by the first part of the panel dedicated to the Spanish audiovisual ecosystem, with the participation of Cristina Morales, Deputy Director General for the Organisation of Audiovisual Communication Services of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, who highlighted the fundamental role of the Spain Audiovisual Hub of Europe plan as a driving force for the audiovisual industry, described as a “strategic sector of the national economy”. She also referred to the General Audiovisual Communication Law, voted on today in the Spanish Senate, as a “necessary update of the regulatory framework to the current situation, which aims to promote independent production”.

One of the initiatives included in this Plan is the recent launch of the Spain Audiovisual Bureau, a centralised information point for the internationalisation of the audiovisual industry, according to Fabia Buenaventura, Head of the Audiovisual Sector Department at ICEX-Invest in Spain.

The second part of this focus on Spain revolved around the draft bill of the Law on Cinema and Audiovisual Culture, the main new features of which were explained by Rocío Juanes, Secretary General of the ICAA. Moderated by the Écija partner specialised in audiovisual law, Helena Suárez, the panel was attended by representatives of the professional associations PATE, ALMA, AECINE and PROFILM, who highlighted the industry’s main demands regarding the copyright protection of screenwriters and the importance of preserving the IP so that independent producers can co-produce projects of international scope.

This first day also included the Keynote “International Production Made in Spain”, given by Gloria Saló, Director of Production and Content Consultancy at the consultancy firm GECA, who spoke in depth about the globalisation of Spanish content, as well as the first two pitching sessions: High-End Series (high-budget projects) and Feelgood Formats (original entertainment formats that transmit positive energy).

The day’s finale was the screening of the first episode of Santa Evita, Disney’s new original series about the famous first lady. The event was attended by the actors Natalia Oreiro, Ernesto Alterio, Darío Grandinetti and Francesc Orella, as well as the director Alejandro Maci, who took part in a subsequent Q&A session with the audience.

The 6th edition of Conecta Fiction & Entertainment has the support of the Government of Castilla-La Mancha, and the collaboration of Castilla-La Mancha Film Commission. Inside Content is in charge of designing and producing the event.