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Distribution / Releases / Exhibitors - Spain

Industry Report: Distribution, Exhibition and Streaming

Proyecto Viridiana is born

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The project stems from a group of Spanish exhibitors and their need to successfully bolster the programming of European-produced titles in theatres

Proyecto Viridiana is born
Director of programming and resources at Cines Lys in Valencia Silvino Puig, director of the Cineapolis chain of cinemas Rogelio Delgado, and film director Benito Zambrano during the presentation of the project (© Asís Ayerbe)

In the presence of Silvino Puig (director of programming and resources at Cines Lys in Valencia), Rogelio Delgado (director of the Cineapolis chain of cinemas) and film director Benito Zambrano, Proyecto Viridiana was presented in early November, at the headquarters of the Spanish Film Academy. It was born of the responsiveness of a group of Spanish exhibitors and their need to successfully bolster the programming of European-produced films that deal with subjects related to diversity. The starting pistol for the project was fired on 9 November, in the Floridablanca cinemas in Barcelona, with the presentation of the movie Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Benito Zambrano
film profile
]
, helmed by Andalusian filmmaker Zambrano.

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For him, “The pandemic has also led to good things: this union is proof of that – proof of the need for communication. Sharing in a joint experience in a movie theatre – that’s the wonder of cinema. Here in the theatres is where work and dreams fuse together, because film is an act of collective creation. This project opens up the frontiers of the theatres, with the use of new technologies to reach the biggest audience possible. The positive thing is that, from all the various different cinemas, the viewer can gain access to the team behind the film and share the experience with us.”

In the words of Puig, “Proyecto Viridiana is the fruit of the efforts of a number of companies that have managed to reach an agreement and work together to enable European film to gain heightened visibility in those territories that are deprived of this kind of work.” The programmer also stressed, “It’s thanks to the crisis, through all of the Zoom meetings that happened during the lockdown, that this idea has emerged from a sizeable group of distributors.” Furthermore, Delgado pointed out, “Eighty percent of European films focus their releases on big cities (Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, for example). Of the 60 cinemas in the Europa Cinemas network, only 17 are located outside of the main conurbations or autonomous communities that have their own language. This is the situation that has spawned Proyecto Viridiana.”

The project was founded with the ambition and objective of enabling European cinema to gain more and more clout in the national market. According to the masterminds behind it, thanks to the European funds provided by Europa Cinemas’ Collaborate to Innovate programme, and with the support of MEDIA, it will be easier to share the risk inherent in educating and consolidating audiences. And so, specific screenings will be organised at exactly the same time in each participating cinema, in the presence of a member of the team behind the feature being shown, who will be able to partake in an in-person or online chat, thus involving the rest of the participating theatres in this dialogue.

For this purpose, a network of cinemas has been created with the aim of consolidating audiences for this top-quality kind of material, which often has a disappointing run in theatres, owing to a lack of visibility or a lack of audience members likely to show an interest in it. The films selected for Proyecto Viridiana will get a spot on the cinemas’ programming schedules and will also benefit from special support through websites, emails and social networks, which will be created to support European film. A total of 26 cinemas in 13 communities and 19 cities have already signed up to this initiative, making a total of 212 screens. It is therefore a project conceived to be mutually supportive and open: more Spanish cinemas can be added, but it will not disregard the possibility of opening up to more European territories, in search of partnerships and synergies.

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(Translated from Spanish)

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