Producers on the Move 2013 – Spain
- María Zamora is the director of Avalon PC, the production strand of the Avalon group, also active in distribution
As the executive producer, María Zamora is the director of Avalon PC, the production strand of the Avalon group, which also does distribution. The company has an unusual work system for these fast-paced, cutting corner times. Avalon cultivates talents from the shorts world, helping them make the leap towards feature films. This was the case with David Planell (La vergüenza, 2009), Beatriz Sanchís (Todos están muertos, going through post-production) and Natalia Mateo (with whom a debut is being developed). Documentary Mapa by León Siminiani was her last piece of work.
Cineuropa: What production phase of a film is the most gratifying to you?
María Zamora: Personally, I pour a lot of time into the development of projects. I don’t just consider it a fundamental phase in terms of making a good film, but it is also the one I enjoy the most. It is the phase in which screenwriters and directors work together the most. It is the moment at which the producer fully understands the film the director wants to make, and together they make it happen. I almost always work with new directors with whom I have already made shorts, which means that the exchange in terms of development is generally quite fluid.
How would you define Avalon PC’s editorial line?
We try and make films we would like to see as spectators, which fundamentally means character-based stories. We are always seeking out directors with their own vision.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of international coproductions?
The advantage from an economic standpoint is that it opens financial doors for the project. From a creative standpoint, when it comes to a coproduction with a multinational artistic and technical team, the project is always richer. The same is true for when it is a financial coproduction thanks to the outside perspective that a co-producer from another country will give you, when he reveals why he was interested in the project and the ways in which he thinks audiences from his country will be interested in it. The disadvantages are that sometimes certain implicit obligations within a coproduction will make the film more expensive, without that being reflected on screen, and that generally co-productions involve extra work, because even if the cultural exchange makes the projects richer, it also may make certain discrepancies emerge, which need to be managed.
Do you need to be slightly mad to be a film producer in Spain today?
To be a producer and to work in culture!
Spanish production is going through a great moment of uncertainty. How do you see the situation?
Complicated. Today, the biggest independent distribution, production and filmmaking group in Spain [Alta Films] announced they were closing. The industry is hanging on to a financial model which is under threat. This, combined with the fact that the government has no firm position in terms of supporting culture in general and cinema in particular, puts our industry in a very delicate situation.
What are you expecting from the Producers on the Move event?
These types of events open your mind to different possibilities in terms of production and distribution. They also enable for the exchange in ideas and ways of doing cinema. I hope to get to know producers from other countries with whom I might be able to work in the future.
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