In the United States the Golden Globes award ceremony was held recently, and on 9 February the Oscars ceremony, organised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will take place in Los Angeles. Also coming up in February are the award ceremonies for British cinema, the BAFTA awards, and French cinema, the César awards.
Spain is no exception to this “awards season”. In mid-January the José Mª Forqué awards, organised by EGEDA, celebrated their 25th edition. They are followed by the Feroz awards and, of course, by the Goya awards ceremony organised by Spain’s Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences, which will take place on 25 January.
With such a deluge of awards, doubts inevitably arise as to their importance. The reality is that, essentially, there is no “awards season”, and these activities, including awards, festivals, ceremonies and film markets, take place practically throughout the year for the different facets and specialities of the industry.
This concentration of award ceremonies in the opening months of the year is due principally to the fact that these events are promotional tools for the films that are about to be released or for recent releases. It serves as a means of attracting or focusing the attention of audiences, in a world full of distractions. In some cases, a prominent nomination or award can even provide a second commercial opportunity for a film (or perhaps even a new opportunity for smaller projects that have passed through cinemas with little commercial success).
This has become such an important part of the economic process connected with the production, promotion and exploitation of audiovisual projects, that the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), subsidiary to Spain’s Ministry of Culture and various Autonomous Communities of Spain, has specific lines of funding in relation to support for both festival attendees and organisers.
Moreover, it is common for such events and, principally, film festivals (Berlin, Cannes, Toronto, San Sebastian), to be accompanied by parallel activities relating to the industry’s development, such as conventions or working sessions. These activities tend to have frenetic agendas, in order to secure sales, seek funding, participate in debates on future legal texts and in meetings of associations from the industry, hold meetings with the authorities, or simply take the opportunity to establish cooperation networks that may lead to future projects.
Thus, despite the aura of glamour that surrounds any film award or competition, it is important to be aware that behind that aura, and beyond the excitement at receiving an award, there is a thriving industry which in Spain generated ticket sales in excess of 500 million euros last year.
Author: Mabel Klimt
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