San Sebastian: Spain's Television Espanola to Invest $33M in Production

San Sebastian Film Festival - H 2014
Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival

San Sebastian Film Festival - H 2014

Penelope Cruz will produce and star in one of the 20 films slated for 2014

The Penelope Cruz drama Ma Ma, directed by Julio Medem and produced by Madrid-based Morena Films, tops the slate of films Spanish public broadcaster Television Espanola (TVE) will back in 2014.

Cruz is producing the film, now in postproduction, and stars opposite Luis Tosar.

The announcement came as TVE said it will invest some $33 million (€26 million) in 2014, in line with the required 5 percent of revenue all broadcasters are required to invest under Spanish law. The move is particularly noteworthy coming a day after the president of the entire public broadcasting arm RTVE, Leopoldo Gonzalez Echenique, stepped down following two years of haggling over debt and spending. A new efficiency plan will be approved in the coming weeks that will close the sports channel DTT and reduce executive posts by 5 percent.

But in San Sebastian, where TVE made the announcement using the 62nd San Sebastian International Film Festival as a platform, the public broadcaster was praised for its unwavering support of local cinema thanks to programming more than 90 percent of all domestic films on TV.

Fernando Lopez Puig, who heads TVE's film department, named a handful of other films from the 20 features, 25 documentaries and three TV movies on TVE's slate.

Highlights include Cesc Gay's comedy Truman, starring Ricardo Darin and Javier Camara, Daniel Guzman's A Cambio de Nada and Mateo Gil's look at immortality, Proyecto Lazaro.