MAFIZ celebrates the return to the in-person format and focuses on the internationalisation of Spanish cinema

The Mayor of Malaga presided the inauguration, which included the participation of Beatriz Navas, María Peña and Juan Antonio Vigar

The return of MAFIZ to the in-person format was celebrated at El Balneario. This mythical location with restaurant and facilities for events was the venue chosen for the institutional inauguration of the Malaga Film Festival’s Industry Zone, presided by Francisco de la Torre, Mayor of Malaga, who was accompanied by Beatriz Navas, General Director of the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA); María Peña, CEO of ICEX España Exportaciones e Inversiones; and Juan Antonio Vigar, Director of the Festival. The Industry Zone represents the Malaga Film Festival’s commitment to the internationalisation of Spanish and Ibero-American audiovisual works. From the very beginning this project was conceived to become one of the Festival’s main pillars due to its utility. In fact, about one thousand persons, including producers, buyers, sellers, directors and professionals of the film industry of Europe and Latin America, have converged in this networking space in Malaga. Last night 300 of them had their first encounter at a gala in which guests expressed their eagerness to leave behind the screen relationships that were imposed at the last two editions of MAFIZ due to the pandemic, which was still present last night due to the obligatory health safety measures in place. Vigar regretted that “the last two years have been sombre, having to work with many difficulties due to the health restrictions, which entailed many obstacles“, and thanked all the guests for their presence, rejoicing at the “thought that being closer to each other is going to be our new social distancing”. On the other hand, the Mayor highlighted “that this year we are stronger and have more support”, due to the impetus received by this edition of the Festival thanks to having Spanish Screenings XXL form part of the Plan for Recuperation, Transformation and Resilience: “Together we can go further and do more things at the service of Spanish cinema” he said, thanking Navas and Peña for the work of the ICAA and the ICEX. María Peña pointed out that “we are the sixth exporter in the world in audiovisual content. This is due to great talent, cultural heritage and a great industry that has generated an ecosystem capable of competing at the top level with the major world markets”. She stressed that in the process, the ICEX had acted “as an agent of internationalisation” and that it was going to “continue as such”, devoting “all our investment efforts to take Spanish companies to the main centres of interest”. Lastly, Beatriz Navas encouraged all persons present to visit the ICAA’s stand in the Industry Zone to obtain information and generate synergies, adding that she hoped they would all enjoy the next few days, insisting that the “return to in-person activities” is “a great opportunity”. In its fifth edition MAFIZ is structured with a series of events, including the following: Spanish Screenings Content to enhance the internationalisation of Spanish audiovisual productions; Malaga Work In Progress (WIP) to promote the financing, dissemination and promotion of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American films in the post production phase; and Malaga Festival Fund & Co Production Event (MAFF), a space for the main financing funds for international co-productions. In addition, this year Costa Rica is the protagonist of Latin American Focus; Territory Spain will present the audiovisual sector of the Valencian Community; Malaga Talent is hosting the emerging professionals of European and Ibero-American cinema; HACK Mafiz Malaga is making its debut as a novel event for digital creators; and finally, the Industry Club and La Village will be meeting points for the audiovisual industry. Spanish Screenings Content The screenings of Spanish Screenings Content, the official market for the sale and promotion of Spanish films and the core of MAFIZ, the Festival’s industry zone, begin today. From the 21st to the 24th of March, Malaga becomes the centre of the audiovisual industry and a benchmark for international markets with the screening of 166 films and the presentation of five projects. In addition to the activities of Spanish Screenings, Neo Screenings, Next From Spain, Film Library and Industry Club, five new activities have been added this year: Spanish Copro Forum, Remake Day, Animation Day, Spain Colorful Diversity, Regional Film Hub, Book Showcase, Spain Scorecom and Malaga Hack Moreover, Spanish films presented in Malaga WIP also form part of Spanish Screenings. Sellers, buyers and representatives of international film festivals will be able to use the facilities of the Industry Club for their meetings, and as in previous editions, will have access to the Film Library to view the films online.