Estela Artacho García-Moreno is president and chief executive officer of the Federation of Cinematographic Distributors of Spain, FEDICINE, the association that brings together more than 90% of cinematographic distribution in Spain.
Estela Artacho graduated in law, ICAM Collegiate, Master in legal practice from the Complutense University of Madrid, and her professional experience goes, among others, through the Parliament of the European Union and the Legal Department of the Motion Pictures Association (MPA) in Los Angeles, and has developed his entire professional career linked to the film industry.
In 1998, she served as secretary general of ADICAN, the country’s association of film distributors and importers. Two years later, she accepted the same position for the Federation of Cinematographic Distributors and in 2006, she held the same position. Since 2012, she has been president.
Estela Artacho is also a member of the Board of FIAD, the International Federation of Audiovisual Distributors. She was President of the Creators’ Coalition, an association of which FEDICINE is a founding member and of the Council, as well as of the Union of Associations of Cultural Industries. Artacho is also a member of the Film Academy, has been a juror in film competitions and has participated as an expert in the PICE (Spanish Cultural Action Program AC / E for internationalization of Spanish culture). She is also a regular speaker at events related to cinematography, cultural industries and intellectual property.
Q.- To begin, I would like to ask you what are the data and the current trend of frequenting cinemas and, more specifically, concerning Spain and also that seen by the spectators of our country of Spanish films?
A.- 2019 movie theater attendance data is very good and confirms a sustained growth trend around the world. In Spain, in 2019, we had 105 million viewers, which represents an increase of 7% compared to 2018, the best cinema attendance figure of the last 10 years. In addition, the general trend is good, since since 2013 the presence of spectators has continued to grow.
besides, for spanish cinema, it was an excellent year. No less than three nominations for the most important awards in the world, the Hollywood Oscars. The box office was more distributed than in other years, with great success from the audience of Spanish comedies, and this taking into account the important family cinema competition this year.
Q.- From the presidency of the Federation, initiatives such as “film festival” or “I feel like cinema” have been developed. The two actions tried to put the sector in contact with the public, thereby increasing the spectrum of people who can go to cinemas. Do you think it’s a question of price?
A. these are two very different initiatives: I feel like cinema ”is an educational educational portal: it informs citizens about the different options for watching films legally in our country (the so-called legal offer), education in respect of intellectual property. It is an initiative to raise awareness of the importance of copyright.
On the other hand, the Film Festival is a joint action of the whole industry (production, distribution and exhibition) in collaboration with the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) thanking the public who travels cinemas every year. It is an event that is celebrated all over Spain, and which aims to encourage cinema attendance as a social and cultural habit, and to show the gratitude of the industry to all the spectators who, every year, appreciate the magic of watching movies on the big screen During the three days of the event, viewers can enjoy tickets at special prices.
The meaning of the Film Festival and to meet on specific occasions. Affirm that a product is too expensive because when the price drops, good reception is obtained is biased; A film gives work to teams which face the public and also to those which the spectator does not see at any time, or does not know that they exist, but which are fundamental to make the film. Behind each audiovisual project, there are many hours spent working, many people and families whose performance must also be recognized. At the Film Festival, the spectator is rewarded, that this price materializes quickly is only circumstantial because it is not discounted.
Q.- The Federation of Cinematographic Distributors (Fedicine) held a formal meeting with HM the Queen of Spain, showing their appreciation for the support of the cinema world, what commitments did they acquire from the Royal House to contribute to a more large number of spectators in the rooms?
A.- Indeed, we had a meeting with HM the Queen which was very pleasant and positive. As everyone knows, HM the Queen loves cinema very much and we wanted to thank her for her support for the sector, and to share with her the very positive figures for 2019 that we have commented on before.
Q.- Piracy is a problem in the cultural field. Recently, the Ministry of Culture imposed a heavy penalty on various portals that violated intellectual property law, what mechanisms are they devising to fight against piracy?
A.- Piracy is a scourge that affects all cultural sectors.
The cinema remains the sector most punished by piracy, and all this despite the joint efforts of the administration and the industry to raise public awareness of the criminal context of this practice, and of the very serious damage caused to the authors, sector and the country’s economy
Our response from Fedicine is multidisciplinary: we use all the legal tools at our disposal, we collaborate intensely in all these initiatives which serve to raise awareness and educate citizens, in particular the youngest, with respect for intellectual property, we are looking for collaboration of internet operators, and we are working to enhance the legal offer and adapt to the new habits of the consumer-spectator.
Q.- Finally, what remains in Spanish cinema?
A.- Spanish cinema has a lot of talent, as evidenced by the awards obtained and the Oscar nominations that I have commented on before. This is a very good time, because there is a strong global demand for audiovisual content and in Spain there is a lot of talent and excellent technicians who can meet this demand. In addition, in recent years, Spanish cinema has become increasingly popular with audiences, both inside and outside our borders.