Tenerife’s audiovisual industry earned €13.2 million in 2020 from 76 productions

Tenerife strengthens its position as a filming location for series and animation productions

‘Sky Rojo’ shooting moment in Tenerife. Photo by Tamara Arranz

Tenerife has strengthened its position as a location to film series and animation productions, not forgetting feature films and adverts. The Tenerife Film Commission (TFC), the Tenerife Tourism Corporation brand aimed at promoting the island as a set for audiovisual productions, recorded €13.2 million in revenue in 2020. In a year in which the destination also proved its stellar ability to adapt, the TFC stood out as an innovator in Europe by carrying out shoots remotely due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.

In 2020, the island hosted a total of 76 productions, roughly half that of 2019, and generated €13.2 million in revenue for the destination. This includes recruitment of staff and equipment hire as well as accommodation, subsistence costs and so on. To be specific, the productions hired around 1,200 technical and artistic professionals and 320 extras. Photography shoots were the most common, numbering 23, followed by advertising productions, of which there were 19. After that came television programmes, nine; short films, five; and documentaries and feature films, with four each. When categorised by nationality, most of the productions were Spanish (25), followed by German (21), with the rest of the European Union accounting for 18. All in all, audiovisual productions on the island carried out 450 days of filming in Tenerife in 2020.

The Island Council’s Minister for Planning, Heritage and Tourism, José Gregorio Martín Plata, explained that the data revealed the slump caused by the lockdown. We were working at a steady rhythm, but productions were cancelled or postponed. Even so, the Tenerife Film Commission demonstrated the importance of the work they do and, despite the pandemic, the numbers are fairly positive.

In recent years, TV series have taken pride of place among the productions held on the island, thanks in particular to the reputation of the producers who created them. Two stand out in particular: ‘Two Lives’ (Dos vidas), broadcast on 25th January on Televisión Española, and ‘Sky Rojo’ (Red Sky), which will be available on Netflix from 19th March. The latter was created by Álex Pina, known for the successful show ‘Money Heist’ (La Casa de Papel). Parts of the series ‘The Wheel of Time’ were also filmed on the island with the assistance of Sur Film; this will be distributed by Amazon.

‘A Thousand Worlds’ shooting in Tenerife last June 2020. Boudika Productions Courtesy

The pandemic also allowed the island to demonstrate the capacity of its film and television industry and professionals to adapt. As a result, productions that wished to make the most of Tenerife’s natural landscapes could continue doing so, even if part of the team was off site. As such, coinciding with activity resuming in June after the first few months of lockdown, the advertising production ‘A Thousand Worlds’ (Mil planetas) was shot remotely in Tenerife with Boudika Productions. Using streaming, the production was directed from Germany whilst being filmed in Tenerife. This experience had already been successfully tested with the advertising spot ‘Only the limitless have a limitless network’ (Solo un Ilimitable tiene la Red Ilimitable) for Vodafone, with local production by Volcano Films.

In addition to the shoots done via streaming, in 2020 the island hosted other shoots which involved the whole team travelling to Tenerife. The music video ‘Ça ira’ by French artists Vitaa & Slimane, which has been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube, BMW adverts and 50’ Inside (French TV programme on channel TF1) were all filmed on the island with the full team on site. Spanish feature films were also shot with the team on site. These included ‘Only Once’ (Solo una vez), directed by local talent Guillermo Ríos and filmed entirely in Tenerife, ‘Flaming Skin’ (La piel en llamas), with a team 90% from the Canary Islands, and ‘Mum or Dad’ (Mamá o papá), starring Paco León and directed by Dani de la Orden.

‘BatPat 2’ animation tv series. Mondo TV courtesy

As regards animation, a sector that continues to thrive on the island, 2020 demonstrated its resilience. All projects went ahead as planned, accounting for 65% of the total financial investment in audiovisual productions on the island last year. The second season of the TV series ‘Bat Pat’, co-produced by Atlantyca and Mondo TV Canarias, and the feature film ‘Hana’, with the Tomavision production service, stand out.

Promotion overseas and at home

The TFC put a great deal of energy into promotional work during the last year. More than a hundred meetings were held during a dozen events which the brand attended in person or virtually, from the Berlinale to the Marché du film, the San Sebastian Film Festival, Mipcom and Kidscreen. On the 2020 balance sheet we must include the attention dedicated to six location visits and responses to 250 inquiries by producers interested in shooting in Tenerife.

Tenerife Tourism Corporation, through the Tenerife Film Commission, backed events on the island such as MiradasDoc, FICMEC, the Orotava Short Film Festival and the Canary Islands Fantasy Film Festival – Isla Calavera. It also sponsors the Quirino Awards, which were celebrated virtually last year. The event’s co-production and business forum facilitated 800 meetings with representatives from 19 countries. In 2021, the awards will be held in May in the city of La Laguna.

The TFC’s commitment to sustainability is another challenge. Last year, they awarded the first three labels for sustainable productions. The projects recognised with the label were animated series ‘Cleo’ for its third season by La Casa Animada, the documentary ‘Dreaming of wings’ (Soñando con alas) produced by Birding Canarias, and the photos and advertising video for Ann Summers, with production services by Canary Productions.

In 2020 the Tenerife Film Commission, as part of its support for training, was involved in various sessions either organised directly or supporting sessions organised by the Canary Islands Audiovisual Cluster, with the collaboration of Canary Island Films. These included ‘Main contracts in audiovisual production’, ‘Art direction in the Canary Islands’ and ‘Five steps to make a sustainable production’, to name but a few.

More info at www.tenerifefilm.com


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