The last study on animation in Europe, published in September 2018, showed the outstanding social and economic importance of the industry in the European market. In Spain in particular, the sector reported 250 companies and revenues of 654 million euros in 2017, making the country the fifth-largest production center in the world and the second-largest in Europe.
As the industry’s revenues are to hit one billion euros and an annual growth rate of 24% in 2020, the Barcelona-based Audiovisual Producers Federation (PROA) advocates for the sector’s reinforcement and integration within the national film industry. Regrettably, the lack of support on the part of institutions and the limited visibility of the sector are holding back rapid progress.
However, at the international level, the Spanish animation industry has fortified its reputation and gained recognition. In 2019, the animated film "Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas" won the award for best European animated film at the 32nd European Film Awards, and the feature film “Klaus" was the first Spanish animated production released on Netflix and just became the first Netflix Animated Original to be nominated for an Oscar. Clearly, the shifting of perception from the global industry has not yet made its mark on the national animation system.
Animated TV series especially continue to struggle to make their way in the industry like theatrically released films do, which are, more easily discovered and awarded. This contrasts with the trend observed by the recently published "White Book of the Spanish Animation", which foresees the production of over 140 series for 90 feature films in the next four years.
On the picture: the federation of audiovisual producers PROA, the association of animation production companies ProAnimats and the Academy of Television Arts and Science celebrating positive negotiation outcomes.
A few years ago, PROA, under the leadership of ProAnimats, started fighting to give Spanish animated content the recognition and support it deserves, both in television and on national and international video-on-demand platforms. The year 2019 marked a significant achievement they can be proud of: for the first time, the Iris Awards opened their selections to animation.
This new appreciation followed several intense negotiations between PROA and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which led to the creation of the new “Best Children’s Program” at the Iris Awards. This category rewards television fiction and animated programs with one or more episodes, dedicated to 12-year-old and younger children, and produced in Spain. This is an important step in moving the Spanish animation industry forward and the first one towards a better tomorrow for the whole industry.