This article written by Carlos Fernández, CEO at Filmax, was first published in Spanish and Catalan on PROA's website on the 31st of March 2020.
In these difficult times, we are all concerned about our own health and that of our families, colleagues, neighbours and the society as a whole. We all must fight the coronavirus crisis and its consequences, locally and globally, as it affects us all.
We are also worried about what will happen to the film sector: projects in pre-production and production phases have been halted until further notice, those in post-production have been suspended or slowed down, film premieres have been postponed, festivals have been cancelled or are trying to be rescheduled... Many activities and events are now at the mercy of unforeseen circumstances, and we must be more united than ever before to face this uncertainty.
One of the direct impacts of this public health emergency has been the closure of theatres. In these times, I would like to remind you of how special it is to see a film on a cinema screen. It is a magical experience that has been alive for more than a century, full of innovations such as the 4DX and Screen X technologies. The figures speak for themselves: in 2019 alone, box office revenues in Spain exceeded 624 million euros and 8,500 million euros in Europe, according to the International Union of Cinemas.
In general, many of us want to regain something we did not value enough before because it was so readily available. In particular, we want to be reunited with our people, with our technicians, our creatives, our production and development teams... Many people are part of this wonderful audiovisual family and the simple idea of being able to go back to our daily routines fills us with joy. Because when we can do so, it will mean we have recovered the magic of cinema.
We are aware that these extraordinary times are putting us to the test in all aspects, both personally and professionally, and I am sure our sector will pull through. Because through every crisis we have lived (and there have been many) we have managed to pull ourselves together and fight to find a solution. This time again, we will succeed.