Financial bodies overcome fear of movies
By EMILIANO DE PABLOS
MADRID — BBVA, Spain’s second-biggest high street bank, and savings banks Caixa Tarragona, Cajamar and Caja Madrid have inked with the country’s ground-breaking Audiovisual SGR film fund.
A two-year-old, Madrid-based mutual guarantee scheme, Audiovisual SGR underwrites low-interest bank loans for film and TV companies.
Spain’s conservative financial establishment has traditionally fought shy of film and TV lending, making the latest SGR accords part of a breakthrough in local film finance.
Opening up its portfolio of financial entities, SGR has also signed up Germany’s Deutsche Bank.
"Our main achievement in these first two years has been to win the confidence of Spain's financial world," Audiovisual SGR general manager Susana Serrano told Daily Variety.More than one option(Co) Daily Variety
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At a first-ever performance review, SGR revealed Tuesday some film titles benefiting from its guarantees.
Antonio Banderas' "Summer Rain," Nacho Vigalondo's "Timecrimes," Rodrigo Pla's "La Zona" and Iciar Bollain's "Mataharis" figure among 69 Spanish feature films backed by SGR since creation.
To date, SGR has finalized 114 loan guarantee deals, worth Euros 22.3 million ($33.9 million). Credits help drive projects budgeted at a total $182.4 million, employing 1,200 professionals.
SGR was launched March 2006 by Spain's ICAA Film Institute and producers rights collection society Egeda. It secures preferential low-interest rates of just 0.5% above the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, or Euribor, and guarantees banks return on loans.
Petitions for SGR's services come mainly from film production sector, said Audiovisual SGR prexy Fernando Lara.
But bank credits have also gone to 16 documentaries and 25 TV productions and toon series. SGR is studying how to extend its financial facilities to Spanish sales agents.
SGR is also working with savings banks La Caixa, Ibercaja, Spanish high-street bank Banesto and Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo.
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