What Nouvelle Aquitaine, the Basque Country and Navarre Bring to the Table

Ranging from La Rochelle in France to near Zaragoza in the South, well into Spain, Euroregion NAEN – Nouvelle Aquitaine, Basque Country, Navarre – has extraordinary locations and a rich historical heritage.

It has hosted shoots from “The Longest Day” to “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” in Nouvelle Aquitaine to “Game of Thrones,” which lensed in both Navarre’s Bardenas Reales and on the Basque isle of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, its Dragonstone.

In geographic terms and film-TV drive the three members are already considerable powers. “All three members have instruments, which they’re using to support the sector,” says Izaskun Goñi, director general for economic development of the government of Navarre.

All three members are looking to drive into premium drama series production. That said, “each region has its own specificity and strengths,” says Conecta Fiction director Geraldine Gonard.

Briefly, some of the many things each region brings to the table:

Nouvelle Aquitaine
Established as late as 2016, but the giant of the three, Nouvelle Aquitaine is France’s largest region, bigger than Austria, and ranging across the West and Southwest of the Gallic mainland. It runs its own film-TV fund, with a cultural mandate, and hosts Cartoon Movie, Europe’s main animated feature projects meet. Nouvelle Aquitaine has experienced a significant boost in animation studios, the number of companies being second only to Paris by 2019. Its talent pool is encouraging foreign companies to set up there, which allows them to tap CNC French film board financing or France’s powerful Tax Rebate for International Productions (TRIP). One case in point: Denmark’s Sun Creature. Part of French national pubcaster France Televisions, France 3’s regional center in Bordeaux, the capital of Nouvelle Aquitaine, is now looking to ramp up its original drama series production.

The Basque Country
Boasting a historic commitment to film, instanced by the establishment of a film festival in San Sebastian in 1953 and the strength of its film club movement from the 1950s, the Basque Country saw a new Basque-language movie industry burst onto the scene from 2005’s “¡Aupa Etxebeste!” building with San Sebastian Festival competition berths from 2014’s “Loreak” (“Flowers”). Under a new management team, Basque pubcaster EiTB is looking to prime premium TV production of international reach. Produced by Txintxua Films and sold by Filmax, “Mouths of Sand,” from Koldo Almandoz, looks like an early achievement.

A new training and development ecosystem – linking San Sebastian’s Tabakalera culture center, Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola and the San Sebastian Festival – is swelling a next generation of Basque talent and attracting courted young foreign creators.

Navarre
Consolidating as a film/TV hub, building industrial fabric as part of a Plan of Smart Specialization 2030, Navarre started to attract animation and post-production firms in 2015, driven by a 40% tax deduction for R&D and tech innovation activities. Historically, Navarre has levied its own tax regime which led to its launching a competitive 35% tax credit for Spanish shoots and co-productions which spend at least 40% of their budgets in the territory in 2015. Shoots can also tap national rebates.

This year, significant drama series have shot, or will roll, in the region. These include Netflix’s “Tú no eres especial,” from Oria Films; Amazon’s “El Internado: Las Cumbres,” from Atresmedia Studios and The Mediapro Studio; and Tornasol’s “ANA.All In,” for Spain’s RTVE and Germany’s ZDF.

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