Society for Economic and Social Promotion and Development of La Palma - SODEPAL



La Palma recovers its presence at the Berlinale in the most favourable context

The La Palma Film Commission, a project of the public company SODEPAL, and dependent on the Department of Tourism of the Cabildo of La Palma, is back at the Berlinale - European Film Market 2024, one of the most important audiovisual events on the international scene. La Palma attends this event together with Canary Islands Film, the brand of the Canary Islands Government that articulates the institutional impulse and support to the audiovisual sector in the Canary Islands.

The 74th Berlinale will feature for the first time a 100% project from the Canary Islands selected in the Festival's FORUM section, The Undergrouth (La Hojarasca), the debut film by Macu Machín from Gran Canaria, produced by Tenerife-based El Viaje Films and shot mainly on the island of La Palma. The work, halfway between fiction and documentary, transports the audience to the rural environment of the protagonists on the island of La Palma, through the perspective of rural women in depopulated Spain, also emphasising the role of women caring for sick or dependent people in these areas.

La Hojarasca is the perfect example of a successful project that passes through the entire network of institutional support available to audiovisual production in the Canary Islands. The path of an audiovisual work is extensive and the steps followed by this project found spaces and resources made available for the development of works: from the beginnings by regional festivals, such as MECAS or MIRADAS DOC; the support in terms of attendance at audiovisual markets for their exhibition, and the subsidies for the development of projects, as well as those for production. The effectiveness of institutional support and the creation of spaces that facilitate Canary Islands audiovisual production demonstrate the wisdom of the lines set out by the Canary Islands Government to support the sector. These initiatives promote the economic repercussions generated as a result of filming and the multiplying effect of audiovisual projects on the population and its economy.

In addition to this special occasion, in which Canary Islands Film has a special programme at the Berlinale Festival itself, the European Film Market, a parallel activity in which the audiovisual industry establishes agreements and builds projects, will have a stand in which La Palma, together with the Canary Islands, will be able to attract filming for our territory through an agenda of meetings with audiovisual production companies. To this end, the qualities of the Isla Bonita as a filming destination will be defended, thanks to an incomparable framework of tax incentives up to 54%, and to the intrinsic properties of the territory, such as its landscapes full of contracts, pleasant temperatures, as well as the security, tranquillity and experience of a growing sector of professionals and companies in the audiovisual sector in La Palma.

The year-end figures for 2023 confirm a record figure for the audiovisual sector on La Palma, and 2024 projects the same line, with several projects that will shoot throughout the year.

For Miriam Perestelo, CEO of Sodepal, "it is strategic to recover the presence of La Palma in one of the most important international markets in the sector, and even more so with the opportunity to accompany a project like that of Macu Machín produced by El Viaje Films, which sets precedents as a Canarian work, and becomes a reference model of success that confirms that we are heading in the right direction with a strategic sector such as the audiovisual sector. This production positions us as a filming destination in a key market, not only for the reception of large productions on the island of La Palma, but also for the production of projects conceived and produced in the Canary Islands".