Round Tables & Conferences

"Market Prospects for the Spanish Documentary"

About five years ago, there was a boom in the number of documentaries in cinemas in Spain driven, essentially, by the surprising success of Fahrenheit 9/11, by the American, Michael Moore. The film obtained, in the United States, record attendance figures and took over one hundred million dollars in cinemas equalling and even surpassing full-length fiction features of a certain renown. 

That event, which was repeated all over the planet, produced a mirage: at last, the documentary would be respected in the market. Budgets for documentaries rose on TV. The illusion lasted only a moment. There was an abrupt change three years ago. Documentaries have stopped being premiered in cinemas and budgets have had to drop radically. Even in those directed solely at the TV universe.  

Today we are facing a restructuring of the audiovisual sector and although the strength of the genre is recognised, there is confusion about how to place the documentary in the present and in the future. What are their screens, which will be their spaces?   

Joan Álvarez Valencia (1953, Valencia).

joan alvarezScriptwriter, journalist and essayist. He studied Philosophy at the University of Valencia. He was the scriptwriter of Sin papeles (full-length) and El genio del hierro (creative documentary). Co-scriptwriter of Severo Ochoa (mini-series for TVE and TVV). He is the author of numerous articles of information, criticism and opinion in different media.  

He is currently Director-Manager of the Foundation for Research on the Audiovisual created by the Menéndez Pelayo International University and the Regional Government of Valencia, Co-Director, with José Luis Borau, of the Latin-American Masters in Film Scriptwriting of the FIA/UIMP, President of the Valencia Audiovisual Writers Association, Co-ordinator of the script programme at the City of Light Training Centre in Alicante, Co-Director and teacher at the Creation and TV Movie Production Workshop of the RTVV and the FIA/UIMP in Valencia, Creator and director of the Latin American Network of Audiovisual Development, Co-Director of the Co-Production Project Workshop created in collaboration with the University of Sao Paulo and the Latin American Festival in Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Teacher-Tutor of the Laboratory for Audiovisual Writing of the Canaries.

Among other previous jobs there is the work he carried out as Advisor to the Minister of Culture for drawing up the Cinema Act in 1994 (1992-1994), Director of the Film Archive of the Valencian Region (1990-1992), and Assistant Director of the Reina Sofía Arts Centre in Madrid (1987-89) as well as numerous courses and seminars on communication, journalism and scriptwriting at different universities.