Contemporary Spanish Film Policies:1982-2010
This thesis examines how the Spanish film legislation that was passed between 1982 and 2010 has shaped the production, circulation and reception of contemporary Spanish cinema. The study of film legislation is crucial to understanding how the cultural value of contemporary Spanish cinema is created since laws are the main instrument through which the Spanish state has established the funding policies directed towards the production of films. Owing to the weak nature of the Spanish production sector since its inception, and the lack of private investment, the Spanish state, and, since 1999, the public and private television companies, have been the major financial support for the production of films. Furthermore, film legislation itself defines the type of films that are considered to be worthy enough to receive state funding, and, therefore, the type of films promoted by the state to be nationally consumed and internationally exported. Consequently, it is essential to understand why and how the funding policies have been established, by whom, and towards the support of what type of films. My thesis' argues that film legislation should be regarded as the key instrument through which a state tries to regulate the national film industry. It is nonetheless necessary to point out that the Spanish case is more complex, since film legislation has also been mainly enacted to solve the Spanish film industry's endemic problems. More importantly, my thesis' main contention is that film legislation has to be regarded as the site in which the debate about the type of cinema wanted for the nation acquires its main expression.\ud In order to critically address the political, economic and cultural functions of the different funding policies established between 1982 and 2010 my thesis is informed by Pierre Bourdieu's theory of cultural production; in particular, on his notions of field, capital and habitus as specifically stated in Distinction. A Social Critique of the Judgements of Taste ( 2010) and The Rules of Art ([1996 2012). Through this theoretical framework, my thesis argues that film legislation does not emerge in a vacuum because the laws respond to different demands from those involved in creating the cultural value of Spanish cinema: the policymakers in charge of the film policies, the film professionals, and, to a lesser extent, the key film critics. My thesis accounts for the ways in which the cultural value of these films has been created by locating and interrogating the main demands of the type of films regarded to be worthy of the state financial support and by pointing out who have raised them; secondly, it identifies whether those demands have been enshrined in the laws and it demonstrates the ways in which the interests of those involved in the creation of the cultural value of Spanish films have informed the funding policies set by the laws. Thirdly, it provides an understanding of how the key policymakers have acquired their ideas about cinema and how those ideas have been reflected in the laws. Finally, through four case studies, my thesis analyses the modes of cinematic production that those funding policies have led to and the types of films that they have fostered.