Sunday, 4 February 2024
Choose any TV streaming platform – Netflix, HBO, Disney, Movistar, Filmin, Orange, Prime Video, SkyShowtime – and you will find more than one series filmed in Malaga. The province, which includes the Costa del Sol, has been all the rage since the platforms have become the big producers of television series and films.
Last year's data for Malaga city corroborates this as it saw an investment of 18.6 million euros in filming, of which most, 14 million came from series production. The Malaga Film Office (MFO) has been instrumental in this golden age of production – 2023 is the second best year ever – and it highlights the value of Malaga’s locations with the prominent settings of the Malaga city hall and the former Cruz de Humilladero prison.
These are the “jewels” from the sets in Malaga city that, in recent years, have multiplied their appearance on the screen, as is the case in the Los Farad series, released last year and which turned the splendid city hall building into a luxurious Monaco hotel. The prison has featured in a string of hits, including the Holocaust-era We Were the Lucky Ones (Disney) and Urban: Life is Ours (Prime).
The old prison has seen the filming and arrival of dozens of productions since 2013, although the paradox is that the city can lose this great asset if it is not preserved in the municipal property rehabilitation project. “For this year we have already received three requests to shoot in the prison,” said the MFO coordinator, Belén Carirector, Juan Antonio Vigar.
Vigor said: “The series, due to the dynamism they have in production, have become the engine of the entire audiovisual sector at the Spanish level and in Malaga.” Vigar also spoke at the presentation of other highly-sought after city filming locations, such as the city centre andardín Botánico-Histórico La Concepción, where films have been shot since the 1940s with classics from Spanish cinema such as La Mies es Mucha (The Harvest is Great).
This year has started with the filming of the sequel to the series based on the novel, La Chica de la Nieve, by Javier Castillo that was number one in the world, Snow Girl 2: The Soul Game (Netflix). The figures for 2023 show that there was an investment of 18.6 million euros, the second best in the last two decades and only behind the historic year 2019 when there was an investment of 23 million euros.
Vigar said: “We are experiencing a rapid recovery and we are in figures that are getting closer to what we had in 2019.” The director of the Malaga Film Office highlighted the increase of almost 31% of productions last year compared to 2022.
The series that invested the most in 2023 were international titles like Kaos (Netflix), We Were the Lucky Ones (Hulu / Disney) and 'Rivals' (Disney), in addition to the national titles Marbella (Movistar, which opens in April); Machos Alfa (which arrives in February on Netflix) and Urban: Life is Ours (Prime Video).
Broken down by types of recordings, advertising appears at the forefront (including corporate videos, video clips and still photos) with 101 productions, followed by TV and online programmes, with 52, and short films, with 45. By country, Spain is once again the one that produced the most in Malaga with 229 productions, followed by the United Kingdom with 10 and Germany with 8.
Vigar, who is also director of the city council’s Malaga Procultura, said: “The economic injection not only benefits the city, but also the province by hiring professionals and companies from the audiovisual industry.” He added that in the MFO’s 22 years of existence it has generated a global investment in Malaga of 130 million euros.
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