The shooting of movies and television series in the Canary Islands have doubled over the course of 2022 and now far exceeds the figures recorded for 2021, which were the highest to date. More national and international productions, more investment and more direct hiring of technical and artistic professionals are the three most notable milestones reached over this period. All is touted as a direct result of a successful strategy that has managed to increase the already favourable tax advantages for productions coming to the archipelago, as well as the necessary inter-institutional collaborations that facilitate the development of this industry.
• The best data in history in a sector that last year generated 15,300 contracts for technical and artistic professionals from the islands, double the number in 2021»
• In 2022 there were 164 national and international productions across all the islands
The figures were presented last week, by the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, and by the head of Canary Island Film, Natacha Mora, at the Guiniguada Theatre in Las Palmas. Torres took stock of the activities in this subsector throughout 2022, when 164 productions were shot on the Canary Islands, including films, series, documentaries, shorts, and animation, bringing investments totalling close to €224 million. The president remarked that “these are historical figures in an emerging sector that, in addition, generated 15,300 direct contracts for technical and artistic professionals from the islands”, a figure that almost doubles the 8,600 contracts that there were signed in 2021. “These are data which reflect the positive level reached by the local sector when it comes to working on large productions”, the president pointed out.
The spectacular increase in investment with respect to the number of films is due to powerful commitments made on large productions such as Amazon Prime’s ‘Jack Ryan’ and Apple TV’s ‘Foundation’, to name just two. Torres stressed that “the Canary Islands are consolidating themselves as a benchmark destination for audiovisual production thanks to their potential for outdoor locations, but also thanks to the tax advantages, the promotional strategy, the specialisation of the personnel with the first-class facilities that we have” .
For her part, Natacha Mora, highlighted that “these figures once again confirm the potential of this industry on the Islands, in line with the strategy developed by the Government of the Canary Islands for the diversification of our economy and job creation.” A team effort in which the island cabildos also participate, through their Film Commissions, PROEXCA, the ZEC and the local private sector, encompassed under the umbrella brand Canary Islands Film.
Figures for 2022 and evolution
Delving into the data and looking at the last five years, it is clear that film and television shoots are a boom activity. In 2018, 79 productions were recorded, that left €60 million in income. By 2019, there were 122, bringing €48 million; and in 2020, 80 were reached securing €28 million (even despite a year of pandemic). 2021 closed with 155 productions and more than €98 million income, while 2022 brought 164 productions and an investment of almost €224 million. It should be noted that more than 20% of these are animated series and films, an activity that has continued to grow over the last two years, possibly associated with the growing presence of companies that have settled in the Archipelago, also attracted by tax advantages and the quality of life.
Of the 164 productions, 130 were live-action and 34 were animated projects. Among the first are 25 fiction feature films, 18 television series, 37 documentaries, 45 television programs, and 5 short films. According to Canary Islands Film, 28 projects benefited from tax incentives, although this figure is predictably higher in the case of international projects.
The 256 projects related to advertising during the same period are not included in this balance, although they are included in the balance of economic income. With this data, the balance would rise to 420 audiovisual productions. Another fact to highlight is that several of the most powerful international productions have been shot on more than one island, which also proves the growth in the assistance capacity currently offered by the local sector.
All this has meant an investment in the islands of more than €223,862,963 also taking into account that this is a low estimate since not all productions provide this information. In terms of employment, this activity generated 15,320 contracts for technical and artistic personnel from the Islands. This amount does not include the contracting of suppliers. During the year, 5,483 days of filming were carried outspread over all the islands (also twice as many as the previous year).
Movies and most outstanding series
The activity has been carried out by companies mainly from the US, Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, the UK and Spain. Of the totality, it is worth noting, among many others, the international series ‘Foundation’, on Apple TV, which repeats its second season filming on various islands, just as it did with the first; Jack Ryan, from Amazon Prime, with the fourth season and El Zorro, from Amazon Prime; or the long awaited feature ‘The Mother’, from Netflix. Nationally, there are various Spanish language series ‘30 monedas (2nd season); ‘Montecristo’ by Alberto Ruis for Amazon or ‘Bienvenidos a Edén‘, by Brutal Media; as well as the films ‘El Salto’, by Benito Zambrano; ‘Mi otro Jon‘, by Paco Arango or ‘La mujer dormida‘ by Laura Alvea.
In the field of animation, the children’s series ‘Pocoyó’ stands out, among others; ‘Arcane’, a series that starts from the universe of the League of Legends video game and that was positioned as the most watched animation on Netflix; Shark Academy, Body Town and Cuquin.
The promotion of the islands as a destination for filming is continuous, through Canary Islands Film, with the coordination and consensus of the councils, PROEXCA, the Special Zone Canaria and the most representative regional associations and many other forms.