Midnight in Barcelona, or The Barcelona Project, as Reuters is calling it, it running into a little unrest from Catalonians. As you might remember, Woody Allen said this about the film: "I hope I can present Barcelona to the world as I see it, the same way I presented Manhattan to the world as I saw it with my eyes. I want to write a love letter to Barcelona, and from Barcelona to the world." As lovingly as he is looking to the city, they're not all looking back with the same appreciation.

Reuters is reporting that the residents of Barcelona aren't happy that the city is putting so much money into the film, in what "local media have called the biggest public investment in the history of Spanish cinema." Ten percent of Allen's budget is coming from taxpayers of the city and Catalonia -- Barcelona's City Hall is giving 1 million Euros, while the Catalan Regional Government is giving half a million. Opposition leader Fernandez Diaz says: "The problem is... they say there is no money for Catalan films, and they even put obstacles in the way of awarding subsidies to films made in the Spanish language." An unnamed director spoke similarly: "There are talented directors here who can't get their films made. Along comes Woody Allen with all his money and success and they help him? I could make five films with his budget."

On the flip side, people such as executive producer Jaume Roures, says it's a misunderstanding: "This isn't about competing with American films, this is about showcasing Spain's production capability, our talented technical teams, so of course it's good for Spain's film industry." There's no doubt that Allen can bring more exposure than some lesser-known names, but as Marian Getino states, Barcelona "is already famous, it's not like we're desperate to put it on the map." Yes, Allen is using a lot of Spanish talent on the film, but when all is said and done, it's a Woody Allen film, and it is he who will get the credit. Perhaps they should have looked into a profit-sharing agreement, where the Barcelona and Catalan contributions bring more money back for local filmmakers to then benefit from. Thoughts?
categories Cinematical