Transcultural Film and Television Producers Working Across the ‘Hispanic Atlantic’

Christopher Meir (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid / Tecmerin Research Group) and Miguel Fernández Labayen (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid / Tecmerin Research Group)

The producer continues to be neglected in Film and Television Studies, even with the emergence of Media Industry Studies and Production Studies, two subfields that one would have thought would draw more attention to this vital figure. This paucity of studies of film and television producers is all the more curious amid the broader turn in Film and Television Studies towards questions of the transnational, when after all the producer also typically plays a vital role as a cultural and industrial intermediary between national industries (Meir 2012, Meir 2014).

Using case studies of the Spanish-based producer Pedro Uriol and the production company El Estudio, a joint venture launched in 2019 by producers in Spain and Mexico (Enrique López Lavigne, Pablo Cruz and Diego Suárez Chivalo), this presentation will use the producer to illuminate a very particular and important transnational network: that which links the film and television industries of Spain and Latin America across the Hispanic Atlantic (D’Lugo 2009). Collectively, the four producers examined here have produced numerous works that have featured transnational elements drawn from across the Spanish-speaking world, including the film The Dance of the 41, and the series El diablero, The Taco Chronicles among others.

The analyses of Uriol’s oeuvre and that of El Estudio will be developed using original fieldwork interviews, as well as methods drawn from studies of producers (typified by Spicer et al 2014) and studies of cinematic transnationalism (e.g. Hjort 2010, Binimelis, Cerdán and Fernández Labayen 2015). Focusing on the agency of these producers and examining their respective oeuvres, the seminar will argue that Uriol and the team behind El Estudio play vital roles in forging connections between creative talents in Spain and Latin America and then later acting as intermediaries between these talents and the global distribution companies that ultimately circulate these works.

Bibliography

Binimelis, M.; Cerdán, J. and Fernández Labayen, M. (2015), ‘In and out: the transnational circulation of Spanish cinema in digital times,’ Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, 15(1), pp. 1-8.
D’Lugo, M. (2009), ‘Across the Hispanic Atlantic: Cinema and Its Symbolic Relocations,’ Studies in Hispanic Cinemas, 5(1-2), pp. 3-7.Hjort, M. (2010), ‘On the Plurality of Cinematic Transnationalism,’ World Cinemas, Transnational Perspectives, eds. Nataša Ďurovičová & Kathleen E. Newman. New York and London: Routledge, pp. 12-33.
Meir, C. (2012), ‘Ismail Merchant, Harry Alan Towers and Post-Imperial “British” Cinema.’ The Journal of British Cinema and Television 9(1), pp. 58-76.Meir, C. (2014), ‘Post-Imperial Producers: Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Contemporary Anglo-Australian Cinema.’ In Andrew Spicer, Anthony McKenna and Christopher Meir (eds.), Beyond the Bottom Line: The Producer in Film and Television Studies. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 265-281.Spicer, A., A.T. McKenna and C. Meir (2014), ‘Introduction,’ In Andrew Spicer, Anthony McKenna and Christopher Meir (eds.), Beyond the Bottom Line: The Producer in Film and Television Studies. London: Bloomsbury, pp. 1-24.


Christopher Meir is Assistant Professor in Communication at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. His most recent book is Mass Producing European Cinema: Studiocanal and its Works and he was also co-editor with Andrew Spicer and A.T. McKenna of the book Beyond the Bottom-Line: The Producer in Film and Television Studies. He has also published another monograph (Scottish Cinema: Texts and Contexts) and numerous articles and book chapters on the global film and television industries and their impact on film history. He is currently working on a project on Netflix original movies and is a member of the team working on the nationally funded research project ‘Cinematic Cartographies of Mobility in the Hispanic Atlantic,’ based at the Universidad de Carlos III de Madrid.

Miguel Fernández Labayen is associate professor in the department of Communication at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and a member of the research group Tecmerin. His work on media industries has appeared on the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies and Communications: The European Journal of Communication Research among others. Current lines of inquiry include work on the production and circulation of film remakes across the Spanish-speaking world and a study on the transnational mobility of Spanish film professionals. He co-directs the book series “Pantallas iberoamericanas / Ibero-American Screens” for Peter Lang and is the co-PI of the research project ‘Cinematic Cartographies of Mobility in the Hispanic Atlantic,’ funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation.

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