Miquel Rutllant (Barcelona, 1968) chairs the Audiovisual Cluster of Catalonia, an organisation that represents a sector that employs some 31,000 people and that has a turnover of 6.7 billion euros.
How many companies does the Audiovisual Cluster of Catalonia represent?
More than 160 companies, but more importantly we represent the whole audiovisual sector. That used to mean film, television and TV advertising, but today it includes video games, museum applications, health, education, corporate communication...
Which areas of the industry are the most important today?
Despite the uncertain economic context, there is growing demand for audiovisual content, and the areas with the most growth prospects are video games, immersive content and e-sports.
Is now a good time for the sector?
It’s a great time for the audiovisual sector, and optimism is high. There are plenty of projects underway, there is good quality work available and we have been experiencing a dynamic of growth for some time in all areas.
What are your priorities?
Our main concern is that as much production as possible takes place in Catalonia. The audiovisual sector here is a very complete ecosystem that covers all areas, including important production companies such as Filmax or Diagonal TV. But we also have post-production companies such as Antaviana. We also have both technical and creative talent. What we need is more infrastructure. We have the Audiovisual Park of Catalonia, in Terrassa, but we need more. We also need higher technological capacity. Technology allows us to produce more efficiently and so it is very important that technology is within the reach of this industry. We also need data centres with the computing capacity to generate, edit and run all of the content. Another tool used in other places to attract audiovisual production is taxation, but Catalonia does not have the necessary powers in this area. We need the state government to come up with a new fiscal framework, otherwise it is hard to compete with other places that offer more attractive tax condition.
Do you call for public investment?
I believe there must be public-private collaboration, and we must work in the most coordinated and consensual way possible. We are working with the Catalan government and several municipalities to set up audiovisual parks around the country. To be competitive, it’s important to attract the international audiovisual sector, both individual talent and companies.
You mention local talent, but aren’t we losing talent?
There is a talent drain as we generate more here than can be absorbed by the Catalan industry. We want to reverse this. We also want to bring back the talent that has left, and attract international talent.
How important is working with international companies from here?
It helps a lot if we’re connected. That’s why we need more firms in the areas of special effects, post-production, immersiveness... We need to group together in hubs to share infrastructure, and for these hubs to be connected to the rest of the world’s hubs. This is the way to be on the world audiovisual map today.