Culture versus Commerce: New Strategies for the Internationalization of Catalan Cinema

  • Maurici Jiménez

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This thesis analyses the potential of Catalan cinema to become a national cinema as the current political climate, with a significant part of the population claiming a Catalan state, indicates the relevance of this examination. Catalan cinema is currently considered a regional cinema, however Catalonia has been defined as a nation with its own language and culture, and therefore Catalan cinema may come to reflect this reality. This work also considers the problems and possibilities for Catalan cinema to attain international impact.

This thesis analyzes the distinctions between regional, national and international cinemas in the context of world cinemas and of the relationship between cultural identity and the economic demands of the industry. Some regional cinemas can be seen as national because of the cultural and historic social context in which they develop and this gives them the scope to become international in their own right. The thesis analyzes the policies and international agreements developed to protect the domestic industry against the economic imperatives of a global market, particularly in relation to the predominance of Hollywood films in the international film market and the measures — and theoretical approaches upon which they are based — that nation-states and the European Union undertake to protect their film production and to ensure that it reaches their own audiences, but also is distributed internationally. Specifically, this work explores co-productions and film festivals as mechanisms of internationalization for domestic production.

In order to provide a new framework that balances cultural identity and economic performance for the Catalan film industry, this thesis examines the national models followed by the Spanish, British and French film industries, which have addressed the dual nature of cinema — cultural and commercial — in different ways. It provides case studies of French and British cinemas as different types of national cinema — both present in Catalan cinema — and analyzes Spanish cinema as the film industry where the Catalan cinema currently operates.

The thesis identifies the problems and opportunities — both cultural and economic — that Catalan cinema must face in order to become a national cinema and to develop an independent and successful film industry, as well as the importance of achieving an international level to accomplish this objective. Finally it proposes a number of recommendations for the internationalization of Catalan cinema and for the elaboration of policies to accomplish this objective.
Date of Award6 Jul 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Northampton
SupervisorJanet Wilson (Supervisor), Lorna Jowett (Supervisor) & Stephen Keane (Supervisor)

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