Coppola in bid to save the City of Light

Troubled Spanish studio complex could have found its hero.

by Jennie Kermode

Ciudad de la Luz
Ciudad de la Luz

Two and a half years ago, an EU ruling on competition saw Spanish film studio complex Ciudad de la Luz forced to close. Now a fresh approach by long term fan of the studio Francis Ford Coppola could see it saved.

The studio was originally built with the aid of a €265m subsidy from the Spanish government, but an appeal by Pinewood, arguing that this amounted to unfair distortion of the market, led to the Competition Commission ruling that all the money had to be repaid. Set on the Alicante coast, the studio was decreed to be commercially unviable, although local people argued that it was important in bringing jobs to an area where they were sorely needed. Unable to come up with the money, it has been non-operational since the ruling.

One of several leading directors who has raved about the great facilities the complex has to offer, Coppola has spent the intervening period putting together a consortium of Hollywood investors and now intends to bid for the complex, sweetening the deal by offering to relocate a substantial number of productions to it. With a second approach coming from a Chinese consortium, it seems likely that a deal will soon be reached to get the studio up and running again. The Spanish government has intimated that it wishes to retain control over pat of the complex, but the ultimate decision will rest with the local government in Valencia.

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