San Sebastian facing possible budget cuts

Article published on Nov. 21, 2008
Article published on Nov. 21, 2008
Mikel Olaciregui – director of the San Sebastian International Film Festival – and five members of his team have stated in a press release that they will only continue in their roles if the financial subsidies from the institutions “enable the festival to be held in the necessary conditions” at a time when the latter “are set to decide their budget contributions”.

Faced with the prospect of a series of cuts by public bodies – the first example of which has been a €90,000 reduction in the amount granted by the Foral Deputation – the festival’s management team have directly threatened to leave the organisation. In principle, the rest of the institutions concerned – San Sebastian City Council, the Basque Government and the Culture Ministry – have demonstrated their intention to freeze contributions.

Moreover, the festival’s management team have shown their awareness of the difficult economic time and begun to study the possibility of “adopting a series of measures that adapt the Festival’s budgets to the widespread crisis we are experiencing”.

In the press release, festival organisers also deny a series of reports about financing that they consider inaccurate. They revealed that the latest two editions of the festival accumulated just under €1m in deficit but “this was absorbed by the festival’s own funds without the requirement of any additional or extraordinary contributions from the four Partner Institutions”.

Finally, mention is made of the event’s autonomous financing system. In 2008, the festival’s own funds accounted for 48% of the total budget, i.e. 23% more than the previous year.

Sergio Ríos Pérez