Daniel Villanueva: “The flm commission is like an arm for the producer"


This month we interview Daniel Villanueva, audiovisual producer. Timecode, recently awarded with the Palme d'Or at Cannes for Best Short Film, is his latest production, co-produced by Nadir Films and the Film School of Reus.

He was also the creator of the Tarraco Film Office, now known as Tarragona Film Office. Daniel currently combines his work as a Director of the Film School of Reus with the development of its first animated film called Carnivaland, which recently won the audience award for best pitch in ANIMA'T - Festival of Sitges. Villanueva is also the promoter of the Reus Film Office, which will be released on 2017.


- First of all congratulations for the Palme d'Or for Best Short Film with Timecode! What does this award mean for the Film School of Reus?

Well, for the school it will give us great visibility, in addition to recognition, of course. We only have two and a half years of life... We opened so that people would not have to go to Barcelona to study cinema. Here in Reus, when we were students, we didn't have courses of AfterEffects, script... And the years have passed and we realized the need of a school of cinema in the city. Then we made a bet with very little resources, but great enthusiasm.


- How many students has school today?

We have around 20 students, we are a small school. But now we are preparing ourselves because more students will come, for sure. In fact, next year we will have space problems. We are already thinking about solutions regarding to this issue!


- And how does the collaboration with your school and Juanjo Giménez, the director of the film, arise?

Our philosophy is that every year, in addition to the practice of short films made by students, we bring the industry to school. How? Making a short film in collaboration with active professionals, in this case with Juanjo's production company, Nadir Films. We had a bonus because he is also a teacher at the school. He introduced us Timecode and we said yes very quickly. Students immediately put themselves in the shoes of their roles. 


- Of course, have the students participated in the film from from scratch, right? 

We were working together since the process of the script. Juanjo presented us different versions, and they were dreamed up as participants in the project, the shooting had very informed ... because they develop different tasks: Second assistant director of slate, deserving of production ... refusal is a small industry, is an added value that I think as a school we have to continue improving.


- What future projects do you have in the school?

Timecode is the second short film at the school and we are already preparing the third, to be called Marcianos de Marte, directed by Fernando Trullols. With him we also won a Goya in 2012 with a short called El Barco Pirata. Now we have a lot of new projects. I feel very fortunate, as a producer, having chosen these projects so far, I'm very happy and I really want to continue investing in short films.


- Speaking of short films. Do you think they have the recognition they deserve?

I have heard many times that the short films have positioned us very well worldwide. But obviously there is a long way still to do. Stories have to be told of the time they really need, if you can tell it in 15 minutes, you should not be extended two hours. But we still have much work to do.


- What do you expect from a film commission as a producer?

To have a service to manage the issue of locations, especially when you're going out and shooting in areas that do not know. Always when we are shooting in Barcelona from Reus, it has been very easy. The BFC has always helped us hand in hand.


- Choosing the right spaces is also have very important for you.

Now we are about to shoot a spot in Barcelona. At the moment, we are locating and we will soon meet with the BFC to find appropriate spaces we need and that is difficult. This is a challenge for both, and you know, having challenges is always a good idea. 


- And the students learn all the steps to be followed to manage a permit?

We teach them all the permits and how they work. Especially, for example, it is good to know who is who in every case and who you must speak in each moment. I


- Let's talk about the creation of the Film Office Reus, one of the other projects you're working on now.

A few days ago the Reus City Council has just approved the creation of Reus Film Office, in order to promote audiovisual creation at home. We are going to be able to accommodate filming of cinema, television and advertising in the city. Reus is not only modernism, it breathes a lot. I always say that in any city, there are films on the streets. We have spent many years thinkin what is the best way to sell the city because we have such a beautiful locations. Now we are keen to work in this direction.