Terrassa is one of the most important centres of audiovisual creation and production in Catalonia and Spain. It has become a reference point for southern Europe and is committed to innovation, talent and creativity as strategic focal points for future economic and cultural development. Our city has been home to the most prominent university for audiovisual learning in Catalonia, and one of the best in Europe, the ESCAC [Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya; the University School of Cinema and Visual Communication of Catalonia], since the beginning of the 21st century, and to the Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya [the Catalonia Audiovisual Park], an extensive complex dedicated to creation and production which is closely linked to the Terrassa Science and Technology Park ‘Orbital 40’.
This stimulus for the film and audiovisual sectors in Terrassa arises from a policy of 6 public and socio-economic agreement that has chosen this sector, along with others such as aeronautics, pharmaceutics, optics and photonics, nutrition, and health, to provide medium and long-term solutions not only to the economic crisis of recent years but also to redirect its economy towards areas where there are many opportunities to generate wealth, employment, social progress and wellbeing.
Terrassa is also one of Spain’s great university cities, ofering a very wide range of courses with extensive involvement from various universities, the city council, the education sector and socio-economic agents. The combination of university, public consensus, infrastructure and social, cultural and environmental sensitivity is the foundation on which we are building the future of our city and facing the challenges of a globalised economy.
This is how we have established ourselves as a great city (the fourth largest in terms of population in Catalonia, with 215,000 inhabitants) which collaborates and takes the lead in economic and cultural networks of all kinds (notably Eurocities, the ACTE (the European Textile Collectivities Association) European lobby and the ‘INNPULSO’ state network for Cities of Science and Innovation) and we have rapidly become an essential reference point for the audiovisual sector in southern Europe.
At the height of the crisis sufered by traditional production models, Terrassa has chosen to excel in the creative field of film, and to use it as the agent of change for the local productive fabric which places Terrassa at the forefront of the audiovisual sector. Investment of 35 million euros in the Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya (driven by the city council and Generalitat de Catalunya, the Catalan government) and thoughtful and ambitious procedures which are always sensitive to the requirements of companies and cultural creators, has gained Terrassa the national and international film industry’s support and trust.
We are an ‘open stage’ Film City and we host many audiovisual shoots and productions through our Film Office. We are also home to the recently created ‘Taula de l’Audiovisual’, a public-private forum for participation and collaboration in which the most important entities in the local cinematographic field, such as creators, educators, local authorities and sector professionals debate and share initiatives.
Film and the audiovisual media are the present and the future in Terrassa, but they are also part of its past, symbolised by the fact the centre for preservation of all Catalonia’s cinematographic heritage, a subsidiary of the Filmoteca de Catalunya [Catalonia Film Archive], is located in Terrassa’s Parc Audiovisual.
The opportunity to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network is a new challenge which the city is facing with responsibility and enthusiasm, since it allows us to deepen our strategic commitment, generate cultural and professional opportunities for our residents and promote the values represented by UNESCO: the spirit of collaboration, shared knowledge, universal respect for people’s freedoms and promotion of cultural and social.