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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 16:43 GMT 17:43 UK
Allen film funding angers Spanish
US film director Woody Allen on the first day's filming of his new movie in Barcelona, Spain
Ten percent of Woody Allen's new film is being funded by Spanish taxpayers
Barcelona residents are unhappy about helping foot the bill for Woody Allen's latest film which is set in the city.

Barcelona's city hall is providing one million euros (673,200) and the Catalan Regional Government half a million - 10% of the film's budget.

While some officials see this as an investment, local taxpayers, including Marian Getino, are not convinced.

She said: "For someone like Woody Allen, who has so many resources, to be given public money is ridiculous."

The film's lead characters are played by US actress Scarlett Johansson and Spanish movie stars, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

US actress Scarlett Johansson on the second day's filming of Wood Allen's new movie in Barcelona, Spain
Scarlett Johansson stars in the film alongside Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem

Although the film's storyline is secret it is believed to be a love triangle, with Cruz and Johansson vying for the same man.

Seventy-five percent of Catalans polled by the Catalan daily newspaper El Periodico thought the public investment was "excessive".

One local director said: "Along comes Woody Allen with all his money and success and they help him? I could make five films with his budget."

Others say the investment in The Barcelona Project - Allen's working title - will promote Barcelona in the same way that Lord of the Rings helped New Zealand.

'Love letter'

Barcelona's mayor, Jordi Hereu, said: "It's a huge advertisement for the city that will be seen all over the world."

Allen echoed his sentiments, promising that his new movie will be a "love letter to Barcelona, and from Barcelona to the world."

Pedro Perez, president of FAPAE, the Spanish Association of Film Producers, said: "The director might be American but everyone from the art director to the technicians is Spanish, so this is actually a Spanish film and will give our industry a huge boost."

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