Interview with Teresa Cebrian: A Lifetime of Dedication to the Audiovisual Industry

Teresa Cebrián, the president of Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual, recently sat down with HRH Princess Keisha Omilana, the owner of SAXS Magazine to discuss her role in promoting the legacy of renowned filmmaker Luis García Berlanga and her journey in the film industry. Throughout the interview, Cebrián shared her experiences organizing events, collaborating with various sectors of society, and empowering aspiring filmmakers, particularly women.

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In this exlusive interview conducted by SAXS Magazine, Teresa Cebrian, the esteemed President of Academia and a prominent figure in the audiovisual industry, shared her remarkable journey and experiences spanning over four decades. What began as a temporary position at La Mostra de cine Mediterráneo turned into a lifelong passion and commitment to the world of culture and audiovisual arts.


Teresa reminisced about her humble beginnings, admitting that she never envisioned herself working in this industry. Life, however, had different plans for her. Initially filling in for someone for just a week, she found herself captivated by the vibrant atmosphere and the creative energy that surrounded her. Little did she know that this one-week stint would shape her entire career. Forty years later, Teresa still remains in the same industry, a testament to her unwavering dedication and love for her work.


Throughout her illustrious career, Teresa has had the privilege of working in various areas of the audiovisual industry, including administration, television, and program development for the European Union, among others. This diverse experience has provided her with a unique and comprehensive understanding of the sector, making her one of the few individuals with a truly global vision. For Teresa, this progression felt natural, a result of her unwavering commitment and passion for the industry.


(L-R) OLGA IF, SAXSMAG Manager, HRH Princess Keisha Omilana, Owner of SAXSMAG and Teresa Cebrián, the president of Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual at the Berlanga Awards 2023

Prior to her current role, Teresa was working as a commissioner at the city hall, feeling somewhat disillusioned and yearning for a change. It was during this time that the opportunity to become the President of Academia arose. Encouraged by numerous individuals who recognized her talent and expertise, Teresa decided to take a leap of faith and apply for the position. To her delight, she was selected, marking a significant turning point in her career.


One of the defining moments in Teresa’s journey was her decision to apply for the 100th-year anniversary celebration of Luis Garcia Barlanga and Goya. Her motivation behind this application was deeply rooted in her desire to serve her community and contribute to the enrichment of cultural heritage. Teresa firmly believes that it is our responsibility to give back to society and ensure that future generations can benefit from the richness of our cultural tapestry.


Being selected as the winner among two other highly accomplished women was a moment of immense pride for Teresa. As the oldest among the three applicants, she felt a sense of accomplishment and gratitude for the recognition of her hard work and dedication. Her 91-year-old mother, who has always been a symbol of strength and bravery, shares in her daughter’s pride. Teresa’s success represents not only her personal achievements but also the progress made by her generation in fighting for equality and independence for all women.

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HRH Princess Keisha Omilana, Owner of SAXSMAG and Teresa Cebrián, the president of Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual

When asked about her philosophy on life, Teresa emphasized the importance of living every moment to the fullest. She firmly believes that age should never be a barrier to learning and growth. With an unwavering spirit and a constant thirst for knowledge, Teresa encourages everyone to dream big and set goals for the future. She serves as a living testament that it is never too late to embark on new adventures and embrace new opportunities.


Describing herself as responsible, strong, and a fighter, Teresa’s passion for teaching shines through. Inspired by her grandfather, who was a teacher, she finds joy in imparting knowledge and empowering others. However, she acknowledges the need to strike a balance between giving to others and taking care of oneself, a lesson she continues to learn and embrace.


Teresa Cebrian’s journey in the audiovisual industry is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and the pursuit of lifelong learning. Her remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment to her community serve as an inspiration to aspiring professionals and a reminder that with determination and perseverance, one can leave an indelible mark on the world.


Interview with Teresa Cebrian


Now, as the president of the Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual, Cebrián feels that she has come full circle. She believes that her current position is a natural progression in her journey through the industry. It is not driven by personal ambition, but rather a sense of gratitude and a desire to give back. After finishing her role as commissioner of the Valencia City Council for the Berlanga year, Cebrián initially felt tired and reluctant to take on more responsibilities. However, she was persuaded by numerous individuals who believed in her capabilities and urged her to run for the presidency.


Realizing that the audiovisual profession had given her so much, Cebrián felt compelled to contribute in return. Despite two previous elections without any candidates, she decided to step up and apply for the position. And now, here she is, leading the Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual with a wealth of experience and a truly global vision of the industry.


Cebrián’s journey serves as an inspiration to those who may not have initially planned for a career in cultural management but found their passion and purpose along the way. Her story highlights the importance of seizing opportunities, embracing diverse roles, and ultimately giving back to an industry that has given so much.



Teresa Cebrián’s main goal as the President of the film Academy was to honor the contributions of Luis García Berlanga. To achieve this, she organized a series of events, film screenings, exhibitions, and workshops throughout the year. One of the highlights was hosting the prestigious Goya Awards in Valencia, showcasing the city’s vibrant film culture. Cebrián worked closely with filmmakers, actors, and local businesses to ensure the success of the awards ceremony.


In addition to these events, Cebrián collaborated with educational institutions to provide opportunities for aspiring filmmakers. Workshops and seminars were organized to help young talents learn and grow in the industry. Cebrián’s dedication to supporting the next generation of filmmakers was evident in her efforts to create a nurturing environment for their development.


Teresa Cebrián, the president of Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual


When asked about her journey in the film industry, Cebrián spoke passionately about her love for arts and culture. She started by managing cultural events and film festivals, where she collaborated with talented filmmakers and showcased their work. Despite facing obstacles and biases as a woman in a male-dominated field, Cebrián remained determined to make a difference. She emphasized the importance of representation and empowering women in the film industry, constantly striving to create opportunities for female filmmakers and amplify their voices.


Becoming the President of the Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual was a significant milestone for Cebrián. It provided her with a platform to contribute to the growth and recognition of the local film community. Her dedication and perseverance serve as an inspiration to aspiring filmmakers, especially women, who may be facing similar challenges in the industry.


Cebrián offered advice to aspiring filmmakers. She encouraged them to never give up on their dreams and passions, emphasizing the tough yet rewarding nature of the film industry. Cebrián stressed the importance of building a supportive network, taking risks, and seizing opportunities. She highlighted the power of networking, attending industry events, and continuously learning and growing. Above all, Cebrián urged aspiring filmmakers to believe in themselves and their abilities, embracing their unique perspectives and voices to create meaningful and impactful stories.



As the SAXS Magazine interview conducted by HRH Princess Keisha Omilana, the owner of SAXS Magazine and Olga IF, the Manager of SAXS Magazine progressed, Teresa Cebrián expressed her deep passion for promoting and preserving the audiovisual arts in Valencia. With a lifelong dedication to the field of culture, she saw the opportunity to make a meaningful difference and contribute to the city’s development.


Her project proposal for the Berlanga year was comprehensive and ambitious. It aimed to organize a series of events, exhibitions, film screenings, and educational programs throughout the year. Collaborating with local filmmakers, artists, educational institutions, and the general public was crucial to ensure the success of the celebrations.


As the chosen candidate, she was entrusted with the responsibility of bringing the Berlanga year to life. This involved overseeing not only the artistic and cultural aspects but also handling the administrative tasks that come with organizing such a large-scale event.


The year-long celebrations were a resounding success, capturing national and international attention. The presence of the Goya Awards in Valencia added an extra layer of prestige to the festivities. Witnessing the impact of her efforts and seeing the public celebrate and appreciate the filmmaker’s legacy was a proud moment for her.


As her tenure progressed, she is faced with numerous challenges, particularly in navigating the bureaucratic processes involved in organizing such a significant event. However, her unwavering passion for the audiovisual arts and her commitment to serving her fellow citizens kept her motivated and determined to overcome any obstacles.


Reflecting on her experience as the president of Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual during the Berlanga year, she considers it truly exceptional. It allowed her to contribute to the cultural development of her city and promote the importance of cinema as an art form. Working alongside talented individuals and witnessing the power of collaboration in bringing a community together was a privilege.


As she continues her journey in the field of culture and audiovisual arts, she remains dedicated to fostering creativity, supporting local talent, and preserving the rich heritage of Valencia’s film industry. Although the Berlanga award for this year may have come to an end, its impact will continue to resonate for years to come, serving as a reminder of the enduring legacy of Luis García Berlanga and the significance of celebrating Valencia cultural heritage.


Teresa Cebrián, the president of Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual, delved into the prestigious Berlanga awards in the interview and the growing interest they have garnered beyond Valencia. These awards have become highly regarded throughout Spain, with many aspiring individuals yearning to receive this esteemed honor.


Cebrián acknowledged the increasing number of people who aspire to be a part of the Berlanga awards, emphasizing the Academy’s reputation as a crucial factor. She highlighted the overwhelming response from individuals expressing their eagerness to participate, flooding the press with comments like “I want premium, Berlanga” and “I want verlanga.” This widespread desire to receive the award truly showcases its significance and the profound impact it has on the industry.


However, Cebrián also recognized the challenges that arise when individuals from outside of Valencia express their interest in participating. The question of whether the awards will be open to international or solely Spanish participants was addressed. Cebrián revealed that the primary objective of the Valencian Audiovisual Academy is to promote, value, and reward the work of professionals within their territory. Similarly to other regions in Spain, such as Galicia, Catalonia, Madrid, and Malaga, which have their own respective film academies, the focus lies in recognizing and honoring the talent within their specific region.


Cebrián further explained that the Spanish Film Academy, with its prestigious Goya Awards, operates at a national level. The Valencian Audiovisual Academy aims to complement this national recognition by highlighting the exceptional work done within their territory. However, she also mentioned an example from last year where an individual living and working in Los Angeles won an award for best makeup hairdresser. This example clearly demonstrates that the Berlanga awards are not limited to Valencia alone, but rather open to professionals who reside and work outside of the region.


The president’s explanation provides clarity on the Academy’s stance regarding international participation. While the primary focus remains on promoting local talent, the Berlanga awards are not exclusive to Valencia. The Academy recognizes the importance of acknowledging exceptional work done by professionals residing outside of the region, as long as they can present their work and demonstrate their contribution to the industry.


During the interview with Teresa Cebrián, SAXS Magazine asked her about the influx of international film productions in Valencia. While Cebrián acknowledged the positive impact these productions have on the city’s economy and services sector, she expressed concerns about the neglect of the local audiovisual production sector.


Cebrián stressed that while big-budget films like Star Wars may benefit the city as a whole, they often fail to provide opportunities for local scriptwriters, directors, and actors. She emphasized the significance of supporting and promoting the works of local filmmakers and artists, as they truly represent Valencian culture.


The lack of support for the local sector becomes even more apparent when it comes to co-producing with international partners. Cebrián explained that due to financial constraints, Valencian productions often end up being minor co-producers, unable to fully showcase their potential and talent. This not only affects their presence at prestigious events like the Goya Awards but also limits their ability to attract renowned actors and actresses to their projects.


Moreover, the limited budget available for local productions hampers investment in crucial technical aspects such as sound and lighting. Consequently, the overall quality and competitiveness of Valencian films suffer. Cebrián emphasized the urgent need for a stronger support system that allows local productions to flourish and compete on an equal footing with other industries.


The uncertain future of Valencian television and potential budget cuts further compound the challenges faced by the local audiovisual sector. Cebrián expressed concern that without a solid foundation and financial stability, Valencian productions will continue to struggle to reach their full potential.

HRH Princess Keisha Omilana and Olga IF met Teresa Cebrián before the interview


Teresa Cebrián called for increased support and investment in the Valencian audiovisual production sector. She emphasized the importance of promoting local creations and providing opportunities for local talent to thrive. Only by doing so can Valencian cinema gain recognition, attract renowned actors and actresses, and compete on an international level.


Teresa Cebrian also emphazise on the importance of well organized process in award winner selection. She observed that audiovisual talents in general, felt that their talent and contributions were being overlooked. So, we decided to make changes and open up the process to allow for more inclusivity and diversity. We wanted to give all Valencian actors and actresses a fair chance to showcase their skills and be recognized for their work.


The decision to allow any member of the film’s team to present the film for consideration was a significant step towards this goal. It meant that even if an actor or actress was not Valencian by nationality, as long as they were part of a Valencian film and met all the requirements, they could still be eligible for an award.


This decision was met with mixed reactions. Some actors and actresses were thrilled that they now had a chance to be recognized, regardless of their nationality. They saw it as an opportunity to showcase their talent and contribute to the Valencian film industry.

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HRH Princess Keisha Omilana, Olga IF and Teresa Cebrian after the interview

However, there were also those who felt that the rules should be even more restrictive. They believed that only Valencian actors and actresses should be eligible for awards, as it would help promote and support local talent. They argued that by allowing non-Valencian actors and actresses to compete, it could potentially overshadow the achievements of Valencian artists.


Despite the differing opinions, the open process allowed for a more comprehensive and inclusive selection of nominees. It gave the academics the power to decide who should be recognized based on their talent and contribution to the film, rather than their nationality.


As a result, the following year saw a significant increase in the number of Valencian actors and actresses with leading roles being nominated for awards. This was a clear indication that the changes made to the rules had a positive impact on the industry and helped to promote and support local talent.


Moving forward, the Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual will continue to evaluate and improve the rules and regulations for the awards. They understand the importance of creating a fair and inclusive platform that celebrates the achievements of all individuals involved in the Valencian film industry.


By providing opportunities for Valencian artists, regardless of their nationality, the Acadèmia Valenciana de l’Audiovisual aims to foster a thriving and diverse film industry that represents the rich cultural heritage of the region.


The interview also touched on the importance of investing in the audiovisual sector. This means not only providing financial support but also creating a favorable environment for filmmakers to thrive. It is crucial for the Valencian Government to recognize the potential of the industry and the economic benefits it can bring to the region.


In order to address these challenges, Cebrián suggests the implementation of a patronage law. This law would provide a framework for private sponsors to invest in the audiovisual sector, further boosting its development. Additionally, Cebrián emphasizes the importance of a supportive public administration that understands the value of the industry and actively works towards its growth.


Overall, the interview with Teresa Cebrián highlights the need for a strong partnership between the government, private sponsors, and the audiovisual sector. By investing in local productions and creating a favorable environment for filmmakers, Valencia can establish itself as a hub for the film industry, attracting talent and generating economic growth. It is crucial for the Valencian Government to recognize the importance of this sector and take the necessary steps to support its development.