As actors and film crews working for Woody Allen clog up the already bustling streets of Barcelona this summer, the residents of this eastern Spanish city have begun to ask why their city hall is helping fund the director’s next film.
With a section of the city’s famously busy Las Ramblas boulevard among the streets to have been blocked off for Allen and stars such as Scarlett Johansson and Penélope Cruz, the grumbling has turned into a political row.
Some 10% of the budget for the film, known as The Barcelona Project and featuring Spanish actor Javier Bardem, comes from city and Catalan regional taxpayers.
Barcelona city hall has set aside almost €1m (£680,000) to help fund the film, as well as providing police escorts for Johansson and others. A further €500,000 comes from the regional government of Catalonia.