Two hundred animals are tortured and killed every day in Spain in the name of religion, with around 60,000 killed every year during the country's traditional Catholic celebrations. Santa Fiesta, a new documentary that examines the cruelty dealt to animals during these festivals, has just received over $22,000 (£14,000) in funding on website Indiegogo.
IBTimes UK has been given an exclusive clip of the upcoming documentary and spoke to the movie's director, Miguel Angel Rolland, about why he decided to make the film.
"Like many other Spanish men and women I have witnessed since I was a little kid a wide variety of religious festivities where animals are chased, kicked, stabbed, beheaded, set on fire or thrown down from a church tower; mainly in the name of God," he said.
"I always wanted to make a film where I could reveal to the rest of the world how this is not picturesque at all, how this is a huge moral and humanitarian problem affecting the rest of us."
Sordid and bizarre
Spain is notorious for its shocking and strange religious festivals involving cruelty to animals, including in Robledo de Chavela, north-west Madrid, where pigeons are placed in jars and then stoned to death, or in Carpio del Tajo, Toledo, where horse riders try to pull the head of a goose that has been strung up. Many of these shocking festivities are captured in Rolland's film.
"I think they are all horrible and extreme but one notable example is Toro de la Vega, where a mad crowd tries to corner a bull riding horses until one of the many participants in the tournament kills a bull, stabbing the animal with a spear," he said.
"On the sordid and bizarre side the winner would be Puig, in Valencia, where locals take part in a piñata throwing dead rats at each other, with a wide participation of kids."
Filmed on a microbudget
But Rolland, who has been a film-maker for more than 20 years, struggled to obtain financing for the project. He claims the main Spanish TV broadcasters that fund documentaries, such as TVE and Canal+, would not have supported this film as they still make money from bullfighting transmissions.
Instead, he had to take a different route. Assembling a small crew, for the past year the film has been made on a microbudget where each member would only have their travel and meal costs covered.
To get the crew paid and ensure post-production of the film was completed, Rolland successfully met his goal of raising $19,000 (£12,000) on crowdfunding website Indiegogo.
"This platform [Indiegogo] showed itself as a close, resourceful and passionate channel to attract both funding and audience, which are the two core reasons to get involved with crowdfunding," he said.
Rolland says they are still looking for contributions towards the film, as he hopes that with more money put forward, it can have an even bigger impact when it is released at some point later in 2015.
He added: "I want to deliver a documentary with a lasting social impact that could inspire change and alliances. It's an ambitious aspiration but the reward is bigger than all that when you realise that 200 animals are tortured and killed everyday in Spain to celebrate our Catholic traditions.
"It's the ultimate holocaust and with this film we can all stop my people and the Spanish government carrying on with this massacre."
Santa Fiesta is still looking for further funding on Indiegogo. You can contribute to the film.