Archive for May, 2008
Hooray for Sollywood

Welcome to Film 84 – all right I admit it, i’m not Barry Norman (and why not!) although after a good night on the Dorada, I often have more bags under my eyes than they’ve lost at Heathrow. Film fever is about to hit the Canary Islands and the lookie lookie men are rubbing their hands at the prospect of knocking out loads of pristine copies of locally filmed releases.

Hoffman and McQueen

Remember Papillon, the 1973 classic starring Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen? A 90 million dollar remake is being planned with much of the action set in the Canaries. Papillon, it’s French for butterfly, was based on the true story of Henri Charriere, who was sent to an African penal colony in French Guiana, for a crime he claims he did not commit. It’s a brutal but uplifting story of one mans refusal to let his spirit be broken, I have vague recollections of seeing it on television many years ago. Vicente Mora is being lined up as director by the Canarian company behind the film, more details are due out soon, watch this space.

For more immediate film action, look to Lanzarote, where Penelope Cruz is over in a few weeks to make her new movie Las Abrazos Rotos (the broken embraces) with director and mentor Pedro Almodovar. Last weekend auditions for extras were held in Costa Teguise and filming will take place in Famara, El Golfo volcanic bowl and at the hospital in Arrecife, the capital.

Everything has gone quiet recently over the plans to build a massive film studio in Guaza, in the south of Tenerife, but the company financing it have some serious money and hopefully there will be some lights, music and action fairly soon.

Can Arona serve up World tennis treat?

Don’t ask me too much about tennis, i’m no expert, but even I am excited at the thought of the Davis Cup semi final between Spain and the U.S.A being played in Playa de las Americas. It’s a long shot but Arona council have put in a bid to stage the event from September 19 to 21 at the Olympic stadium, between the golf course and the Green Clinic hospital.

Olympic Stadium

The Spanish tennis federation are due to have a look at the Tenerife venue next week, the picture above is an old one, the left hand side seating is covered these days, and although it is a football stadium surrounded by an athletics track, plans have been drawn up to install a court and seating for 14,700 fans. It will have to be marked out but I believe it is fairly easy to sniff out some white lines in Las Americas.Â

Just imagine the likes of David Ferrer, Andy Roddick, and the best player in the world, Rafael Nadal gracing Tenerife with their skills. My mate Andy from football, has the Royal Oak bar just down the road, so he would have to stock up on Robinsons Barley Water to keep the players happy.

There are three other bids in to stage the Davis Cup, and they are from Madrid, Gijon and Benidorm, but maybe Tenerife has an ace up its sleeve. Emilio Sanchez Vicaro, the former doubles great, is now non playing Captain of the Spain team, and 2 weeks ago he played over here in the Abama Senior Cup for veteran players. Hopefully a few good words were whispered in his ear.

Fingers crossed for the bid, it would be quite a coup for Tenerife, and I can always cling to the hope that the BBC might send Sue Barker over to cover the event.