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.