Our spectacular island is ideal for film.
A Mallywood world is being co-created.
– For numerous reasons, a considerable number of well-established professionals from the film industry, among them Californians, have moved to Mallorca, says actress Tara Marie Amaury.
-The climate is similar to California, we all speak English here, and the Balearic islands are close to major European cities, she continues.
Tara Marie Amaury has been working in the German, French, American and Spanish film industry for over 20 years. She sees herself as an international actress and is pleased that the island of her choice is becoming an international film production destination.
– Directors, producers and actors enjoy the Mediterranean flair and join us as residents while the film projects increase, says Tara, who is half French and half German.
Tara Marie Amaury recently played the worried mother in a film called ”La casa de la tiza” about a Madeleine McCann-type kidnapping, produced by Álex de la Iglesia. Director Ignacio Tatay filmed it in Madrid with Elena Anaya in the lead, known from Pablo Almodóvar’s “The Skin I live In” and the blockbuster “Wonder Woman”
– Everyone loves being in the Balearics – not just to enjoy sunny holidays. For any business, and especially the film business, it is a gorgeous, safe and highly accessible part of the world. There are many visually appealing and diverse locations, natural resources, cultural treasures, beautiful buildings and lots of artwork, she says.
– Add to that the local talent of the people, and the European production possibilities. There is lots of potential here! And, among other benefits, Americans prefer their children growing up in a safer environment.
Places like Deià in Mallorca have always always attracted the international film, fashion and arts world. Many reconnect there after, or in between, their career lives in New York, LA or London.
– It seems like Covid has brought us a few advantages after all, says Tara Marie Amaury. – Traveling restrictions accelerate the process of transforming the film productions in the Mediterranean. Productions, crews and cast avoid travelling great distances if it is not necessary. This also reduces budget costs. The industry is looking for closer locations – like Mallorca and the Balearics. Remote working is now the “new normal”. What could be better than doing so in a
beautiful part of the world?
As many as 635 productions have been shot in Mallorca since 1899. Right now
the BBC:s ”Mallorca Files”, Netflix ‘‘White Lines” a Chinese series called ”Spain Passion”, a German film called ”Nachts Baden” ,”Lies” for Atresmedia, the Benito Zambrano movie, ‘‘Lemon Bread” and lots more film is in the pipeline.
The German series ”King of Palma” will be filmed in Mallorca from April to July this year, in areas such as s’Arenal and Can Picafort. The story is about a group of Germans that arrive in Mallorca after the fall of the Berlin wall. On the island they discover what liberty and joy of living really means. Some of the casting for ”King of Palma” is local, and as many as 2.500 extras arebeing sought.
– The Mallorca Film Commission has supported the industry very well indeed, along with other local authorities and lots of productions have been made despite the pandemic. On top of that applications for permission to film here are flooding in, says Tara.
Raising the local talent
Tara Marie Amaury is a quad-lingual actress who is signed up with a Spanish, a
French and a German talent agency. She turns her good connections with the German, Spanish and French film industry into benefits for her fellow actors too.
– When most actresses reach the age barrier of 35 plus, they often get the feeling that their
market worth seems to decrease, she says. But I always said I would prove the opposite. I am in awe of strong women with visions and great actions. I help fellow female actors because I believe in the law of cause and effect – you give, and you will receive. So we write scripts with great roles for women in them, shoot films with our actors and local cinematographers, and connect them with agents and casting directors.
And of course: I now write my own roles as well.
Besides being an actress, Tara is the founder and director of the acting school Institute for Acting Mallorca www.i-am.actor and president of the association International Casting & Acting Network Mallorca, I.CAN, dedicated to bringing together actors with casting directors. She had created the first open data base for actors residing here, www.balearic-actors.org , which aims to give visibility to local talent and to expand professional networks worldwide.
– The Institute for Acting Mallorca has been up and running since 2018 and is steadily growing. Our focus at this acting school is film and casting. We invite artistically recognized and well-known film industry professionals to give masterclasses, panels and networking events for local actors and international film professionals,” says Tara Marie. – We collaborate with casting directors, directors, screenwriters, agents and producers. Among our instructors are Kate Bone from Nina Gold Casting, who did the casting for ”Game of Thrones” and ‘‘The Crown’’, Nathalie Cheron, responsible for the casting of ‘‘Tolo Tolo” and the Luc Besson movie “Lucy”, and Luci Lenox, casting director of “Victoria” ”Warrior Nun” and ”Vicky Christina, Barcelona”. One of our main teachers is Giles Foreman, a leading Acting Coach of most well-known figures in the new generation of British, European and American acting, and also producer of “La femme et le TGV” with Jane Birkin.
Local actors and actresses can get overlooked for bigger parts, but the good news is that things are changing. The new streaming industry has opened up a whole new market. Spain-based Netflix, for example, is more often than not looking for new faces and unknown talents, so Mallorca’s film professionals will be tapping into that market too.
– However, not every casting director has the same approach to find actors for the perfect cast. Through excellent international film festivals like Mallorca’s Evolution, where I am on the board as an advisory director, I have been able to open the eyes of highly respected and influential producers, directors, filmmakers and casting directors to the wealth of talent the Balearics has to offer, says Tara. – Together with the platform provider www.castupload.com, our association intends to reach every possible casting director in the world. Unlike the traditional agents and databases, who charge fees and take percentages from their clients, our actors database www.balearic-actors.org is an open and free platform.
In 2021 Tara Marie plans to make a real push for the more than 200 Balearic actors on the platform, and for her worldwide acting students too.
– We are about to open a film business co-working space, says Tara Marie Amaury.
– A studio where you can train, write, produce and do castings. I feel blessed to be living at a time when we are gathering our creativity and network to contribute the best way we can to such a magical place as Mallorca.
Text: Charlotte von Proschwitz
Photo: Thomas Engstrom.