Almeria Seeks A Return To Its Glory Days

Almeria, on the Mediterranean coast of Spain, has set up a basic services office for location filming.

The office will provide general information on the area concerning locations and will handle paperwork for location permits.

The region has served as the location for more than 500 pictures since 1951, but it’s running into trouble as a film location.

A symposium in March was held to see what could be done to bring back filmbiz. The office is the result of the meeting.

The region’s film credits include “Lawrence Of Arabia,” “Cleopatra,” “Patton,” and “Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade.” Almeria really hit the limelight when Sergio Leone chose it as the site for his fistful of spaghetti Westerns.

The place offers interesting scenery and plenty of sunshine, but there are no local sound studios or competitive equipment companies. Although Western sets built by Leone still stand, they were never equipped with permanent studios.

Miguel Angel Gonzalez, one of the panel leaders of the symposium, and a production manager who has headed up a number of super-productions in Almeria, pointed out: “A lot of produce want to shoot here but shy away precisely because of the lack of facilities. They at least need a place to plug in.”

The idea of sponsoring an Almeria Film Festival was also breached at the symposium, focusing on major films that have been made there. This would generate publicity, and contribute to the much needed setting up of a film archive in conjunction with the services office.

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