Massive turnout for the casting of the new Amenábar film in Valencia

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Alejandro Amenábar

More than 3,000 people have signed up to be part of the major filming of Alejandro Amenábar’s latest film project in the Valencian Community.

This is what the newspaper Las Provincias writes. The film, entitled ‘El Cautivo’, tells the story of the period that the famous writer Miguel de Cervantes spent in Algiers. For many, the opportunity to act as an extra in a film by Amenábar, known for ‘Tesis’ and ‘Mar adentro’, is a unique experience and a kind of test.

Casting days attract hundreds of aspiring actors

Last Saturday, 780 people took part in the casting in Buñol, while in Alicante and Santa Pola 1,100 and 1,200 aspirants gathered respectively, all with the hope of being selected for the film ‘El Cautiverio’. Amenábar is currently recruiting extras in the Valencian Community, where filming will start in mid-April.

A look into the production

The production of ‘El Cautivo’ promises to be an impressive undertaking. It has a budget of $15 million (approx €12 million). Amenábar and his team visited various locations in the region. This is how they prepared the recordings, from logistics to location scouting. “In this film, as I have done before, I will play with contrasts: between the dark reality of Miguel de Cervantes and the power of his imagination, between epic escape attempts and the misery of captivity, and between the cruelty of his captors and the paradise of the hammam and the joy of the streets of Algiers,” the director told ‘Variety’.

Important chapter in the life of Cervantes

The film highlights a specific chapter in the life of the writer of ‘Don Quijote de la Mancha’. In 1575, Cervantes, a 28-year-old wounded soldier of the Spanish Armada, is captured by Ottoman privateers in Algiers. During his captivity he develops the ability to tell stories. In the meantime, he awaits his fate. Will his compatriots pay his ransom?

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Star cast and production team

Julio Peña (‘Berlín’, ‘A través de mi ventana’) and Alessandro Borghi (‘Las ocho montañas’, ‘Supersex’) will star in the film. This is produced by Fernando Bovaira (‘Mar adentro’, ‘Mientras dure la guerra’) from Castellón.

Strengthened ties with the Valencia region

Amenábar’s ties with the region are further strengthened by this production. He not only works with Bovaira as a producer. He also adapted the comic book ‘El tesoro del cisne negro’ by Paco Roca into the series ‘La Fortuna’ for Movistar. In addition, Amenábar became the subject of an essay published by the Valencian Pau Gómez.

The filming of ‘El Cautivo’ in Valencian communities will last until June 2024. That is a year after Amenábar’s meeting with the then president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig. During that meeting, the collaboration between the Generalitat Valenciana and the filmmaker was confirmed.

‘El Cautivo’ is produced by Bovaira for Mod Producciones, Himenóptero, Misent Producciones in co-production with Propaganda Italia. The film enjoys the support of Netflix and TVE, as well as ICAA, Generalitat Valenciana and Eurimages.

Also read: International movies made in Spain

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