Talents to Track on the Canaries’ New Film Scene

Studios that call the Canary Islands home are curating top talent to further diversify their audiovisual offerings, luring and retaining creatives dedicated to costume design, sound, production, animation and editing. Others are simply born in the Islands.

A further testament to the sustained development of the local sector and its increasing relevance to a broader global cinematic landscape, the Islands have seen growing audiences for their domestic films.

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More on six of the players currently anchoring the regional production push:

Orlando Harris

The Santa Cruz de Tenerife-born art director and green-screen foreman has put his muster behind large studio bets such as Netflix hits “The Witcher” and “La Palma,” as well as Amazon’s “The Rings of Power.” A frequent collaborator with the isles’ Volcano Films, he notes that his work with them “has always been, without a doubt, the most rewarding professional experience.” Ahead, several international productions and a promising title in development “that’s related to the people of our islands.” When it comes to art direction, he admits, “It’s quite stimulating to be able to tangibly appreciate how your small contribution helps in the compilation of the work of many other people in each project.”

Marta Miró

An industry semi-vet, Miró won the 2016 Goya best production director-plaudit for her work on Isabel Coixet’s Juliette Binoche-led title “Endless Night.” She also line produced “Nights in Tefía,” an award-winning drama series from Miguel del Arco,  set within a long-shuttered concentration camp in Fuerteventura reconstructed from scratch in Tenerife. Currently filming a title still under wraps in Gran Canaria, she continues to keep various roots firmly planted in the region, relaying that “as a line producer, it’s very interesting to film in the Canary Islands due to the diversity of landscapes that each of the islands have. You can simulate a desert, the jungle, arid places like the Far West, a strange planet, and a long etcetera.”

Omar Al Abdul Razzak Martínez

Razzak’s full-length, live-action directorial debut “Killing Crabs” earned the Silver Biznaga for best feature at Málaga’s Zonazine in 2023 after its auspicious bow. A founding partner at Tourmalet Films, he merges production, art direction, and writing savvy, plunging into a diversified portfolio that includes Goya-nominated “La Prima Cosa” and Rodrigo Sorogoyen’s first feature  “Stockholm.” Upcoming projects include two dystopian animated titles from Madrid’s Blanca Bonet and Cuba’s Gabriela Fernández Galán, an emerging concept from award-winning Spanish-Lebanese filmmaker Laila Hotait and documentary titles, “Muchedumbre,” from Colombia’s Felipe Rugeles and “Yo Terrateniente,” from Argentina’s Rodrigo Demirjian. He’s additionally preparing his next film, “Dolor Fantasma,” and working with Paris-based director Alois Sandner on “Fuego en la Boca. Projects are “both fictions that talk about bodies, men and women.”

Atri Galván

Lending her costuming prowess to music videos and television series alongside local and international cinematic pursuits, Galván admits, “A good costume is the character itself, understanding costume design is a language that goes beyond mere aesthetic.” Goya nominations rolled in for her team’s contributions to Canary Island productions “Killing Crabs” and 2022’s “La Viajante,” where the idea was, “to create an atmosphere of timelessness between a past and a possible future, giving each character a particular image as if it were a story through certain garments such as a maroon skirt, a huge coat or a leather jacket.” Most recently, she is leading costume design for “La Lucha,”  the latest from José Alayón and his Tenerife-based Viaje Films.

Carlos Bonmati

Snagging the best sound Goya for his contribution to the 2006 Montxo Armendáriz title “Obaba” and Goya-nominated for his work on 2008’s “13 Roses,” Bonmati has also lent his skills to the Amazon Original period drama “El Cid.” Currently in post-production on the upcoming Alberto Utrera title ”Desmontando a Lucía,” which stars Hugo Silva (“Un Amor”), the sound designer makes the case for Canary Island talent with a breadth of expertise that spans audiovisual mediums, tying gripping narratives together with their visuals by way of impactful scoring.

María Pulido

With double cause for celebration, the multi-hyphenate talent is emerging as a key figure on the Canary Islands homegrown animation scene. The art director on Tinglado and Ikiru Films’ socially conscious animated documentary “Black Butterflies” – recently selected to screen in competition at Annecy’s Contrechamps – Pulido is working in tandem with the same burgeoning team, writing and directing the forthcoming short “Tsunami,” which she bills as a film about “moving and leaving a home, how it affects a person. We use the sea to explain that internal tsunami of fear of change, the fear of letting go, getting rid of material things.”

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