Since the beginning of the year, Gran Canaria’s Economic Promotion Society (SPEGC) and the Gran Canaria Film Commission have been providing technical coverage to the international team that travelled to the island for the production of ‘The Mother’, a feature film that will be released later this year on Netflix, which this week ended its filming on location on Gran Canaria.
The production has involved the involvement of a large team of human, technical and logistical personnel, moving to different points and municipalities around Gran Canaria.
The team behind it have been working at the El Berriel flying club, in the Arteara ravine, in Fataga, in the Meloneras area, Risco de San Juan and the Gabinete Literario in the capital, Las Palmas, among other areas around the island.
The film production is the result of a strategy implemented by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria to diversify the productive fabric of the island, by investing in booming economic sectors such as the audiovisual sector, and adds to the large range of high profile, international productions that have been taking place on Gran Canaria for many years.
In the case of ‘The Mother’, it is an international production by Netflix and Nuyorican Productions, starring Jennifer López, Gael García Bernal, Joseph Fiennes and Omari Hardwick, and directed by the filmmaker Niki Caro from a script by Misha Green .
Sur-Film has been the local production company that has supported this film which tells the story of an assassin who comes out of hiding to protect the daughter she gave up years before, while she flees from a dangerous armed gang.
The Gran Canaria Film Commission has also been in charge of providing support and advice to the international work team that established itself on the Island during the shoot.
J.Lo has been enjoying the Gran Canaria spring time with us, alongside her co-stars Omari Hardwick, Gael García Bernal and Joseph Fiennes and her beau Ben Affleck even turned up last week to see what was going on in the land of eternal spring. Filming had had to be interrupted at the beginning of the year due to a Covid outbreak, but restarted again this month, building the productions scenes and principal photography around various locations in the old quarter and through the streets of the capital, as well as various other locations on the island, conjure scenes set in Cuba and Afghanistan, amongst other places.
Its not Lopez’s first time in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, she was even snapped in Maspalomas a few years back. The island itself has long been an attractive destination for travellers at all times of the year, and has also developed a reputation as the perfect setting for film studios and various types of television series to base themselves on location. Various national and international productions have been filmed in these streets, with their emblematic, colonial era buildings recognisable on the big screen alongside top-level actors such as Brad Pitt or Uma Thurman, among many others.
The latest big star to join this list, wrote El Mundo, is Jennifer Lopez.
The thriller, of which Lopez is also one of the producers, is directed by New Zealander Niki Caro, and billed as being the largest European Netflix film production scheduled for 2022. It is being shot on the streets of historic neighbourhoods around Vegueta and Triana, many places well known in the city, like the iconic Gabinete Literario and the Alameda de Colón, which they have transformed for the film, set in Havana and Afghanistan.
Hollywood has not been a stranger to Las Palmas or Gran Canaria, with many locations used in films made here over the years, which have become the subject of intrigue and the occasional walking tour. Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard shot their film Allies here, in the old quarter, in 2015, and actresses Uma Thurman and Anna Sophia Robb starred, here, in Blackwood. The first series of another Netflix series, The Witcher, also included scenes of Roque Nublo and the pristine and protected pine forests at the summits of Gran Canaria.
The original Moby Dick was filmed in Las Canteras and the Puerto La Luz in the 1950s. Directed by John Huston, it starred Gregory Peck, considered a cinematic classic of the 20th century.
In 2014 Shirley Maclaine, Demi Moore, Billy Connolly and a host of others descended on Lopesan’s Costa Meloneras to film the heart-warming comedy, Wild Oats. Sam Worthington performed in The Titan, shot in the hills of Monte Leon, overlooking Maspalomas, the same year.
Las Palmas has its own International Film Festival which, since its inauguration in 2000, has explored the work of filmmakers who move geographically and aesthetically on the periphery of the more conventional industry. The festival bets on films without a commercial vocation, which move away from conventions and red carpets.