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Mallorca, an island of cinema

11/10/2023

International film festivals held on the island, such as the Evolution Mallorca Film Festival or the Atlàntida Film Fest, have enjoyed international fame for years, attracting world-class directors and actors.

What is less well known is that Mallorca has been a major film set for more than a century.

The first major film to be shot on the island was El secreto del anillo (1913), by the Italian director Giovanni Doria, which curiously featured two Mallorcan actors, Pinya and Tormo. Another striking title from those early years was La venganza isleña (1923), a silent film that was censored by Primo de Rivera's dictatorship because of the harshness of its plot.

The first big production with renowned artists was La mujer de paja (1963), with Sean Connery and Gina Lollobrigida, two world-famous stars who caused a great stir among Mallorcans, who were not used to seeing celebrities of this calibre.

The same stir was caused by two of the biggest stars of the turn of the century, Tom Hanks and Halle Berry, both Hollywood Oscar winners, when they came to Mallorca to shoot Cloud Atlas (2012), a film in which the natural beauty of the island can be appreciated.

In 2016, the famous Doctor House, Hugh Laurie, spent an extended period in Mallorca filming The Departed, a thriller miniseries that won three Golden Globes.

The last two major productions to date filmed in Mallorca have been Hustle (2022), with Adam Sandler, in which the actor plays the manager of a future NBA star; and the series Lioness (2023), which made performers like Nicole Kidman and Morgan Freeman feel like Mallorcans for months, strolling and eating in restaurants in Palma and on the island.

Al Pacino, Michael Caine, Katie Holmes, Daniel Craig and Susan Sarandon are some of the other great actors who have filmed in Mallorca.

The attraction for the island has even made some actors decide to buy a house here to escape when their work allows them to do so, such as Michael Douglas in Valldemossa and Daniel Brühl in Sóller. Leonardo di Caprio, Amber Heard and Nicole Kidman are other regulars on Mallorca.

As were other period actors in their day, such as Charles Chaplin with his stays at the Hotel Formentor, or Errol Flynn and his mythical parties on his sailboat moored in Pollença, where two of the great divas of the era, Ava Gardner and Rita Hayworth, were seen on more than one occasion.

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