The Kingdom of Spain
Photo: National Tourist Office of Spain
Spain, the country with passion and rhythm, has a rich background in various aspects of history and culture. Spanish art is an important and influential thread in the cultural tapestry of Europe. Spanish cinema in particular, has a local color that excites the global audience. In recent years, Spanish cinema has become renowned for creative and technical excellence. The great filmmaker Luis Bunuel was the first to achieve universal recognition, followed by Pedro Almodovar in the 1980s.
Rios Guillermo, the director who was granted the Tamashii Award for the 4th CON-CAN Movie Festival, grew up and currently resides in Tenerife, the main Canary Island in Spain. The outdoor lover's playground, the walker's paradise and the beach bum's dream come true, the Canaries offer an escape from everyday mundane life. The island of Tenerife is no exception. It is blessed with beautiful beaches and full of breathtaking sightseeing spots. Rios enjoys the comfortable climate and relaxed atmosphere of Tenerife, which helps him find creative ideas for future movie themes.
The traditional sport of the Canaries is wrestling. The wrestlers show their power and dexterity by trying to throw each other to the ground with spectacular movements. What’s interesting about this sport is that it closely resembles the national sport of Japan, Sumo. For cinema buffs, the Canary Islands have 2 unique movie festivals: the Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival and the Canariasmediafest - International Arts and Digital Cultures Festival of Gran Canaria. Both of these movie festivals have a strong cultural color and like the CON-CAN Movie Festival, accept short movies. Rios is also a passionate lover of Canarian cuisine, which combines traditional Spanish recipes with African and Latin American influences. Being blessed with a warm climate and geographical benefits, the Canaries enjoy a variety of fresh produce, meats, and seafood. Actually, Rios’s family makes one of the top quality Spanish raw hams in the world and it is served at his favorite hangout, his own home. He mentions that no restaurant can beat the delicious local recipes cooked and served at his family meals.
Another aspect of Tenerife in which Rios takes pride is the unique geographical formations and wildlife surrounding the main geological formation of the island, Mt. Teide. The island’s mountainous northeast and northwest corners are lush, its southern shores parched and arid. Tenerife features a range of natural contrasts, the south being totally different, both visually and climatically, to the North. The South is hot, dry and arid and it’s where holidaymakers crowd onto beaches, like Playa de Las Américas and Los Cristianos. The North is green and lush, which, of course, means occasional rain. The volcanic scenery is out of this world and has been chosen as the backdrop to scenes in famous movies such as Star Wars, Planet of the Apes and the Ten Commandments. Volcanic cones are distributed randomly over the whole island's surface and contribute to the amazing landscape