Leading award-winning actress Tara Marie Amaury believes that, post-Covid, the future of the Mallorca and the Balearics audio-visual industry is looking even brighter than it was before the pandemic struck, which brought a swift halt to all productions in the region.
Tara is of German-French origin with Jewish-Algerian roots. She speaks four languages perfectly and boasts a host of other skills, and she has just had a number of casting sessions as she continues working internationally from her base in Mallorca.
However, when she is not working, she is dedicated to her Institute for Acting Mallorca and International Casting & Acting Network Mallorca, which is a unique association of Balearic resident actors and international casting directors that aims to give visibility to local talent and to expand their professional networks worldwide.
I.CAN hosts events such as panels, workshops and networking events for local actors with national and international film professionals - especially casting directors, directors, screenwriters, agents and producers. It also collaborates with other like-minded companies/entities dedicated to film and filmmaking for the interexchange of ideas and resources.
“We have been going since 2018 and have been steadily growing, but I felt it was time to give something back to this beautiful island, which has received so many international residents so warmly, and next year I plan to make a real push for the platform I’ve created for Balearic actors and actresses.
“There is such a wealth and depth of local talent but the big challenge is helping the actors and actresses get noticed and get cast. Unlike the traditional agents, who charge fees and take percentages from their clients, this is an open platform, but not every casting director has the same approach. Demands, requirements and attitudes differ from country to country and this is something I’ve been working hard on trying to resolve.
“What we all need is a level platform so we’re all being cast on a level playing field if you like. And through excellent international film festivals like Evolution, for which I am on the board as an advisory director and have supported and been involved with right from the start, I have been able to open the eyes of highly respected and influential producers, directors, filmmakers and casting directors to the wealth of talent the Balearics has to offer.
“Quite often, local actors and actresses get overlooked for major parts for reasons which vary from one country to another, but the good news is that things are changing and that is for a number of reasons. Firstly, the new streaming industry has opened up a whole new market for actors. As opposed to the film industry, the likes of Netflix, for example, are more often than not looking for new faces and unknown talent, so we’re tapping into that market and will do so in a big way next year.
“Secondly, for numerous reasons, a large number of well-established members of the industry have moved to Mallorca from California. It’s a similar climate, we all speak English and the islands are just a few hours flight away from all the major cities and studios in Europe. This is why I sometimes refer to Mallorca as ‘Malliwood’. We’ve had great support from the local authorities and the Mallorca Film Commission in particular. Despite the pandemic, more productions were filmed on the island last month than in November last year and applications for permission to film here are flooding in.
“Many of us here in the industry believe that post-Covid, the audio-visual industry in Mallorca and across the Balearics will blossom more than ever. I think, well many of us do here on the island in the industry, that the travel restrictions and other rules and regulations, which have been imposed around the world and will remain in place for quite some time, have changed people’s way of thinking.
“And we’ve come to notice a change in the planning process. Productions, crews and cast don’t want to travel great distance if it is unnecessary. It also reduces budget costs. The industry is looking for safe and close locations - like Mallorca and the Balearics.
“The islands are a great location and with their diverse landscapes and cultures can be used as the backdrop for most places in the world, especially with the technology the industry uses today.
“So Mallorca is in pole position for really becoming a serious film location. It’s safe, has an ideal climate which allows for uninterrupted shooting and is just a short flight away from where the big players in the European industry live. And with so many professionals who were once California based, not to mention those from other countries, living on the island, why not remain based here and work here as much as possible.
“Something very positive could come out of the pandemic for Mallorca and that is what we’re all working on here. I have a pool of world-class professionals in the industry based in France, Germany, the UK and Scandinavia, for example, not to mention the mainland. They come over and help me hold regular Master Classes for serious actors and actresses. And once every month or six weeks - we’ve downscaled due to Covid for the moment - we hold acting classes, but the emphasis is very much on helping the professional actors get noticed, get seen, given a global visible platform so they can work on an international level plus raise their game and profile. And an ever increasing number of local actors are signing up - it’s very exciting and very encouraging.”
For more information visit www.i-am.actor/ican-mallorca