The Andalusian Journey of Cannes Céline Dion-Inspired Film Aline

French studio Gaumont’s Cannes player “Aline, The Voice of Love,” freely inspired by the life of Canadian pop star Céline Dion, was partially filmed in Andalusian provinces of Málaga and Almería in June 2019.

Directed, co-written and starring France’s Valérie Lemercier (“Astérix and Obélix: God Save Britannia,” “Orchestra Seats”), “Aline” screened July 13 out of competition as part of Cannes’ Official Selection, earning a full five-minute standing ovation.

Co-produced by Gaumont, Rectangle Productions, TF1 and De L’Huile in France, Caramel Films in Canada and Belgium’s Belga Productions, the two-week Andalusian shoot of the film was serviced by Áralan Cinema Services.

“The climate and light of Andalusia helped the producers to set scenes that took place in Brazil, Italy, Monaco and Las Vegas,” said Gonzalo Bendala, co-founder of production house Áralan Films, whose international film servicing label, Áralan Cinema Services, launched in 2019.

For Meredic Bourlat, production manager at Paris-based Rectangle, “Aline” marked a return to lensing in Andalusia after shooting there Guillaume Gallienne’s “Me, Myself and Mum,” a 2013 French hit, in partnership with Áralan co-founder Marta Velasco.

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The main Andalusian location for “Aline” was a house at the ultra-luxury gated community of La Zagaleta, in Málaga’s Benahavis, near Marbella, replicating the Las Vegas mansion of the film’s protagonist.

“Filming in an ultra-luxury house in Las Vegas was very expensive. They found houses here that they had no reason to envy their Las Vegas counterparts, although the cost was much lower,” Bendala said.

Further locations in Málaga encompass the Plaza del Obispo, which served as a Naples square, and the Miramar Hotel, standing in for a hotel in Las Vegas. El Jardín Restaurant became a Mónaco brasserie.

Meanwhile, Málaga’s urban beach bars morphed into those in Brazil. The film was also shot at the Torrequebrada Casino, in Benalmádena.

The Las Vegas desert scenes were filmed on the Sierra Alhamilla Road in the iconic Tabernas desert in Almería.

The production touched but didn’t reach the minimum expense of €1 million ($1.18 million) required in Spain to have access to tax rebates for international shoots, according to Bendala.

Since May 2020, tax rebates in Spain increased from 25% to 30% for the first €1 million ($1.18 million) spend and from 20% to 25% thereafter, capped at a shoot’s total tax deduction of €10 million ($11.8 million).

“Aline” was filmed in Andalusia in a pre-pandemic time, without major setbacks. After the lockdown, film and TV shoot activity restarted in the region, mainly boosted by local productions and co-productions and TV dramas involving global streamers.

As a film production company, Áralan Films has completed filming in Cádiz, Jerez de la Frontera, Seville and San Fernando on thriller “La maniobra de la tortuga,” by Juan Miguel del Castillo.

Another top indie Andalusian production house, La Claqueta, has just filmed two features in Seville: Violeta Salama’s “Alegría,” teaming with Powehi Films, and Alexis Morante’s “El Universo de Óliver,” with Pecado Films.

In the Cadiz province, Bowfinger International Pictures, Mother Superior, FilmSharks, Esto También Pasará and Basque Films have recently rolled on Uruguayan Gustavo Hernández’s thriller “Lobo feroz,” (a remake of Israel’s “Big Bad Wolves”), which Netflix plans to launch after its theatrical release.

Producer Antonio Pérez’ Spal Films, in partnership with Álamo Producciones and Galdo Media,will roll in Seville and Alcalá de Guadaira on Ángeles Reiné’s family comedy “Héroes de barrio.”

Standout TV series shot in Andalusia takes in Jorge Dorado and Carles Torrens’ “Feria,” a Filmax production for Netflix, located in Cádiz’s Zahara de la Sierra and Huelva’s Riotinto.

Also for Netflix, British production companies Cowboy Films and Easter Partisan have filmed in Cádiz a new season of English series “Top Boy,” serviced by Fresco Film.

Meanwhile, Spanish media conglom Atresmedia TV is re-teaming with Plano a Plano to produce in Malaga the second season of Netflix series “Toy Boy.”

Atresmedia TV, alongside partner company Buendía Estudios, is also adapting hit international series format “Mother,” which lensed in Trebujena (Cádiz) and Almería’s Cabo de Gata.

“Sin limites,” one of the most awaited TV series in Spain, directed by Simon West and toplining “La Casa de Papel’s” Álvaro Morte and “Westworld’s” Rodrigo Santoro, has been set in Seville and is pending further locations in Huelva. The project teams Amazon Prime, Spanish pubcaster RTVE, Mono Films and Kilima Media.

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