The actress Elena Anaya, with a career spanning thirty years and nearly 50 films, continues to maintain the same kindness, gentleness and friendliness from day one. Elena is extraordinary on screen and in person, and she has proved it today in Almería, where she is living some exciting moments. Yesterday afternoon she participated in the colloquium of the film ‘Jaula’, which is competing in the national competition ‘opera prima’ and where she is the protagonist. This morning she signed in the Book of Honour of the Diputación and then she unveiled her Star, number 28, in the Paseo de la Fama de Almería. Tonight she will receive the award ‘Almería, Tierra de Cine’, in the framework of the Gala del Audiovisual Almeriense. And at all times she has shown her pride and gratitude for the recognition. “This land is wonderful, when we were going to shoot, first thing in the morning, before starting, we would stop for three minutes to see the sunrise. If I am born again, I want it to be in Almería”.
The Patio de Luces de Diputación hosted a press conference, in which the actress was accompanied by the president of the Diputación, Javier A. García, the Councillor for Culture of Almería City Council, Diego Cruz, the Andalusian Regional Government’s Delegate for Tourism, Culture and Film, José Vélez, the Deputy for Culture and Film, Almudena Morales, and the Director of FICAL, Enrique Iznaola, who made an initial assessment, at the halfway point of FICAL, stating that “this is a different festival in the sense that it manages to be a meeting point for short films, feature films and the television universe. The objectives are being met, audiences are filling the cinemas and more visits are being generated in the streaming broadcasts. Almería is now more than ever a land of cinema. And Elena Anaya is one of the stars of the Spanish cinematographic firmament”.
The actress has shot two films in Almería: ‘Lejos del mar’, by Imanol Uribe, and ‘El árbol del penitente’, with Alfredo Landa. “What a thrill, coming to Almería is a gift of life, today especially is like daydreaming. I see myself in front of you on this day and I can only thank you. I love Almería, it is a magical land, where cinema is breathed in every corner, where the citizens feel cinema as something of their own. Where I have shot two films and met people I love very much, and now a little piece of me will remain on this Walk of Fame”.
Elena Anaya goes on to recall that “in ‘Lejos del Mar’ the landscapes were wonderful, I enjoyed it very much” and in ‘El árbol del penitente’ I had the opportunity to work with Alfredo Landa. I was very young and it was full of anecdotes. I remember that he always told me to eat garlic, which is very good for your health, and we missed the vulture that appears in the film. It was an apprenticeship”.
Elena Anaya says that she approaches each role with the same enthusiasm, “despite having been in film for almost 30 years, I think I’m just starting out, I still have a long way to go. I have filmed in many countries, in productions with 2,500 professionals like ‘Wonder Woman’ and small independent productions, and in the end when they put you in front of the clapperboard for the short shot, the budget doesn’t matter, that’s when you have to give it your all. What I do care about is that there is a human touch in the team, and to be able to prepare the role well”. Indeed, another of Elena Anaya’s traits is that she is a hard worker, and she prepares herself thoroughly for each character. “This is a complex profession and you have to prepare well, I tell the directors. We rehearse everything we need to before shooting. This is what happened with Almodóvar and also with Ignacio Tatay, in ‘Jaula’. Not so much with Woody Allen, who was extremely shy and we shot almost without rehearsing”.
And after the press conference, Elena Anaya strolled through the streets of Almería and enjoyed, like all her fans, the unveiling of her star, number 28, on the Paseo de la Fama in the city of Almería. The actress is already a neighbour of this land, which she loves and where she likes to film. “The province of Almería is perfect for filming, I hope they take me to film in places as emblematic as the Playazo. Almería has everything, including the people, for film. And FICAL is a fantastic festival to talk and talk about film. This city and province gives a lot of itself so that cinema can reach people. I want to be born in Almeria again and stay here for the rest of my life”.