The Voice of AlmeriaBy Evaristo Martinez
June 12, 2014
"Unfortunately we have to announce that this year the festival will not take place due to lack of interest shown by the institutions that despite the success of previous editions have not wanted to cooperate with the Almeria Western Film Festival [AWFF]. (...) Thanks to everyone who attended the three editions. Long live the western ". With this message, released through its official Facebook page, the founders of the festival, which has been held in Tabernas since 2011, announced its end. And it will, at least as we have known it: accordingly confirms VOICE Mari Nieves Jaén, mayor of Tabernas, the event WILL be held this year, only with other programmers and at dates yet to be specified.
The causes of this 'Duel in the Sun' lie in the decision of the City of Tabernas to register the name of the festival, created by Danny Garcia and Cesar Mendez three years ago. "The mayor has registered the name that belongs to me and César Méndez behind our backs and with public money. For now we will not fight it, so I just wish him luck. Yes, the hoax that will be mounted has nothing to do with our festival, but bears its name," says Danny Garcia to the Voice of Alemeria.
The mayor admits having registered the name "to protect the festival" but said that there was no intention of stopping the creators. "We heard that they were offering it to other municipalities, so I checked on it without them. They have taken it well, so let's get on with other developers," he adds Mari Nieves Jaén.
Danny Garcia acknowledges that they have tried unsuccessfully to continue the festival in Almeria and now continue working to "promote the western" in other provinces. And he points out that his criticism of the "excessive role" of politicians in this event, which also had the support of the City Council and the Board of Supervisors, angered the mayor of Tabernas. "We are interested in the film festival but the politicians are only interested in taking photos with the actors". In this regard, Jaén Mari Nieves acknowledges that there was "little discussion" on this topic and accuses the creators of AWFF of trying to "boycott" for this reason the awards last year.
Voice of Almeria also sought the opinion of María Vázquez, Deputy of Culture. "I tried to mediate and to reach an agreement. Since the council, as we have done from the beginning, continues to support the City Council as organizer, regardless of who are the programmers."