The Almería Western Film Festival awards the 'Leone in Memoriam' award to Tomás Milian
With this award we pay tribute to the film career of the Cuban actor who stood out for his memorable characters, including the Mexican bandit 'Cuchillo'.
Almeria, October 12, 2017. Deeply moved by Luis Santeiro, writer, and friend of Tomás Milian, the 'Leone in Memoriam' Award this year has awarded at The Almería Western Film Festival (AWFF). The posthumous tribute was celebrated last night in the Theater of Tabernas after the screening of the film of honor 'The Big Gundown', the Granada director and godfather of this edition of the Festival, Eugenio Martín.
"It's a nice homage, but at the same time it's sad because we thought he would be here tonight. His son asked me to come and tell you some personal stories about his career, he certainly had a great sense of humor. Thomas since very young had the artistic vein and wanted to be the next James Dean, "explained Santeiro.
During his speech, Santeiro recalled different stages of Milian from his beginnings in cinema, how he was gradually performing and ended up introducing himself to Italy through the "role of a mime." "With Sergio Sollima he began a wonderful stage that he remembered very pleasantly, with his passage through Almeria and Tabernas," he explained.
The Cuban actor stood out for his memorable characters, highlighting that of the Mexican bandit 'Cuchillo'. Milian came to announce last March that he would travel to Spain to participate as a guest of honor in this year’s edition of the Festival. However, he died regrettably last March at age 84.
(1966), 'Face to Face' (1967), 'The Big Gundown' (1967), 'Run, Man, Run' (1968) amd 'Tepepa' (1969) were some of the films in which Milian participated. The actor was not only a legend of the western, but also participated in the distribution of films of other sorts with great success. Milian played outlaws, cops, criminals and detectives. A career of more than fifty years that united him with directors like Sergio Sollima, Eugenio Martin, Luchino Visconti, Sergio Corbucci, Oliver Stone and Steven Spielberg.
Although of Cuban origin, Milian was well-liked in Italy, where he starred in some of the best-known spaghetti-westerns and spent a long period of his life. The actor came to express: "Italy is my true homeland, the one that has given me love, success and a family." This connection between the Italian westerns with Almeria was what allowed him to travel to Tabernas, staying "in love with the landscapes of the Desert". In fact, he transmitted this to the Festival organization during his talks to close the trip he would never do.
AWFF has awarded the 'Leone in Memoriam' Prize for three editions of filmmaking in Almeria such as Fernando Sancho in 2016, Sancho Gracia in 2015 and Giuliano Gemma in 2014. This award aims to put in value the cinematographic past and relevance of these actors in the legacy of the productions that have had as natural scenery the landscapes of Tabernas and the province of Almeria.
Concert of soundtracks
The first day of the Festival ended with a magnificent concert by the Musical Group San Indalecio La Cañada (Almeria). In the Theater of Tabernas were interpreted well-known soundtracks of emblematic films of the western.