Friday, September 15, 2023

Almeria Western Film Festival pays tribute to the Marchent brothers


AWFF pays tribute with the 'Leone in Memoriam' award to the brothers Joaquín Luis and Rafael Romero Marchent

[Two pioneering figures of the 'eurowéstern' who bet on the genre and left a legacy of reference films for the boom of filming in Tabernas.]

Tabernas, September 14, 2023.- Before Sergio Leone arrived in Spain, the brothers Joaquín Luis (1921-2012) and Rafael Romero Marchent (1926-2020) had laid the foundations of the Mediterranean western and for decades gave the public some of the best titles of the genre. The Almería Western Film Festival (AWFF) will award the 'Leone in Memoriam' prize to these two pioneers of the 'Eurowéstern' during its 13th edition.

Joaquín Luis, director, screenwriter, producer and director, whom his friends called Tato, came to the rebound western, replacing Fernando Soler in 1955 at the head of 'El Coyote'. Then came his adventures with 'Zorro'. Years later, watching 'Tierra brutal' he knew the landscape he dreamed of for his stories of the Far West, that natural setting existed in Spain and was in the Tabernas Desert.

In 1963 he directed 'El sabor de la venganza', co-written by Rafael and shot in Tabernas, but also in the newly built sets of Hoyo de Manzanares. A year later came his masterpiece ' Antes llega la muerte' (1964), in which his brother would be assistant director. They would complete their Almeria tetralogy 'La muerte cumple condena’ (1966) y ‘Fedra West’ (1967).

Rafael, who began his career playing heartthrobs in the 1940s and 1950s, accompanied Tato in his first westerns as a screenwriter, assistant director or 'script' advisor would soon make the leap to directing with 'Ocaso de un pistolero' (1965).

In 1976, with several films behind them, the two brothers would contribute to the direction and script of one of the greatest successes in the history of television in our country: the legendary series 'Curro Jiménez' (1976). Adored by Quentin Tarantino himself, The Almería Western Film Festival wants to pay tribute to the immeasurable life and work of these two brothers who changed our western forever.

The 'Leone in Memoriam' award ceremony will be held during the festival's opening gala on October 11 in the Oasys MiniHollywood village and will feature a performance by the group 'Biuti Bambú'. Nuria, daughter of Joaquín and Teresa, daughter of Rafael, will collect this award and participate in a live interview with the participation of the public. In his honor, the retrospective section film 'Antes llega la muerte’. will also be screened. One of the best westerns shot by a Spanish filmmaker, directed by Tato with the help of his brother.

The Festival has awarded the 'Leone in Memoriam' prize in previous editions to professionals such as Fernando Sancho (2016), Tomás Milian (2017), Carlos Simi (2018), George Hilton (2019), Sergio Sollima (2020), Ennio Morricone (2021) and Bud Spencer (2022). All of them have a prominent headstone in the cemetery built for these distinctions in the western town of Oasys MiniHollywood.

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