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Film of golfing legend Seve Ballesteros' life premières in Spain
By thinkSPAIN Team Wed, Jul 1, 2015
A FILM of the life of the late, great golfer Severiano Ballesteros was shown for the first time on Monday this week (June 30) in 11 cities in Spain.
Created by director John-Paul Davidson, who describes it as half-documentary, half-fiction, the film Seve was premièred in London over a year ago but had not yet been shown in Spain, despite having been filmed entirely on location there and featuring Spanish cast only.
Exclusive première passes were given out in Alicante, Santander - Ballesteros' native provincial capital - Cádiz, Sevilla, A Coruña, León, Cuenca, Barcelona, Salt (Girona province), Gijón (Asturias), and at the Callao City Lights palladium in Madrid.
It has not been shown anywhere in the province of Valencia, despite the fact Ballesteros designed the world-famous golf course at the Oliva Nova resort about 80 kilometres south of the city.
The film shows Seve's humble beginnings, teaching himself to play at the age of six on his nearest beach in Cantabria using a broken 3-iron tied to a cane, and most of the action takes place at the Pedreña Golf Club, which he was a member of all his life, in the town of the same name where he was born.
Seve is played by young professional golfer José Luis Gutiérrez, and his parents Carmen and Baldomero are fleshed out by Spanish actors María Molins and Adrián Salzedo, whilst Ballesteros' own cousin Gabriel Sota plays a fellow member of the Pedreña club.
Most of the film is shot in the northern region of Cantabria, in the same places Seve grew up in.
Its British producer Stephen Evans, whose long career includes screen adaptations of Shakespeare plays Henry V and Much Ado About Nothing, has been a BAFTA nominee twice for The Madness of King George and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
The film is edited by Tariq Anwar, double Oscar-nominee for The King's Speech and American Beauty, and the soundtrack is by Stephen Warbeck, who composed the music for Shakespeare in Love.
Although Seve is an Anglo-Spanish production, it is entirely in Spanish, but was subtitled into English for the London première.
Severiano Ballesteros Sota, born in Pedreña, Cantabria, was just 54 when he died of a brain tumour in May 2011 which he had been battling with since spring 2007, but which he did not admit to openly until October 2008.
Before then, he won five World Match Play championships, two Augusta Masters' titles and three British Open titles, prior to retiring from play and becoming a golf course designer and tournament organiser.
He was granted the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, the same year as the Seve Ballesteros Foundation was launched - a privately-run charitable institution seeking to increase and support research into brain tumours and to open up the sport of golf to young people with talent but from poorer backgrounds.
This year, on April 16 - just three weeks short of the fourth anniversary of his death - Seve's native Cantabria's regional government renamed its main flight terminal as the Seve Ballesteros-Santander airport.
Photograph: Seve Ballesteros on July 19, 2006 (by Peter from Liverpool via Wikimedia)
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