The Valencian María Albiñana and the Australian Luke Eve had planned to get married on March 15, 2020. It was going to be an international wedding. In addition to the different country of origin of the actress and the director, both met in Los Angeles. The filmmaker’s mother arrived a few days earlier in Valencia from the antipodes to help with the preparations. Finally, the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law were going to meet personally. But the confinement decreed by the Government as of that same day upset all the plans. The trio was forced to live together in an apartment in Valencia for 100 days, the wedding was canceled and the party planned in the middle of the Fallas week evaporated in the effluvia of the hydrogel. However, from that frustrating experience a funny web series emerged that had an unexpected success, Cancelled. María and Luke wrote an autofiction script and filmed their life with humor with their mobile phones, but without ignoring the bad moments of loneliness, discussions, misunderstanding… More than three million viewers from fifty countries followed their work on Facebook Watch, the video service of the social network.
Now released from confinement and the borders open again, Maria and Luke rebuked their wedding plans. But she got pregnant and they canceled it again. They then decided to film with their mobile phones as well, but with an improved program and with a cinematographer, cancelled, in which Valencia takes center stage. She can now leave the house with a mask even though the pandemic is a threat. The web series had more than six million viewers, María comments by phone, shortly before filming begins on Monday for what will be the definitive closure (or not) of the series, the feature film uncancelledin which the wedding is finally celebrated in a typical restaurant in front of the Albufera lake and amid the roar of the Fallas.
“The length is like the third season, but it can also be seen as a standalone film. It is the culmination of the story of Maria and Luke”, explains the 38-year-old actress. Screen Australia, the public audiovisual entity, has turned to the project, which now has a digital camera for filming and a professional team, including some actors, although the couple is still the protagonist. The baby, already a year and a half old, also has his moment on the screen. It will be launched on Facebook Whatch probably at the end of this year and the idea is that it will be presented at a film festival and premiered in a theater in Valencia.
“You are still in time not to get married”; “Don’t do it, don’t do it!” They shouted this Monday from one of the barges that cross the lake with tourists and visitors, without warning its occupants that it is a filming. There will be a wedding and the postponed party will also be held at the height of the Valencian festivities. “The Fallas offer some very cinematographic settings and it is also a party about the rebirth of life, about how life rises from the ashes, which suits us very well with our story about marriage and the rebirth of the couple. Besides, I’ve been a lifelong fallera and we’re going to have a lot of facilities”, points out the also co-writer.
The filmmaker, director of the feature film feature film I Met A Girl, It affects his interest in showing failures as they have never been shown in fiction. In one of the Mission Impossible installments, starring Tom Cruise, some very strange faults light up in Seville at the time of Holy Week. The couple intends to reflect “the sense of community within a Fallas commission, a wedding, how they help each other,” says the actress, star of several short films and performer in various series and plays.
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Luke, 48, defines the tone of the film as “independent romantic comedy.” The cinematographic referents “could be Four Weddings and a Funeral, lost in translation either Before dawn”, aim. The filmmaker’s best friend in the film is played by an Australian actor, but most of the crew is from Valencia. It is shot in English and Spanish (40%). The film, with a budget of less than one million Australian dollars ($645,000), seeks to maintain fidelity and not lose the freshness and closeness of the two previous series, offering an image with a homemade appearance, but much more elaborate.
The wedding, finally, also took place in reality. “Yes, yes, in the end, yes, it was last May in Valencia, and we did not change the original rings with the inscription of March 15, 2020,” says María, smiling.
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