‘Recancelled’: the tragicomic series that triumphs on Facebook arose from a canceled wedding and a pandemic pregnancy | TV

Luke Eve and María Albiñana, in an image of 'Recancelled', shot in the Plaza de la Viigen in Valencia.
Luke Eve and María Albiñana, in an image of ‘Recancelled’, shot in the Plaza de la Viigen in Valencia.

They contacted on Facebook. She, María Albiñana, a Valencian actress, and he, Luke Eve, an Australian director. They had many things in common. They tried in vain to meet at a couple of festivals. They only got to coincide later in Los Angeles, where both had settled down to look for the life. There, the relationship came to fruition and they decided to get married in Valencia. They set a date, March 15, 2020. They sent invitations. The mother of the Sydney filmmaker, Karen, traveled to the Mediterranean city in advance. But the coronavirus pandemic broke out and Spain was confined. The wedding was canceled and María, Luke and Karen were locked in an apartment in Valencia in a forced but profitable coexistence. The couple (she, 37; he, 47) wrote a self-fiction script, took their last generation mobile and began to film about their frustrated wedding, their relationship as a couple, their mother so far from her life, the boredom of the rites of confinement, accompanied solitude, each one’s hobbies, love … All with a touch of humor.

The series was titled Cancelled, Directed by Luke and performed by both of them. They had an Australian public aid to finance it. They shot 10 episodes of about nine minutes each in English (mostly) and Spanish and posted them on Facebook Watch with unexpected success. More than 2.5 million viewers in 48 countries watched the production, which has garnered numerous awards at international web series festivals. It is still being seen. “People still write us asking about the wedding. He asks us to invite them. They also tell us that they have seen their life in confinement reflected. It was three months of filming, sometimes hard. I think the mother was already fed up with us. It was complicated but, at the same time, comfortable. There was no other team than us. She wasn’t acting, it was her. As we had no other option, we took the mobile to shoot ”, says María.

When the borders were opened, the couple thought again about getting married, but the plans were again thwarted. She became pregnant, so they decided to introduce it in the second part of the series, entitled Recancelled. This Wednesday the last of the six new chapters is launched, a little longer, also by Facebook Watch (and by the video consumer platform VIX), in which a surprise related to the baby is revealed. In less than four weeks, the new season has more than a million views.

In this sequel, Maria and Luke leave home. The pandemic is still there, but life continues in search of a lost normalcy. Valencia takes center stage: its streets, its squares, its bars, the Albufera lake … The municipal entity Visit Valencia joined the financing of the series together with Screen Australia, the Argentine platform UN3TV and the embassies of the oceanic country and from Spain. “Luke was obsessed with reflecting the light of Valencia, the orange tone of the nights in the center … We have a photo director, but we continue with the same aesthetics of the mobile, enhanced with a program,” explains María, who completed her training as an actress at the Actor’s Studio (USA) or the Piccolo Teatro in Milan.

“I grew up on a farm in West Sydney. Movies were my vanishing point. At the age of 20 I moved to London and devoted myself to photography, then to music videos and commercials, and finally to film and television, ”says Luke by email. The filmmaker grew up watching films by Coppola or Polanski and later became enthusiastic about directors such as the Cohen brothers, Wes Anderson, Pedro Almodóvar or Thomas Vinterber. “But for Cancelled and ReCancelled I was probably more influenced by Noah Baumbach and Paul Thomas Anderson ”, says the director of the feature film I Met A Girl.

After presenting in a cinema in Valencia Recancelled, now María and Luke plan to return to Los Angeles, but loaded with an intense life and professional experience, with numerous followers around the world and with a five-month-old baby.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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