There is little left for the 36th edition of the Goya Awardsthe great gala of Spanish cinema, and Maykol Hernandez and Ruth Armas are already nervous. The two actors are the Canarian representation among the 48 productions that are nominated in different categories, specifically, Song without a name, a feature film nominated for best Ibero-American film. She tells the actress that if she wins, she will shamelessly shout Melinda! instead of the famous Pedro! Penelope Cruz at the Oscars. But everything remains to be seen until February 12 in Valencia, where the Film Academy will put the finishing touch to the centenary of Luis García Berlanga.
The miracle happened thanks to technology. Rafa Álvarez and Patrick Bencomo, owners of the Canarian production company MGCthey were able to do the auditions remotely and be part of Melina León's debut feature, a drama that portrays the political chaos of Peru in the 1980s through the story of Georgina Condori, a woman whose baby disappears and who helps her Peter Fields, a young journalist from Lima. It was a challenge to work in the neighboring continent, and even more so when it was the first experience outside of Spain for the two interpreters. Hernández put himself in the shoes of Isa, a Cuban artist who maintains an intimate relationship with his co-star, to whom that sensitivity unites him, although he admits "that he is more forward than me"; and Armas defended the role of Marta, the secretary, a key character in the story. There, they were part of this plot that unfolds in multiple layers where mystery and tragedy transpire.
Maykol Hernández, popular thanks to his role as a civil guard in the series Hierro and his intervention in 1898: The Last of the Philippines, comments that he is quite optimistic about this candidacy. “It is a pride to represent the Canary Islands, there are great talents and professionals here, both in front of and behind the cameras”, he says after a meeting, “not long ago we were great unknowns, but, luckily, that is changing and we hope that it continues like this: we must take advantage of any window so that they trust us. This is a beautiful movie."
What the island actor alludes to is the co-productions promoted between the Islands and South America. For example, the Report on the Audiovisual Sector in the Canary Islands of November 2020, published by the Canary Islands Film, notifies that of the 265 feature films produced in national territory, only 51 were made in a co-production regime with other countries, especially Argentina and France. This is a formula that the text includes "as a basic means for the exit of our cinema to the foreign market, and to make profitable the large initial investments necessary." In this sense, the Latin American market is an open window full of possibilities to expand the Spanish-speaking public, as is the case with the native La piel del volcano, which the actor anticipates will be available on various platforms.
Ruth Armas agrees on this point, also director of the Gáldar International Film Festival, which will soon celebrate its tenth anniversary: "It takes a lot to get this far, so there has to be more collaborations to help each other." For his part, Hernández emphasizes that “despite the fact that in Peru they have more modest teams, the language and the way of doing things is practically the same. Cinema is universal and, after all, we are people who, wherever we are, work with sensitivity, affection and respect for our work».
Admirers of Melina Leon, winner of the Colón de Oro for Best Feature Film at the 45th Huelva Ibero-American Film Festival, the actress highlights the dialogue established by the director and the expressive freedom during filming. "Melinda made me see that, even though she was a tiny character, the journey she had was enormous, her change in attitude reflects what is happening, and she adapts the action to the moments, there is no closed thing," she highlights.
Due to the limited capacity, none of them will be able to be in the stalls, but they will remain waiting on the other side of the screen. Perhaps Ruth will fulfill her wish "to kiss the big head."