The narrow line between life and death occupied the ponderings and reflections of the director when he filmed the last days of his best friend in The wings of life. Today, the Valencian filmmaker Toni Canet has died at age 65 as a result of cancer. The vitalist testimony of the director has been impregnated in his work with titles such as Sunrise as you can (1988) or the documentary that made him winner at the Valladolid Film Festival in 2006, The wings of life. His death took place just a few hours after the Ministry of Culture made public that it was the winner of the first prize of honor of the Valencian Audiovisual Awards.
"They were the most important plans of my life, we were before a very powerful human dimension," said Canet of his masterpiece, The wings of life, in a 2015 interview. This documentary marked forever the life of the filmmaker and his career as a director. In him, Canet marked the objective of show the world the transition between life and death with a real case: that of his friend Carlos Cristo who, at 47, suffered from a terminal illness. Canet asked him to register with his camera his last months and accompany him in the most difficult part of his life. No one could deny the impetus and effort that Canet put into moving the documentary forward. "He used to be a director, cameraman, scriptwriter, driver and even prepared lunch for the team," Canet recalled about the days of filming the documentary. The director prepared 16 different versions of the montage before deciding which one he thought best captured the spirit of the script.
The career of the director of the small Valencian town of Llutxent (Valencia) took off with youthful comedies like Sunrise as you can (1988) or The snake's shirt (1996), in which he revived his adolescence through the story of a group of young people who want to form a rock band in a small Mediterranean town. Canet's career was always linked to television. He worked as a producer of documentary programs for Valencian television among which stand out Bitter Chronicle in 1991, Travel without a ticket in 1998 or the fiction series Benifotrem, the first series of own production of Radio Televisión Valenciana, inspired by his first comedy. The last movie he made was White lime, charcoal black (2017), a documentary that recovers the processes of the traditional production of lime and coal.
"He was one of the pioneers of the documentary and fiction series when Valencian television was born," said yesterday the Deputy Director of Audiovisual and Cinematography at the Valencian Institute of Culture, José Luis Moreno. At the presentation of the Valencian Audiovisual Awards, Moreno announced that Canet was the winner of the honor award "for his thirty years of career". The Minister of Education, Research, Culture and Sport, Vicent Marzà, wanted to highlight the "innovative and breakthrough work of the filmmaker" who left the skin in his effort to film life and death.