Principal photography is underway on Argentine Sebastian Schindel’s romcom-spy adventure hybrid “Mienteme” (“Lie to Me”). Delayed slightly by the pandemic, filming of the Chilean-Argentine co-production has been taking place in and outside of Buenos Aires, now experiencing a summer heat wave.
Schindel is best known for psychological thrillers such as his upcoming film for Netflix, “La Ira de Dios” (“The Wrath of God”) apparently even darker than his previous films. “Mienteme” would be his first romcom. Schindel, who has a strong background in documentary filmmaking, said in a previous interview: “We are betting on playing the limits between reality and fiction.”
“There are a lot of firsts in this film,” said Argentine lead and co-producer Lucas Akoskin who plays opposite his wife in real life, Chile’s Leonor Varela. “It’s my first time to work as an actor in Argentina and our first time to work together as a couple,” he pointed out.
“The advantage of playing a couple is that we know each other, trust each other and even if we get on each other’s nerves, our marriage is solid enough to overcome any differences,” said Varela. “I’m filing for divorce in two weeks,” said Akoskin with a laugh.
Based on a screenplay by Leonel D’Agostino (“La Jauria,” “Cromo”) and Schindel, “Mienteme” turns on a childless couple whose strained decade-old marriage is given a much-needed jolt when they try to match their friend Barbara (played by Argentine comedienne-actor Florencia Peña) with the suave and well-to-do Julian (Chile’s Benjamin Vicuña, “Locked Up”).
When they realize that Julian is not what he seems and try to warn Barbara, she’s too infatuated with Julian to believe them. Their efforts to prove he’s a fraud brings them closer together but also reveals their past lies.
“As the title reveals, people lie every day, at work, with friends, family… everyone lies to survive,” Akoskin asserted.
“Florencia [Peña] is a master comic, we’ve learned a lot from her,” said Varela who lauds the fun, collaborative spirit on set. “Everyone brings so much to the table,” she added.
DP Lucio Bonelli, renowned for his work with “Wild Tales” director Damian Szifron (“Tiempo de Valientes,” “El Fondo del Mar”), “is painting a large and rich canvas with Buenos Aires, showcasing it in a bright and colorful light,” said Akoskin.
“We actors play our real nationalities, it’s a true Chilean-Argentine co-production, which we hope people from both countries will appreciate and identify with,” Akoskin said, adding that celebrated Chilean film and TV actress Coca Guazzini, has a cameo in the film where she plays Julian’s mother.
Akoskin’s L.A.-based Aliwen Entertainment co-produces the film with Chile’s Matias Cardone of Inversiones Cinematográficas and Argentina’s Magoya Films, run by Schindel and Fernando Molnar.
The shoot is expected to wrap by Feb. 1.