Couple Lucas Akoskin, Leonor Varela working together on ‘Mienteme’

Principal photography is underway on Argentinian Sebastian Schindel’s romcom-spy adventure hybrid “Mienteme” (“Lie to Me”). Slightly delayed by the pandemic, filming for the Chilean-Argentine co-production took place in and out of Buenos Aires, which is now experiencing a summer heat wave.

Schindel is best known for his psychological thrillers such as his next film for Netflix, “La Ira de Dios” (“The Wrath of God”) seemingly even darker than his previous films. “Mienteme” would be his first romantic comedy. Schindel, who has a strong background in documentary cinema, said in a previous interview, “We bet on playing the line between reality and fiction.”

“There are a lot of firsts in this movie,” said Argentine debut and co-producer Lucas Akoskin, who stars alongside his real-life wife, Chilean Leonor Varela. “It’s the first time I’ve worked as an actor in Argentina and the first time we’ve worked as a couple,” he said.

“The advantage of playing as a couple is that we know each other, we trust each other and even if we get angry, our marriage is strong enough to overcome the differences,” Varela said. “I’m filing for divorce in two weeks,” Akoskin said with a laugh.

Based on a screenplay by Leonel D’Agostino (“La Jauria,” “Cromo”) and Schindel, “Mienteme” centers on a childless couple whose strained decade-old marriage receives a much-deserved jolt when they try to match their friend Barbara (played by Argentinian comedian-actress Florencia Peña) with the suave and well-to-do Julian (Benjamin Vicuña of Chile, “Locked Up”).

When they realize Julian is not what he seems and try to warn Barbara, she is too smitten with Julian to believe them. Their efforts to prove him an impostor bring them closer together but also expose their past lies.

“As the title suggests, people lie every day, at work, with friends, with family…everyone lies to survive,” Akoskin said.

“Florence [Peña] is a master of comics, we learned a lot from her,” said Varela who praises the fun and 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”), “paints a large and rich canvas with Buenos Aires, presenting it in a luminous frame and colorful light,” Akoskin said.

“We actors are playing our true nationalities, it’s a real Chilean-Argentinian co-production, which we hope people from both countries will appreciate and identify with,” said Akoskin, adding that the famous Chilean film actress and television company Coca Guazzini, made an appearance in the film where she plays Julian’s mother.

Los Angeles-based Akoskin’s Aliwen Entertainment is co-producing the film with Chilean Matias Cardone of Inversiones Cinematográficas and Argentina’s Magoya Films, directed by Schindel and Fernando Molnar.

“Mienteme” was pre-financed by private equity and a Latin American distribution agreement with BF Paris. It is expected to find distribution from either platform or studio. Filming is expected to wrap on February 1.

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