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Treintañera (Short Film)

As young adults trying to make our way through the world, two major factors gain focus in our lives: our careers and our romantic relationships. Some become really lucky and are able to fulfill one or both right away, but many have to wait.

As we grow older, however, we may start to question these factors: Am I truly happy where I am? Did I make the right decision? Which one is more important right now?

This last question is one that the protagonist of the comedic character based short Treintañera, struggles with as we follow her through one awkward situation after another.

Valentina, a Latina photographer, laments her unsuccessful love life. Fearing that her granddaughter is cursed for not having a Quinceañera party on her 15th birthday, Valentina's abuela decides to surprise her with one for her 30th, so she can find a man. On the same day, however, Valentina receives her dream job offer of working for National Geographic. Afraid to let her abuela down, she decides to keep quiet, only for things to quickly get messy.

Written, co-produced and starring Tamara Bunker, Treintañera is a very upbeat and charming film, having the unique combination of feeling like a romantic comedy, but also a little like a slice-of-life story as well. Valentina does get into some quirky silly over the top situations like in a romantic comedy, but at the same time, her personal struggles are real and relatable, with some insight about her Latin American culture and heritage, which is really refreshing.

The cast is easily the best part of the film with Bunker leading the way as Valentina, having great comedic energy and wonderful chemistry with Tina D'Marco, who plays Valentina's abuela, producing some hilarious one-liners, as well as having a cute relationship with Nick Cimiluca as Valentina's prospective love interest, Tom.

Like the film's tone, Bunker's performance naturally swings between the over the top exasperation at the embarrassing situations she's pulled into and the worn down but warm and slightly sarcastic demeanor in the more serious moments, resulting in a character very much of the real world pulled into unusual but not unrealistic circumstances. This balance is heightened into her chemistry with  Tina D'Marco's Abuela character, feeling like an old comedy duo in the more humorous situations but also having a very real and warm familial support in the more serious scenes, showing the kind of relationship they've had over many years. Her chemistry is also heightened with Nick Cimiluca's Tom as his character also has the same sort of everyday likability, taking Valentina's warmth and dry sarcastic wit and returning it to her for some nice banter.

Miss Bunker recently expressed her desire to turn Treintañera into a feature, a decision I am wholly looking forward to. I am curious to see how she will explore this material and these characters further, and how things will play out.

As a character driven short, Treintañera really really works with strong characters and acting work, great chemistry a warm heart, and hilarious comedy. Bunker and the rest of the cast and crew's talent and skill definitely shines through and shows them as filmmakers to keep an eye out for. I definitely will and look forward to their future work.

Definitely see it if you can!


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