Yearning. Many of us will feel that when the final credits of the first season of Calendar roll in two days. It is not for less. Few audiovisual products have opened our hearts and inspired us to grow, as the beautiful lyrics of its theme song say.
Fortunately, the episodes of the second season are already recorded. jr He went to one of the locations during the shooting and spoke with the director Magda González Grau, the actress Clara García (Amalia) and the screenwriter Amílcar Salatti. We confirm that behind a great series, a team works with passion and dedication to break the hackneyed curse that following parts are not good.
The plots and characters have caused a “rare” audience phenomenon in recent times on Cuban television. The chapter of the week has not ended and various emotions emerge on social networks, a deep debate about the stories takes place, both from digital interaction communities and in non-virtual spaces. The greatest consensus lies in the success with which the series has entered the national reality.
We did not expect this welcome at all, we were very surprised, it seemed overwhelming, it put a tremendous responsibility on our shoulders, but we received it with extraordinary joy, commented Magda González. “People not only say that they love it, that they cry or laugh, but immediately a reflection on the issues raised begins to be generated, it seems fundamental to me because that was a proposal from the beginning.”
For Salatti, success is unpredictable, you never know how the connection with the work will be. When he saw the first two installments he noticed that it was well done, it had strong performances and he said to himself “they’re not going to mistreat me”. Making it work and winning over viewers has to do with much more than when it’s put on, what precedes it, what people want to see and what they want to be talked about, he says.
Clara García has had to deal with the charm that her Amalia has caused among many people. Children stop her on the street to hug her and take photos of her, they approach her at stops, thank her and congratulate her. She, very serene, says that she accepts it calmly and thinks it will happen at some point, but the teacher she plays conquered the public with kindness, and that is not so easy to turn off.
«I have found people who tell me “we are changing the education system, of teaching, to see Amalia”. It gives me joy that the teachers want to continue teaching with love and more responsibility, and that suddenly the character is a reference, it is a gift », she expresses.
For being the educator that one would always have wanted to have, Salatti found it the most difficult character to build. She gave it a shocking human and ethical basis, but she also filled it with conflicts, put “dirt” on it so that it had edges, nuances and was believable. Always defending the idea that teaching is much more than instructing, it is sowing sensitivity in the spirit of the students.
In that line of provoking noble feelings, the screenwriter used poetry as an element. «It’s risky, I talked about it with Magda, we were on the line of moving on to kitsch, that it would be pathetic or ridiculous; that also has to do with the level of performance or setting. Luckily everything went well, I think it was the exact measure. There will be people who may seem unbelievable, I believe it and many people believe it ».
Approaching challenging problems from a nice and generous concept was among the goals of its experienced director, for whom Calendar was her first foray into such a large project.
“We knew that they were tough topics and we also knew that the public is tired of living reality and they don’t want to see it in the audiovisuals —he points out—; That is why sometimes they take refuge in foreign products such as Turkish, Korean, which have a very beautiful aesthetic, they have color, they have light.
“We set out to find beauty within that reality, which can be hostile, but can also be beautiful (…) That they could receive what we were saying, which was conflictive, but above all with a breath of hope.”
A series to thank
In 13 chapters it is complex to delve into the interiorities of a classroom as heterogeneous as 9th.3. The very choral structure of the series was designed to give prominence to a student every Sunday, pause his story, make way for another, and resume it later, Amílcar Salatti points out.
«This prevented giving it continuity and delving into some topics (…) I recognize that there are problems that are touched very lightly and are abandoned; but what is touched is done with seriousness and responsibility », he exposes.
Like any restless author, he would have liked to exploit some characters more. This is the case of Maykel, one of those who caused the most impact due to his tenderness, charisma and for being the openly gay boy, who keeps a diary and becomes a disciple of his Spanish-Literature teacher. “I thought that he was not going to have so much empathy with the public because homophobia persists, however people liked it a lot.”
Precisely one of the “dangers” of the season that is being recorded right now is the absence of several characters who have already managed to endear viewers. But a different structure, which follows new and old conflicts during the 12 written chapters, as well as the advantage of a script that dives into deeper waters and is created from the knowledge of the cast members, aims to once again capture the fans and add followers.
The heroine faces an 11th grade in a pre-university. He meets up with students she has taught in the past and gets closer to others with whom he has his first contact. The central nucleus of the action is not limited only to the classroom, as before with 9no.3, since some protagonists will be in trade schools, in the Lenin and in other educational institutions.
Clara had to deliver this time to an Amalia “with more experience, who has grown; That adolescent continues to exist within her seeking protection and looking for how to give it to others, but I have seen her hard, ”says the actress.
For the occasion, the dramas raise the bar by a lot, because “people do not want sweetened reality, nor raw because it is going to be entertaining, you have to find the middle point,” says Salatti.
“It has given me great pleasure to work with established actors, and with young people who always have something to say, who are very intelligent, very capable, who have tremendous talent, I am very satisfied,” confesses Magda.
Before returning to the room from where he leads the filming, he advances: «We are making an effort, we are recording and possibly a third one will come because the conflicts of this one could not be closed, they are much harder.
When the series ends next Sunday, April 3, Clara García will feel very grateful because the reaction of the public week after week has made everyone very happy in these three months on the air. “Please look forward to the second season and thank you, thank you very much.”
Photos and Video Editing: Maykel Espinosa Rodriguez
Recording and assistance: Julio Carlos Acosta Riesco
Production: JR Social Media Group