My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

Cardiff-born US TV star recruiting stars for feature film

Luca Malacrino at the Wrexham event in Los Angeles

Welsh-Italian actor and producer Luca Malacrino (Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy, Coronation Street) has been on a mission to champion his beloved home nation since moving to Los Angeles 8 years ago to hone his craft. Now, with numerous critically acclaimed acting roles and film production credits to his name, the Welshman is on an even bigger mission; to recruit fellow Welsh patriotic heroes such as Luke Evans, Michael Sheen, and Wrexham’s Welsh-promoting duo Ryan Reynolds & Rob McElhenney to help develop his new feature film that puts Wales on the map for audiences in America and beyond.

Luca Malacrino

A former successful nightclub owner, Luca made a decision at age 21 to pursue his dream of acting. He sold his Cardiff businesses to embark on acting workshops before receiving a scholarship to the prestigious Los Angeles’ AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

Luca in Coronation Street

Within days of graduating, he started to earn credits across stage and screen, starring in Jim Carrey’s I’m Dying Up Here, playing the son of one of his idols, Goodfellas’ Paul Sorvino in Criminal Minds Beyond Borders, and joined the cast of Francis Ford Coppola’s epic experimental ‘live cinema’ film project, Distant Vision. In addition, Luca was notably selected to join the exclusive roster of talent in the Los Angeles BAFTA Newcomers Academy.

A Social Contract with Sean Astin

Alongside his busy acting career, Luca co-created a production company, The Chameleon Effect, with writer/director Alex Hanno. Together the team has created several critically acclaimed works including their debut indie film Elephants (now showing on Amazon Prime), and most recently, the political thriller movie A Social Contract which they sold to raise funds for their Welsh project,  and is now in post-production in Hollywood, starring Sean Astin (The Lord Of The Rings) and Domenica Cameron-Scorsese.

Luca’s mission is now to develop a Welsh-tribute for the big screen: A Sanctuary for Water Voles is an indie-comedy that follows an eccentric and quick tempered Welsh family as they strive to bury the hatchet during an impromptu family reunion.

Luca explained:

“I made my writing partner Alex Hanno promise that we would develop a script that celebrates Wales in its entirety; our rich heritage, deep-rooted culture, language and landscapes. So, while home in Cardiff in 2017 for the premiere of Elephants, we embarked on a road trip around the whole of Wales, asking every local we met from all generations to share with us their authentic stories about Wales and what it meant to be Welsh. Themes such as passion, pride and family stood out, as well as the idea of re-connecting with one another and overcoming family fallouts – all of which inspired us to develop our authentic Welsh story. Our ambition is to film in Pembrokeshire with an all Welsh cast and crew, feature the Welsh language and showcase iconic cultural events like our National Eisteddfod.”

The script has already placed at some of the biggest film festivals in the USA, including Austin Film Festival Final Draft: Big Break, and Scriptapalooza who said: “The Welsh setting and its unique, wondrously eccentric culture is characterised with rich authenticity, deep love, and an energy that makes it feel like its own living, breathing character in the film.”

The project has also caught the eye of legendary studio executive and creator of Wales’ beloved SuperTed, Mike Young who said, “I get sent scripts all day, but this project in particular caught my eye due to the Welsh story and how well it has been told. I knew as soon as I finished reading it that this movie needs to be made and I truly feel like audiences will connect to it.”

With such endorsements under his belt, Luca is now doing everything to find the Welsh support needed to make the film. He said:

“It’s safe to say that the highs and lows have been extreme for me on this journey. This industry is notoriously tough and like most actors I know, there have been days that I honestly thought about quitting. But wins like getting A Social Contract made and how well our Welsh story has resonated with audiences both home and in America has really kept me going.
On top of this, I’m now able to drive into Hollywood and see massive billboards promoting Wrexham and Wales thanks to Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney. I look up and feel so inspired, but at the same time so frustrated. I’m motivated by the honest work of Michael Sheen, Luke Evans and Matthew Rhys as Welsh ambassadors, successfully flying the flag for Wales, and as a fiercely proud Welshman I want to do my part. I want to do for Wales what In Bruges did for Belgium and I truly believe our movie and the openness to collaborate can do just that.”

So Luca is laying down the gauntlet for the stars to help him on his mission, starting with Wrexham football club owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

Luca says:

“Ryan Reynolds & Rob McElhenney – If you were to read this little Welsh project and truly connect with it, I know that alongside some of Wales’ incredible talent behind and in front of the camera, we could show people on a grand scale the beauty that lies within this country; and that we are not the unintelligent fools that most television portrays us as! The world of film is a tool like no other and I would love to extend this mission to you and anyone else reading. I’ll do whatever it takes! Even challenging you both to a dramatic penalty shootout at Wrexham if it meant the opportunity to chat more!”