When Alba Haya was young, growing up in Madrid, Spain, she and her sister used to use their father’s camera to record music videos. This started off as a way for the two children to be entertained, but for Alba, it turned into a deep seeded passion for filmmaking.
“It was a very enjoyable pastime as it involved everyone, from friends to neighbors and family. We loved seeing the results of these home videos and above all to capture small fragments of life in such a spontaneous way. To dedicate yourself to what you most enjoy is what makes the day-to-day truly exciting,” she said.
Now, Haya dedicates her life to making captivating films. As a producer, she is in charge of the entire production, creating something amazing from the beginning until the end. Every time she completes a project, she feels a large sense of accomplishment, knowing that she was in charge of almost every aspect. From reading the script, planning the shooting, finding locations, finding and hiring cast members and crew, managing contracts, budgets, making sure that everything is going according to plan and the post production: editing, designing the artwork for posters and banners, finding buyers and distributors to release it all over the world. Being part of something so big where so many people are involved is what drives Haya.
“I adore my work; I live it with passion. I don’t feel it as an obligation, as it is a part of who I am. My mind is constantly inventing ideas and new tactics to improve the projects in which I participate. I like to watch the world from another perspective and thus discover original procedures and new concepts that can surprise the way of work,” she said.
From creating her own production company in her home country of Spain to travelling the world doing what she loves, Haya has become an internationally sought-after producer. She is currently working on the upcoming feature film The Cook & The Critic. The film starts when a damning restaurant review costs a NYC chef his pride and his last customers. He retreats to a villa in Italy to clear his head and rediscover his passion for cooking in the old country. He has started to find peace when the critic who ruined him, a beautiful woman, arrives at the villa with her fiancé, a stuck up British celebrity chef. They are stuck under the same roof. Amidst the beautiful scenery, the truffle hunts and the gorgeous vineyards, the cook and the critic work out their issues while reconciling their roots.
“I have Italian background; my grandmother was from Rome. I like the culture around food in Europe. When you meet with friends and family to share lunch or dinner, all the parts of the process are important. The preparation of the food, the taste of the flavours, enjoying the time with the ones that you love, talking, laughing, eating, drinking go all together at the table. So, it means much more than just eating. It’s in the culture and it’s a way to enjoy life through food and sensations. In the script, you see all these elements. Life in Europe is very different than in the United States, so I like when you can combine people and cultures,” said Haya of the film’s plot.
As the film is in pre-production, Haya has been finding investors and raising money for a worldwide release of the film. They are also currently casting many talented actors and location scouting, a process the producer finds very motivating.
For now, Haya has sold the movie in China, Spain and the Middle East. It will be released in theatres in 2019. Haya is also currently at the Cannes film festival showcasing the artwork for the film. She is very excited for audiences to finally be able to see it next year.
“I like working on a film that shows how life in Italy is. Just by reading the script you can smell the food that is cooked, you can imagine the tastes, you can see the colors of the dishes and the amazing landscapes where it’s placed. It’s magical. That’s what I love about films that you can experience a new world from the coach of your living room, that’s the magic,” she said.
It’s been almost four years since Haya first started working in Los Angeles, and films like The Cook & The Critic remind her why she loves working in the industry. She has become a better producer by working alongside the best in her industry, and she herself has become a formidable leader.
“When you surround yourself with people that have being working in the industry for many years, you can learn from their experience and the job itself gets easier. In Los Angeles anything is possible, and you can develop any idea. Here we have the people, resources, equipment, the possibilities are endless to create whatever you want and make an impact in the world through your film,” she concluded.