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‘Redemption story’: ‘Happy Anniversary’ tells tale of recovering from a broken heart

De’Angelo Bethea as Ace in the short film “Happy Anniversary.” (Courtesy of Zia Pictures)

De’Angelo Bethea has spent a lot of time in the film industry grind.

He’s had many auditions. Some roles he got; he never heard back about others.

He knows it comes with the territory.

Not getting callbacks was starting to mess with his mental health.

“I took a deep look at what my talent is,” he says. “I believe in my talents as an actor. Making people believe in situations that aren’t real is a challenge that I’m up to.”

Three years ago, Bethea had his heart broken.

This was an added layer to his feelings about not booking certain projects.

“I took a step back and figured out that I had to do something to showcase myself,” he says. “Being in Albuquerque, there’s so much inspiration around. I told myself that I was going to write something and get the project filmed.”

The result was the short film “Happy Anniversary.”

“They say write what you know,” he says. “I took the pain of how hurt I was through the heartbreak and turned it into a positive.”

“Happy Anniversary” tells the story of Ace, who is deeply in love with his girlfriend, Charlotte.

He finds out his girlfriend is cheating on him with his really good friend, and and his life is quickly altered.

Ace is devastated and ends up meeting a girl who is running away from her abusive boyfriend. Sparks fly, and their broken hearts begin to fill with love.

Bethea plays Ace, while Sofia Emid plays Charlotte. The cast is rounded out by Frankie Maestas, Greg Ryan, Daryl Iris.

Jannis Schelenz is the director of photography, and Danielle Bridges did hair and makeup.

Bethea says he wanted to showcase Albuquerque throughout the film.

Locations included Old Town Park, train stations, the Dog House, and the alley behind the Launchpad and El Rey Theater. The production wrapped a few weeks ago in Albuquerque.

“The locations needed to be perfect because of the roller coaster of emotions through the film,” he says.

In addition to acting in and writing the film, Bethea is producer of the project.

“The world has a way of coming back,” he says. “When a person can feel broken and you might not see it on their face. Time does heal all wounds. This story is a true redemption story. This project is helping me turn the page, and it makes me feel good to showcase the many talents of the cast and crew.”


SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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