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Director's Statement: CAKE: A Love Story
by Misha Zubarev

Cake: A Love Story is based on It Had To Be Us, the award-winning romantic memoir written by Harry & Elizabeth Lawrence. While reading this beautiful real-life story, I became fascinated with its emotional richness. I could almost feel what Harry felt when he was writing his part of the memoir, and I found it very flavorful, sincere, and hopeful. I also learned that Elizabeth was a caring, genuine, loving individual with a brave heart. In fact, both writers demonstrated great courage in putting together and publishing such a candid personal account in such intricate details for unknown eyes to see.  After reading their book, I wrote a review and posted it on

Happily, the authors then asked me to do a Sizzle Reel for the book. After that was completed, we started thinking about making a film version. The authors gave me permission to write a screenplay adaptation. I decided to focus on a short film version and received a grant to direct/produce this movie about how two people who were divorced and estranged for almost twenty years found each other again and rediscovered their lost love. The title was changed to Cake: A Love Story in order to enhance the film’s visual continuity. Filmmaker V. Ulea, another fan of It Had To Be Us, joined the project early on to assist with the writing and directing. Plus, composer Vad Chariton agreed to work on the background music.

We were very lucky to get a wonderful cast! Debra Lord Cooke, Richard Vernon, Nancy Lombardo, and George Bettinger deliver the realistic performances we were looking for. Crew members also deserve praise for their highly professional work on this short movie. The actual filming took place in New York during December, 2016. It was difficult to shoot springtime scenes in December, but we all soldiered on – and even had fun.  

As director, my goal was to do everything possible to make this beautiful story into an entertaining and emotionally satisfying experience for viewers. Like Harry & Elizabeth’s heartfelt book, Cake: A Love Story is filled with romance, humor, drama and suspense. Although my adaptation deviates from the book in certain aspects, it remains true to It Had To Be Us. It’s all about the meaning of love and life!

We hope viewers will laugh a little, cry a little and fall in love with Harry & Elizabeth as they prove romantic miracles can happen at any age.

Finally, we are very pleased by the positive critical response from critics who have screened our film so far. Here’s one example:

“This endearing love story proves that love is lovelier the second time around, especially if it is with the same person you loved at first.” --- Nell Minow, The Movie Mom and Roger contributor.         

Editor’s Note: CAKE: A Love Story won awards on the film festival circuit and is now available on YouTube at this link: 

Also, Richard Jack Smith’s review of this short movie can be read by clicking on the link below.     

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