Director Biography – Christopher Mack (HOPE IS FRENCH)

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Chris Mack is a Paris based acting coach. He directs and writes plays and films in Paris, where he resides. Directing credits include, The Race of the Ark Tattoo, Paris Doll, Seventy Scenes of Halloween, and The Varian Fry Project.

Chris teaches/has taught acting for stage and screen for Blanche Salant, EICAR, Les Ateliers du Sudden, Bilingual Acting Workshop, New York Film Academy Paris, and Paris Meisner Studio, as well as for episodes of some TV series, like the French series, The Bureau Des Legends.

Chris is also a Paris-based voiceover artist. He does voiceovers for numerous documentaries, commercials and films.

Director Statement

Inspired by Schrödinger’s Cat, Hope is French is a cat-in-a-box tale. Like Erwin Schrödinger, we ask, Is the cat alive or not alive? Only our cat’s name is Hope. And Hope is French…

Everyone has had a bad hair day. A day where, no matter how well it starts, we can be emotionally destroyed in moments by things out of our control. These moments, and our reactions to them, are incredibly tragic, but also darned funny. With the gift of time we can look back at the worst problems with laughter. The human spirit is so great that we will do anything to keep on going. There is always hope. This film is about those horrible (and funny) moments.

What choices does Polly make in the face of her romantic Paris gone mad? Especially when she is obliged to navigate the French people and the language? Hope is funnier with a French accent (where the French don’t know how to pronounce the “h”). Language problems make Polly’s plight even worse.

France was the home of Sartre, de Beauvoir, and it was the adopted home of Samuel Beckett. “Heavy Thinkers.” But it’s also the backdrop for beautiful and schmaltzy romantic films, like An American in Paris. A city full of existential dread, but also of love and light and the French joy of life. C’est comme ca (it’s like that) is an acceptance of life, good and bad. Don’t forget that the French say “merde” for “break a leg,” because to them, stepping on shit is lucky. France is a country of contradictions. This is why we chose Paris as the backdrop for Polly’s story. It’s like life. Sometimes you step on the shit, and ‘c’est comme ca.”

So the themes of this comic short film include hope, charm and also existential despair. We try to convey these themes stylistically and visually through our shots, colors, and design choices. Cinematographically, our film pays homage to contradictory France, and French kitsch. Polly’s world is real, but colorful, contradictory, and improbable. Like France. We hope you like her story.

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