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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Short Film: HOPE IS FRENCH, 15min., France, Comedy/Relationships

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Ever have a bad hair day? Where you should’ve stayed in bed? In Paris, city of lights and rain, Polly, an American in Paris, struggles with clogged toilets, heartbreak, STDs, bad therapy, a handgun surprise, mastering the French subjunctive and the police. But there’s always Hope. The cat. But can even Hope survive?

  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Hope is French
  • Film Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Dark Comedy, France
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 26 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 12, 2018
  • Country of Origin:
    France
  • Film Language:
    English, French
  • Shooting Format:
    MIRRORLESS CAMERA Sony A7RIII
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color

Short Film: SIRI WITH A VENGEANCE, 5min., Norway, Comedy/Thriller

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Shawn is held has to play a game of survival, after Siri hacks into his Android phone to seek revenge for not using her anymore.

  • Film Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Thriller, Comedy, Satire
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 15, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    2,500 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
    Norway
  • Country of Filming:
    Norway
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Arri Alexa
  • Aspect Ratio:
    2:35
  • Film Color:
    Color

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HIGHLIGHTS, WINNERS & VIDEOS: July 2019 Comedy FEEDBACK Film Festival

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:

BEST ROMANCE FILM: TURN IT AROUND

BEST COMEDY FILM: THE VICTORY OF CHARITY

BEST PERFORMANCES: TURN IT AROUND

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: THE GLORIOUS PEANUT

BEST MUSIC: YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY

THEME: Unique Love

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterJOE, 20min., USA, Romance

festival posterTEN MINUTES TOPS, 6min, France, Comedy

festival posterTHE GLORIOUS PEANUT, 18min., Belgium, Comedy

festival posterYOU DRIVE ME CRAZY, 8min. USA, Comedy/Thriller

festival posterTURN IT AROUND, 9min., Netherlands, Romance

festival posterTHE VICTORY OF CHARITY, 24min., Austria, Comedy

The theme of the July 2019 Comedy & Romance Feedback Film Festival in Toronto was “Different types of love”.

Each film was about a character or situation with love in a unique sort of way.

The 18th event of the Toronto festivals in 2019.

20 more festivals to go in Toronto this year.

See you at the festivals.

– Matthew Toffolo

Short Film: THE VICTORY OF CHARITY, 24min., Austria, Comedy

Musicologist Szabo lives in a small studio apartment full of plates, books and archives. To end this, his girlfriend Kathi invaded the apartment in Szabo’s absence to at least remove old clothes. But just below was a rare, original stage costume of an Austrian beat band, which is to be exhibited in a museum of postwar Austrian popular music. To get the jacket back, Szabo does not shy away from a break in the charity clothing collection. His young, aspiring colleague Fitzthum is urged by Szabo to help him. But in contrast to Szabo, who is latently degenerate, Fitzthum has a lot to lose in the night action: his job, his career – and possibly his freedom.

Project Links
Awards & Awards

• “Special Mention of the Jury” (Festival du court métrage de Clermont-Ferrand 2018) 
• “Best Comedy” (Landshut Short Film Festival 2018) 
• “Special Mention of the Jury” (cellu l’art Jena 2018) 
• “Special Mention of The Jury “(Seattle International Film Festival 2018) 
•” Audience Award “&” Best Austrian Short Film “(Shortynale 2018) 
•” Golden Award “,” Best Director “,” Best Actor “(Rafael Haider) (Global University Students Film Festival Hong Kong 2018 )

Festival participation (selection)
• Film Festival Max Ophüls Prize, 2017 (Germany) 
• Diagonale – Festival of Austrian Film, 2017 (Austria)
• Five Lakes Film Festival, 2017 (Germany)
• Flensburg Short Film Festival, 2017 (Germany)
• Bamberger Short Film Festival, 2018 (Germany)
• Festival du court métrage de Clermont-Ferrand, 2018 (France)
• 19th Landshut Short Film Festival, 2018 (Germany)
• Sehsüchte – International Student Film Festival Potsdam, 2018 (Germany)
• cellu l’art short film festival Jena, 2018 (Germany)
• Seattle International Film Festival, 2018 (USA)
• Shortynale, 2018 (Austria)
• Telluride Film Festival, 2018 (USA)
• BuSho Budapest Short Film Festival 2018 (Hungary)
• Brussels Short Film Festival 2018 (Belgium)
• Västeras Film Festival 2018 (Sweden)
• Cape Town International Film Festival and Market 2018 (South Africa)
• Global University Students Film Festival 2018 (China)
• Brest European Short Film Festival 2018 (France)

 

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Scattered Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from the June 2019 Comedy Festival

 

SCATTERED,9min., Canada, Canada

Directed by Ellie Harvie

Two women venture into the woods to scatter their friend’s ashes and fumble for a way to say good bye.

CLICK HERE – and see full info and more pics of the film!

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April 2019 Film/Story/Screenplay Winners

Festival for Comedy-A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

 

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: PINK LAVA
April 2019 Winner

ACTORTV PILOT SCREENPLAY: DEAL SHEETS, by Stephen Love
April 2019 Winner

ACTORTV SPEC SCREENPLAY: TRANSPARENT, by Horton Emory
April 2019 Winner

ACTORTV SPEC SCREENPLAY: THE OFFICE, by Vanessa Shealy
April 2019 Winner

ACTORTV BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: THE UPSIDE DOWNINGS, by Sean Sullivan
April 2019 Winner

ACTOR1st Scene SCREENPLAY: GEEKS: A LOVE STORY, by Andrew Fisk
April 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY 1st Scene SCREENPLAY: STEVE OLIVIA, by Vicki Cargill & Adam Cargill
April 2019 Winner

ACTOR1pg. SHORT SCREENPLAY: SECOND CLASS, by Eileen Wilson
April 2019 Winner

ACTORUnder 5min. SHORT SCREENPLAY: PUNKED, by Kate Whitehead
April 2019 Winner

ACTORSHORT SCREENPLAY: PEN AND PENCIL: SPRING BREAK, by Devone Jones
April 2019 Winner

ACTORROMANCE SHORT SCREENPLAY: PURGATORY: A LOVE STORY, by Alice L. Lee
April 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY Best Scene SCREENPLAY: THE GOLDEN YEARS, by Joe Starzyk
April 2019 Winner

festival posterCAUGHT IN THE SPOKES, 14min., Canada, Drama/Crime

festival poster#METONIGHT, 1min., USA., Music

festival posterI HAVE SOMETHING TO TELL YOU, 1min., USA, Drama/Thriller

festival posterFOR WANT OF A NAIL, 18min., UK, Drama/Comedy

 

 

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Producer/Director: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Festival Moderators: Kierston Drier, Shepsut Wilson
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Kyle Drier, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Mary Cox, Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Hugh Fraser, Andy Camp, Aser Santos Jr., Zack Arch