COMEDY Best Scene Reading: PARTY OVER COUNTRY, by Tim Gale

An intolerable Republican candidate is voted in as President of the United States, but he seems more interested in partying than running the country, or taking orders from his ominous overlord.

CAST LIST:

NARRATION – SARAH DESOUZA-COELHO
Buzz – 5 – SEAN BALLANTYNE
Hope – 6 – JULIE C. SHEPPARD
Carson – 5 – GENE ABELA
Bryan – 3 – THOMAS FOURMIER
Val – 3 – DIANA FRANZ

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

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

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COMEDY Best Scene Reading: Princess Pals, by Jenn Barlow, Lindsey Jean Roetzel

When the cameras stop rolling and the princess dresses get put away, life in YouTube kids fantasy land isn’t quite what its cracked up to be. Aspiring actors trying to make it in the biz, Jessica and her other Princess Pals are just trying to get through each day without quitting their oh-so-wonderful jobs, pretending to be princesses. If the Office TV Show were set at Disneyland, and Disneyland was run by a retired porn guru, this would be Princess Pals. But at least it’s a steady paycheck, right?

CAST LIST:

NARRATION JULIE C. SHEPPARD
Jessica – 6 – DIANA FRANZ
Samantha – 6 – SARAH DESOUZA-COELHO
Richard – 2 – THOMAS FOURMIER

 

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

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

COMEDY Best Scene Reading: Playing with Chopsticks, by James Abney

After the meeting between him and his Chinese girlfriend’s strict parents goes terribly wrong, one average white man is forced to win her parents respect, while trying to defeat her handsome suitor and former flame, all during her sister’s traditional Chinese wedding.

CAST LIST:

NARRATION – DIANA FRANZ
Evy (29) – 7 – SARAH DESOUZA-COELHO
Jimmy (20s) – 10 – THOMAS FOURMIER
Mary – 3 – JULIE C. SHEPPARD

 

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

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

Winning COMEDY Feature Screenplay Reading: Dick 2.0, by Henry Sarwer-Foner & Noel Baker

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Facing a divorce that threatens to halve his fortune, billionaire DICK SCHANTZ replaces himself with a clone precisely engineered to save his marriage and net worth. But when he sees how much more his wife loves Dick 2.0, a jealous Dick must battle his better self to win back his better half.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Jack: Peter Nelson
Dick: Bill Poulin
Janet: Victoria Murdoch
Imogen: Lyndsay Clarkson
Kent: David Jackson
Kaborkin: Ron Boyd

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

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

 

TV SPEC Screenplay Reading of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, by Christus Ahmanson

The Gang Adopts A Syrian Refugee

CAST LIST:

Charlie: Sean Ballantyne
Frank: Ron Boyd
Tariq: Yaw Attuah
NARRATION
Dennis: Matthew Payne
Mac: Hadi Kubba
Dee: Tracy Rowland
Janice: Diana Franz

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

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Ryan Haines, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Ryan Haines, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

COMEDY Best Scene Screenplay Reading: It’s In Her Blood, by Curtis Larade

After her husband dies and leaves her penniless, a 1980’s aerobics star struggles to bring her sexy into the 21st century.

CAST LIST:

Blair: Jennifer Lieberman
Narration: Geoff Mays
Anne: Maiza Dubhe
Francis: Russell Batcher

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

Festival Moderators: Matthew Toffolo, Rachel Elder

Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne

Editors: Kimberly Villarruel, Kyle Drier, John Johnson

Festival Directors: Rachel Elder, Natasha Levy

Camera Operators: Denissa Palmer, Temitope Akinterinwa, Efren Zapata, Zack Arch

 

 

 

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.