Director Biography – Christopher Mack (HOPE IS FRENCH)

E8bdb94254 headshot

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.

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

siri_with_a_vengeance.jpg

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

siri_with_a_vengeance_movie_poster

June 2019 Film/Story/Screenplay Winners

Festival for Comedy-A FilmFreeway preferred festival:

 

 

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: ZOMBIE CRUIZE, by AKA Smith
June 2019 Winner

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: THE PERFECT GIFT, by John Scott Schaf
June 2019 Winner

ACTORSCREENPLAY MOVIE: THE WONDERFUL INVENTION OF DR. BLANK, by Obayed Khan
June 2019 Winner

ACTORTV SPEC SCREENPLAY: BROOKLYN 99: THE AMNESIAC
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY SHORT SCREENPLAY: HERCULEAN TASK, by Mark Allard Will
June 2019 Winner

ACTOR BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: ALL THE WOLVES YOU WERE, by Ron Micci
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: BORN AGAIN, by Daniel Schooling
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: FATE’S PECULIAR SENSE OF HUMOUR, by N. Triton
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: ZOMBIE ARMY, by James Fitzmaurice
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: GOOD INTENTIONS, by Sandy Tovray
June 2019 Winner

ACTORCOMEDY BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: TAKE A PAUSE OUT OF CRIME, by Mary C. Ferrara
June 2019 Winner

ACTOR BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: BLIND VAMPIRE, by Eric White
June 2019 Winner

ACTORLGBT BEST SCENE SCREENPLAY: TUXEDO TERRACE, by Carmine Bicchetti
June 2019 Winner

festival posterSCATTERED,9min., Canada, Comedy

festival posterPLEASURE PALS, 10min., USA, Comedy/Animation

festival posterA ROOMBA’S TALE, 5min., USA, Comedy

festival posterTHE SERPENT IN THE APPLE, 18min., USA, Comedy/Documentary

 

 

 

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

COMEDY Best Scene Screenplay Reading: No Probllama, by Krystal Bird

CAST LIST:

Host – 2 – Adrian Carter
Mad Scientist – 2 – Sean Ballantyne
NARRATION – Norma Dunphy
Evie (40s) – 22 – Andrea Irwin
Dave (40s) – 32 – Trevor Howes

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

COMEDY TV 1st Scene Screenplay Reading: Born in LA, by Marlene Sharp

CAST LIST:

Narration: Allen Brunet
Marlene: Isabel Kruse
Rosalie: Kyana Theresa

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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

COMEDY Best Scene Screenplay Reading: For Love or Music, by Scott Sawitz

Ashley Powell is an ordinary bar singer when she rockets to fame overnight from a viral video. The song she was playing becomes a hit and she winds up on the fast track to musical stardom. She’s carrying a big secret though: she can only write music when she’s miserable after a break up.
With an album on the way she’s forced to write it the only way she knows how: breaking hearts.
When the great love of her life falls into her life, she’s forced to choose between happiness or success.

CAST LIST:

Skylar: David Rowan
Sara: Victoria Murdoch
Narration: Esther Thibault
Matt: Sebastian Biasucci
Ashley: Mojeane Sadr

 


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

Short Film: YOU DRIVE ME CRAZY, 8min. USA, Comedy/Thriller

Dde9e278e9 poster

You Drive Me Crazy is a dark comedy/thriller about a GPS who takes revenge on a cheating husband. Longer synopsis:A dark comedy thriller, “You Drive Me Crazy” is a cautionary tale about our obsessive reliance on technology. A seemingly ordinary guy, Glen, is driving when his GPS voice gives him directions that don’t quite add up. When he tries to follow his own path, the GPS computer shockingly takes control berating him for some of his life choices. Things go from bad to worse when Glen winds up in the last place he’d ever want to be.

  • Film Type:
    Short
  • Genres:
    Comedy
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 23, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    8,115 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color

Short Film: THE GLORIOUS PEANUT, 18min., Belgium, Comedy

73b1217919 poster“The Glorious Peanut” is not a story about a peanut, it’s the story about Patrick. And Patrick is not a peanut, he’s a 30 years old bald lumberjack. It’s important to say he’s bald because that’s why he’s very unconfident. But his lack of confidence is also due to his Father, who crushes him like a peanut. Patrick dreams about having friends, and above all about having a girlfriend… Griet for example, the young flemish farmer girl from the village, whom he fancies since forever. But being bald, he will never get friends, let alone Griet. But one day gets to eat a peanut and that will change his life….

Project Links

Director Biography – Albert Meisl (THE VICTORY OF CHARITY)

Meisl

was born in Munich / Germany
He studies scriptwriting and directing in Austria at Filmkademie Wien (University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna). Besides he works as culture-journalist, assistant director for Austrian films and dramatic advisor for theatre productions. His first feature documentary „Vaterfilm“ („The Father Tapes“) (A 2015) got the Special Mention of the Jury at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival 2015. For his short film „Die Last der Erinnerung“ („The Burden of Memory“) (A 2016) he was awarded as Best Austrian Newcomer at Filmfestival Kitzbühel 2016 and got the price for the Best Screenplay at Filmschoolfest Munich 2016.

COMEDY Screenplay: GOOD NEWS DESK – Watch 3 best scenes from script.

COMPUTER SCENE:

CAST LIST:
Maryanne: Isabel Kruse
Narrator: Val Cole
Melville: Geoff Mays
Polly: Bianca Alongi

NEWSPAPER SCENE:

CAST LIST:
Blandings: Jarrod Terrill
Patroni: Elle A
Marty: Geoff Mays
Narrator: Val Cole
Stone: Ryan Singh
Joe: Neil Bennett

COP SCENE:

CAST LIST:
Patroni: Ell A
Narrator: Val Cole
Crawford: Geoff Mays
Polly: Bianca Alongi

“The Good News Desk” is written along the lines of ‘The Other Guys’ and “The Heat’. It is an action, ‘buddy’ film featuring two strong comic female actors. Suzanne Patroni, a tough, cynical crime reporter, finds her career in free-fall after getting too close to the action. She’s demoted to the good news ‘features’ desk to work alongside her total opposite, Polly, a real-life Pollyanna. While covering what should have been a completely innocent story of a local philanthropist, Patroni and Polly witness a vicious attack by a drug cartel. Patroni jumps back into action, contrary to her editor’s orders and in spite of the backlash from a previous disastrous story that nearly destroyed her career – and her life. Her reckless pursuit of the bad guys puts her – and Polly – in harm’s way. They are pursued by cartel henchmen in a frantic urban car chase, shot at, kidnapped, and left to die in a wildlife refuge pursued by a hungry mountain lion. Patroni relishes the danger, nurturing what seems to be a death wish. Polly responds with unexpected resourcefulness. As they dig deeper to find the truth about the cartels, Patroni faces her personal demons and also uncovers the corruption permeating her world – the cops, the newspaper, and the people she trusts have all been tempted and turned by the cartel’s unlimited money. Against the odds, Patroni gets the scoop of her career. Although full of action, the story has many comic turns prompted by the complete incompatibility of the coarse and cynical Patroni and the eternally optimistic, but surprisingly canny Polly. Ultimately, it is Patroni’s journey of redemption and achievement that provides a sweet and funny ending.

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