Friday, May 11, 2018

Alessandra Hajaj and Sabrina Percario Present "Breaking"

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

Press Contact:
Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications

856-425-0743
(text / voicemail)



Multiple Award Winning Breaking 
features the Accomplishments 
of Two Talented Female Filmmakers

(June, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) Actress Alessandra Hajaj had an idea for a movie.

Most people with a passion for producing a film quickly learn that moving from concept to finished film is a challenging task, even for the most experienced professionals. So Alessandra turned to her friend Sabrina Percario, who is both a SAG-AFTRA Actress and a Producer at Percario Productions. Alessandra had worked with Sabrina on a few projects, and Sabrina has produced several award winning films, including Julia, a semi-autobiographical film about the relationship with her mother, and making difficult career choices.

The result of their collaboration is Breaking, the inspiring story of a porcelain doll who overcomes her fears to break out of her snow globe.

Alessandra Hajaj

And now their film is gaining momentum! So far Breaking has won Best Short Film at the NYC Indie Film Awards, Best Inspirational Film at the Festigious International Film Festival, and many, many more! 

Alessandra describes Breaking’s themes:

“Everyone is talking about abuse these days, but most people don't have a precise definition of it. I wanted to create a film that would address abuse with an innocent’s point of view. Many victims are children, and adults tend to avoid the issue to preserve their childrens’ innocence. What they don't realize is the fact that they are not protecting their children, they are leaving their children unaware of the danger and exposing them to it. So I've made this film for them, so children and people from all ages can be aware of what can happen, and if it does happen to them, they can develop the courage to break out of the situation.”

On working with Sabrina, Alessandra adds: “Sabrina is a great friend and professional. Her experience in the industry was crucial on the process of Breaking. She helped me prepare, organize and execute many tasks in which I had no experience. She is a great producer, great actress and she has a lot of potential.” 


Sabrina Percario
Sabrina was attracted to the project not only because Alessandra is a good friend, but because she also admired Alessandra. "She's super talented and wears so many hats on set, plus I know I can count on her. When she asked me to produce Breaking, I was very touched by her story and theme. 

Everything went smoothly during the pre-production, production and post production. It took us couple of months to pre-produce. Alessandra knew exactly what she wanted for location and cast, so my job was easy to bring together the best crew I could assemble. Everyone was so on top of their own departments, and we had a very respectful relationship between coworkers. That is my goal as a producer: to bring together the best crew as possible, not only talented people, but people who work well with everyone, bringing a very pleasant atmosphere to the set.




Festigious International Film Festival
Best Inspirational Film and Best Original Score

Hollywood International
Moving Pictures Film Festival

Best Music Score


NYC Indie Film Awards
Best Short Film and

Best Score

United International Film Festival
Jury Mention

This film is very important to us because it is our way of working to bring awareness of those who have suffered from sexual harassment. Our film approaches the subject in a poetic, innovative and beautiful way, so people from all ages can see it and become more aware.

It was one day shoot and at the same location we had a green screen room and the bedroom set. For post-production process, again, everything was amazing. Our editor and VFX guys helped us improve the film, we are grateful for their valuable contributions. We also had a very talented sound mixer and composer Marconi de Morais. The music in the film is original, and is the key element that drives the story.


I can't wait to work with Alessandra again!"



Alessandra Hajaj was born in São Paulo, Brazil with a passion for the arts. She studied fashion, dance, singing and performing arts. Alessandra earned a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the New York Film Academy, and has worked in several creative capacities, including Production Designer.

Alessandra has another short film entering festivals, Chop Shop also directed by Eric Milzarski, where she was the Executive Producer and Production Designer.

Alessandra Hajaj with
Sabrina Percario
And in the near future, she would like to find investors to make Breaking into a feature animated film.

Sabrina Percario is also from Brazil and has lived in LA since 2014, so a collaboration between the two of them was a natural!

They have submitted Breaking to several more festivals taking place between now and the end of the year, and will learn in the next few months which festivals will be screening Breaking.

At the moment Sabrina is working on post production for I.C.E CREAM, a film she produced with Foxter Production Company, which will be out on the festival circuit beginning in May. She is also working on In Search Of, and FriendZone, both feature films she is producing with Touch A Life Productions.


So the next time someone asks "Where are the next great emerging female film producing talents?" look to Alessandra Hajaj and Sabrina Percario.





Alessandra Hajaj and Sabrina Percario are available for interview by appointment, pending availability.




Contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications

856-425-0743
(text / voicemail)








Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Director Maria Alice Arida: Establishing Herself as a Respected Film Industry Talent

Thompson Communications

PRESS RELEASE

Maria Alice Arida


Press Contact

Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications
856-942-4434
steve@thomcomm.net

For Immediate Release

Director Maria Alice Arida:
Establishing Herself as a Respected Film Industry Talent

(August, 2017, Los Angeles, CA) Born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Maria Alice Arida is a 2010 filmmaking graduate of the FAAP, in Brazil. 

FAAP (Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation) was founded in 1947 by Armando Álvares Penteado. It is now one of the most important and respected academic institutions in Brazil, with twelve thousand students and twelve hundred professors.

Maria is now studying film directing at the prestigious American Film Institute (AFI) in Los Angeles, CA, from which she will graduate in December of this year.

“My thesis film at AFI is a psychosexual thriller about Isabelle, a serial killer who uses the blood of her victims to paint. When Isabelle meets the performance artist Camila Braum, she finds out that they both might have more in common than she had expected. Will Isabelle allow herself to let Camila in without giving in to her true nature? In delving into the darkest depths of these characters, my goal was to explore such taboo themes about femininity and female sexuality.”

While she continues her studies at AFI, she has already created an impressive body of work. Maria has directed six short films, fashion commercials and a web series. In addition, she has worked as an assistant director for a number of feature films and TV series.

She had the opportunity of working closely with renowned directors like Hector Babenco (Academy award nominee for Kiss of the Spider Woman) and Eduardo Coutinho (Edifício Master.) Maria worked as an AD on the last two movies of Babenco’s career (My Hindu Friend and The Man Who Stole a Duck.)

The short The Man Who Stole a Duck was exhibited in the Venice Film Festival as part of the feature film Words with Gods by Guillhermo Arriaga.



My Hindu Friend is an autobiographical story starring Willem Dafoe. Diego (Dafoe), is a film director very close to death, surrounded by people who are having trouble dealing with his current tempestuous mood. Chances are he won't survive, but if he does, it means he needs to relearn how to live.

The role of an assistant director on a film typically includes tracking daily progress against the filming production schedule, arranging logistics, preparing daily call sheets, checking cast and crew, and maintaining order on the set. They also take care of the health and safety of the cast, which in the case of My Hindu Friend meant assuring that lead actor Willem Dafoe was comfortable and had everything he needed during the production.

Maria also worked as a second AD on Pedro e Bianca, a Brazilian TV series Winner of the International Emmy Kids Awards.

All shorts Maria wrote, directed and produced in Brazil were approved and granted tax deductibility status for fund raising purposes by the government of Brazil.



The first short she directed À Margem dos Olhos had Clarissa Kiste as one of the main actors. Clarissa is now playing a character in the first Brazilian Netflix series called 3%.



Maria just started sending Solo, one of her shorts, to festivals for screening later this year. Solo is the story of Silvia, who is a ballerina completely consumed by dance. Determined to rehearse until she achieves perfection, she locks herself in her apartment for days in a row. Her compulsion makes her enter a state of growing delirium, unable to sleep and hardly eating. Her rehearsals are only interrupted when she notices a dirt stain on the carpet. Silvia tries to clean it in vain. Tormented, she tears out the carpet trying to find where the stain comes from, but the stain relentlessly continues to grow and invades the apartment little by little.



SOLO trailer from Maria Alice Arida on Vimeo.

"My main focus as a writer-director is to tell female driven stories. Thriller and horror are my favorite genres. Nightcrawler, Under the Skin, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night and Let the Right One In are movies that have truly influenced me as a director.

Exploring the dark side of human nature is a recurrent theme of my work. However, there's a dark side of women that’s usually not portrayed in films and TV shows. Female characters are usually portrayed as delicate, sweet, and loving. But what happens when the dark side of our souls takes over? This is a question I’ve often asked myself and the main theme I want to examine as a filmmaker.”

Having started out her filmmaking career as a cinematographer, Maria has developed a keen visual sensibility that is present in all of her films. Although Maria is no longer a cinematographer, she is passionate about still photography, and loves to photograph with her 35mm film camera made in the 80s!

Knowledgeable in all aspects of filmmaking process from story development through production and post production, Maria is an accomplished and experienced filmmaker, who has worked with some of the most well respected talent in the industry. She is destined to become one of those most well respected talents!


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Maria Alice Arida is available for interview by appointment,
pending availability.

Contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications
856-942-4434

steve@thomcomm.net









Thursday, June 8, 2017

Producer Sabrina Percario Forms Percario Productions

Thompson Communications

PRESS RELEASE

Percario Productions


Sabrina Percario, SAG / AFTRA
Forms Percario Productions

(Los Angeles, CA -- February, 2018) After successfully producing a number of well received films, actress / producer Sabrina Percario, SAG / AFTRA announces the formation of her production company: Percario Productions. She now has eight in-production projects, preceded by an astounding twenty-nine completed films, with four more in-development projects!

"I want to produce films that I feel personally connected with, and that speak to my heart. I believe that making a film and sharing it with the world is a big responsibility. When someone makes a film and puts it out there, they are telling people how they view the world, or are sharing a point of view of a definite subject and how it directly and indirectly affects people. It’s an opportunity to waken them to a specific topic, or to create a reflection, or to just feel an emotion.

“It can be very powerful, but also comes with a big responsibility. I don’t use films to tell that I’m right and someone is wrong, that would be very arrogant on my part. I just want to present a subject and let the audience think about it.” 

In addition to dramatic, narrative films, Sabrina also intends to create television productions and spots. "I’m open to any kind of communication as long as the story speaks to my heart. I don’t want to do this just for the money or publicity. I want to collaborate with people who are passionate about stories that are based on true events, or stories that bring good and positive reflections.




“I have produced a few projects so far, some of my favorites are Julia, Breaking, Open Mic, English Prep. What they have in common is that most of them were inspired by true events. I’m currently producing In Search Of in collaboration with Bad Nose Film Company, a feature film which is inspired by Julia, a story about grieving and following your dreams. This feature is also inspired by my own life and some friends who allowed me to share their struggles, and how they overcome them." 

Sabrina will be keeping her production company website updated at www.percarioproductions.com



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Sabrina Percario is available for interview by appointment, pending availability.



Contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications

856-942-4434


steve@thomcomm.net







Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Performer Sebastian John Philippe Faure


Thompson Communications

PRESS RELEASE



Actor Sebastian Faure: 
You can achieve anything you want, 
JUST EMBRACE THE JOURNEY!


(February, 2018 -- Los Angeles, CA) Actor Sebastian Faure brings a truly unique perspective to his craft: “Life is never easy. At a young age, our parents always told us that you could achieve anything you desire if you put your mind to it. They weren’t wrong, but what do we desire? Your journey starts here. First, you have to find your passion. And the only way for you to find what you love most is to experience the work that life has to offer.” 

He worked as a waiter, a tennis coach, a salesman, and a gallery manager before finding out that acting is what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

Sebastian John Philippe Faure was born in Dubai in 1988.  His parents divorced early in his life, so he grew up facing those struggles. He didn’t enjoy school and was always cast aside as a weirdo. But then his Mom introduced him to art. “The first time I held a pencil and started drawing was when I was with her. The first time I had to recite a poetry sonnet in class, I was practicing at home with my mum. She was always there to support me. For that, I’m grateful.”

Showing promise at a young age, he initially earned a scientific baccalaureate from the Lycee Georges Pompidou in France.

His Father’s video collection introduced him to several different genres of film, all of which he loved!

Although his Father advised him against acting, he attended the Sorbonne University in Paris, majoring in Art History and Archeology, where he fell in love with acting once again. He graduated from the Sorbonne with a Bachelor Degree in Art History and Archeology and a Minor in Theatre.


Moving back to Dubai he started working in a gallery as an art consultant, which he did for three years. After three years, his passion for acting overtook him, so he picked up his suitcase and moved to the City of Angels, Los Angeles, CA where he earned a Masters in Fine Art Acting at the New York Film Academy in Burbank. He is grateful to have been coached by people like George McGrath, Isabela Hofmann, Joe Basile, George Russo, and Ken Lerner, just to name a few.

He became aquainted with acting techniques from Stanislavski to Meisner, from Meisner to Lee Strasberg, from Strasberg to Chekhov, Chekhov to Grotowski. He was able to take something from all of these techniques in order to create his own style. 

After graduation, he began to get parts by saying yes to any projects could get involved with. After much effort, he developed a great reputation, then developed a sort of  domino effect. He began getting more work through referrals because people liked working with him.


He went on to make a dozen short films. He wrote two films, directed one and even produced one, although he discovered he doesn’t care much for producing.

"Life is about finding your purpose and embracing your journey. In my Acting class, I remember one of my teachers asked me: ‘What drives you to your goal?’ I simply told him ‘I want to be remembered and leave my stamp in this world. Even after I die, I can still affect people’s lives through my films.’ "



Cast as the lead in the multiple award winning Sui Side Inn, I play Chef Dimitri. Sui Side Inn tells the story of an innkeeper named Sui who helps people with their struggle. When you want to end your life, you stay at this hotel. However, everything changes when a young girl shows up at Sui’s doorstep.

Sui Side Inn earned a 2017 Platinum International Independent award, 2017 LA Shorts award, 2017 Los Angeles Film Award for Best Editing, and a 2017 Best Drama Award from the LA International Film Festival.   


Sui Side Inn screened privately at Warner Brothers.



In Retail Blues, he played the manager of a store named Josh. The film is a dark comedy that involves the story of an employee named Justine.  During her tedious time working in the store, Justine is offered two incredible opportunities: one for singing and one for the store manager position. Justine’s first instinct is to push the singing to the side, but through persuasion and a little magic from the jazz musician who haunts her apartment, Justine can foretell her future if she does not follow her dreams of singing. Josh, is Justine’s manager who will try any means necessary to have her stay in the store so he can get promoted.

“Every time I pick a role, I always start by understanding the psychology behind that person and the way he perceives life, because acting is all about thought. Then studying the way he interacts with strangers, family members and co-workers.”



Sebastian Faure in The Reverie
In The Reverie, a psycho-thriller, he played a photographer named Michael Miller. After a long day’s work in his studio, Michael is closing up as fast as he can in order to celebrate his anniversary with his wife. When suddenly, an unexpected model shows up and insistently asks Michael if he can have his pictures taken. Michael is passionate about photography and decides to accept the stranger’s offer. During the photo-shoot, a conversation starts between both them and Michael soon realizes that Edward is here for a reason. Nothing is, as it seems.  

The Reverie screened at Warner Brothers





In Daughter of the Lake, he was cast as the lead: Roland. 

Daughter of the Lake is a horror film in which four college students decide to go on a road trip. Tensions start to rise when they find themselves stuck in the middle of nowhere. What was supposed to be a fun college trip turns for the worse when they seek shelter in an abandoned ranch next to a lake. 

Daughter of the Lake earned the March 2017 LA Shorts Award, Best Original Story by the Los Angeles Film Awards, April 2017 and Best Horror by the Festigious International Film Festival.


Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert DeNiro, Paul Newman, Orson Welles, Alec Baldwin are some of the actors that inspired me for decades. They are character actors who can mold themselves and fill in the shoes of any fictional character and bring fiction to reality with their dimensional craft and their emotional depth. 

“I strive to become like them and hopefully work with talent like them in the near future.

These actors show the foundation of what an actor must strive to become, and the films we admire and respect today would never have reached their peaks without the involvement of these great actors."


Sebastian Faure has worked hard in order to pursue his passion for acting. “I’m consistently learning more about life and myself so I can improve my artistic craft.”



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Sebastian Faure is available for interview by appointment,
pending availability.

Contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications
856-942-4434

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A Personal Note from Sebastian Faure


I remember my university days when we studied Art History and Archeology, and I was able to begin to understand more about our inheritance from previous civilizations through the studies of religion, historical monuments, and the findings of literature.

I realized that the more we learn about history, the more we understand our past mistakes, so we can continue to evolve as a human species, as one.

And those who are ignorant about history, what man created in the past, those are the ones who will make the same repetitive mistakes and never learn. It’s a vicious cycle: wisdom comes from knowledge, and knowledge comes from learning about the past, because once you are born on this earth, you inherit everything that was created before your life, like the pyramids of Egypt, the Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore, and so on.

Nowadays, we strive for the future, but forget about the past. We become cooperative vessels, like robots, that work daily in order to feed sleepless monsters (companies). We're money driven, we close off our emotions for the rationality of trying to understand everything. We feed companies, yet they want more and they're craving more because it's never enough.

Being professional is being emotionless, meaning losing your humanity.
The only thing I can think of as an artist in order for me to keep my humanity in check, is to act.

Because acting teaches me to have empathy, and emotions, and to understand the world for what it is. Mysteries of the world in all its colors. Acting helps me go through history, acting helps me understand others, acting helps me gain knowledge, acting is simply my therapy. Acting keeps me human. I do not want to become a robot that thinks only about money, because humans, values, and ethics, specifically HUMAN LIFE, is far more important than artificial paper: Money.

We created our own utopia thinking it would work, but it doesn't. Let's try to preserve the remains of humanity we have left, before we lose ourselves completely.

JUST LIVE! EXPERIENCE! FEEL! AND EXPRESS!



-- Sebastian Faure, June 2017




Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Multi-Award Winning Writer, Director, Producer RafaNani Ready to Take Hollywood by Storm With His Very Personal Storytelling Style



Thompson Communications

PRESS RELEASE


Press Contact

Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications
856-942-4434

For Immediate Release


(March, 2017, Los Angeles, CA) Born in Brazil, RafaNani, (aka Rafael Nani,) is a film writer, director and producer.

He has been active in the production of several films, video clips, and documentaries, as well as the advertising industry.

He is also one of the founders of Melies - College of Cinema and 3D Animation, one of the most renowned colleges of Animation and Visual Effects in South America, where he taught Directing and Editing for eight years.

In the advertising industry, he has been producing films for various agencies, both in the US and Brazil, for clients such as Pepsi, Volkswagen, Ambev, April, Nestle, Ponto Frio, Sebrae, Locaweb, and several others.

"I see the cinema as a creative way to magnify certain details of our lives, those that we sometimes may not get to contemplate in our everyday, rushed lives: A tear dried, a discreet smile, the pain of repentance. Subtleties of human psychology that are almost impossible to express in words, but are nontheless known to all of us. Cinema gives me the opportunity to amplify those essentially human experiences, expanding our point of view, transporting us into our characters' lives, allowing the audience to experience the different, the opposite, the counter, in others, and yet the very same things within ourselves. That which we might avoid facing in our everyday lives. This dichotomy enchants me, and what I want to include in my movies. I want the audience to watch and to surrender at the same time. Making the viewer a combination of voyeur and active spectator, interacting with sensibilities and reason, while still entertaining."

Three years ago he decided to move to Los Angeles to further develop his storytelling skills, both technically and creatively, and for the opportunities of collaborating with other professional filmmakers who are reaching international markets.



His most recent completed film is Rose Garden, which has been selected to run in over thirty film festivals, and earned over sixteen awards! 

His film has been touching audiences in very unexpected ways, by calling attention to his unique method of storytelling.

"What I bring to the industry is a very human perspective on storytelling. A unique perspective that unveils personal and psychological issues, without losing the social economic and historical perspective of our modern society. 

It’s easy to understand how the fast pace of everyday life can leave the audience. What I want is to offer the audience a time reflect and filter, rescuing that which is really worth appreciating and highlighting, while working to resurrect the sensitivity and compassion we all possess, but often lose in our busier than ever lives.

I also enjoy exploring the fallibility and fragility of the human condition, our lack of long-term vision, and how we have a tendency to think as individuals before we think of ourselves as a species."

Rose Garden is the story of Felix who is a smart little boy who sadly has a deadly disease. He knows he's going to die soon, but the way he faces his destiny, which is enjoying every second instead of waiting for death to come, helps his foster parents and neighbors rethink the way they face their own lives.

About Rose Garden RafaNani observes: “I’m very pleased and honored by how well audiences in general, and specifically American audiences, are reacting to the movie. It’s not a traditional ‘hollywood film’, so people are sometimes surprised about the way the story develops. 

It's a simple story, but the way I approached and directed it, it quickly turns surprising and exciting! That is one of the reasons why I think it’s receiving so much attention here in the US.”

Rose Garden is scheduled to appear The Pasadena International Film Festival, the Hollywood Film Competition, and possibly a third festival, which should be announced any day now.


Before Rose Garden, he produced The Regret of the Doubt. It was selected by sixteen film festivals around the world, winning several awards like Best Foreign Short and Best Director of Short Film in the St. Tropez International Film Festival.

The Regret of the Doubt is about a castaway who is surprised when he finds land. After a while he figures out that the land of his dream is not exactly where he feels accomplished. Finally, in a moment of reflection, he abandons everything, to run and play again at sea in pursuit of new dreams.


"Naturally, I believe in the power of film. We who produce what the audience experiences have a responsibility to bring our audiences something unique, and exciting, something they have not seen before.

I want to leave my audiences with a memorable experience, something to think about, something that might help them broaden their horizons, maybe even change the way they think about a certain subject."

RafaNani has several projects in development, including a thriller and a sci-fi project. We will be hearing more great things about him in the near future as his films find wider and wider audiences!

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RafaNani is available for interview by appointment, 
pending availability.


Contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications
856-942-4434