Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Director Maria Alice Arida: Emerging Multiple Award-Winning Filmmaker

Thompson Communications


Maria Alice Arida

Press Contact

Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications

For Immediate Release

Director Maria Alice Arida:
Emerging Multiple Award-Winning Filmmaker

(November, 2018, Los Angeles, CA) Maria Alice Arida is a Brazilian genre director and American Film Institute (AFI) alumna who has already established herself as a serious filmmaker with an impressive body of work that explores the dark side of human nature and taboo themes of femininity and female sexuality. Her latest psychological thriller INSTINCT recently screened at AFI FEST, which took place from November 8-15, 2018, and was home to some of the most critically-acclaimed and anticipated films of 2018. Through her passion for female driven thrillers and horror films, 
Maria’s work has already earned her critical success.

Before obtaining her MFA in directing from the American Film Institute (AFI), ranking among the best three film schools in the country, Maria established her career in Brazil where she worked as an assistant director for renowned directors such as Hector Babenco (Academy Award nominee for KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN) and late Academy member Eduardo Coutinho (EDIFÍCIO MASTER). Their passion for filmmaking inspired her to tell her own stories and pursue her directing career in the US.

Born and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Maria began her career studying filmmaking at the acclaimed Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation (FAAP). 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.

Shortly after completing her studies, Maria worked as an assistant director on the last two films of Hector Babenco’s career (MY HINDU FRIEND, starring Willem Defoe, and THE MAN WHO STOLE A DUCK, which screened at the Venice Film Festival.) Maria also worked as a second AD on PEDRO E BIANCA, a Brazilian TV series Winner of the International Emmy Kids Awards.

Having learned from some of the best, Maria passionately began her directorial career with her first short film À Margem dos Olhos, a psychological thriller which had Clarissa Kiste, known for her role in 3%, the first Brazilian Netflix series. However, it was her second film SOLO which brought Maria critical acclaim. 

SOLO trailer from Maria Alice Arida on Vimeo.

SOLO, a thriller about a ballerina who struggles to maintain her sanity in her quest for perfection, screened in multiple festivals worldwide and won several awards including the Jury Award at the 3 Margens Festival Latino-Americano de Cinema.

Her most recent film INSTINCT has played in over thirty festivals, including both Oscar and BAFTA qualifying festivals. With twelve awards already under its belt, INSTINCT had its world premiere at the BFI Flare in London, the biggest LGBTQ Film Festival in Europe, and its American premiere at the Phoenix Film Festival, where it won the award for Best Latin American Short. Aside from the prestigious AFI FEST, INSTINCT has also screened at HBO New York Latino Festival and was selected as part of the 3rd annual CAA Moebius Showcase which highlights emerging directors from AFI, USC & CAL ARTS.“My film INSTINCT 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?

When asked about what drives her work and her vision, Maria boldly states that her main focus as a writer/director is to tell female driven stories. “Exploring the dark side of human nature is a recurring theme in 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.”

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. And she is quickly joining the ranks of those most well respected talents! 

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Release is available as a formatted Word .docx by request.

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

Contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Producer Sabrina Percario Forms Percario Productions

Thompson Communications


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

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

Contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Performer Sebastian John Philippe Faure

Thompson Communications


Actor Sebastian Faure: 
You can achieve anything you want, 

(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



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.


-- 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 Contact

Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications

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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Brazilian Designer Takes Hollywood

Thompson Communications


Press Contact
Steve Thompson
Thompson Communications
For Immediate Release

Brazilian Designer Takes Hollywood

(March, 2017, Los Angeles, CA) If you work in the entertainment industry you probably already heard her name, if you haven't, you will! In this awards season, we are all eyes on production designer and costume designer Carolina Inoue. She won the Best Production Design award with Kumal at the HIMPFF and is a nominee for W. I. F. F. for the same category. But that doesn't mean she stopped working to attend the events and Red Carpets. Carolina Inoue is one of the most requested non-union designers at the moment. Producers book her months and sometimes years ahead to make sure she will be available for their production.

She's being asked by big studios like Warner Bros., to join the union, but according to Inoue she's in a better place outside of the union right now: "I have been able to work in both union and non union productions and be paid union rates, so I'm not looking to join the union yet, but eventually I will," she said. Currently working in a non-union production, her following show is a union show. "The industry doesn't have enough union designers, so studios are allowed to get an excuse from the union to hire non union professionals" she explains. 
That gives her a tremendous advantage, because she's being making a name in the independent movies industry and already established great relationships in the main studios in Hollywood. The future of her career is in her hands. With dozens of titles as Production Designer and Costume Designer, only in the United States where she's been living for less than five years, she says she would never pick one over the other. 

"Production Design and Costume Design are tightly connected. One of the most often comments I most frequently receive is people wanting me to overlook both departments, even when we have separate professionals taking good care of each. That's because they trust my work in both. So why should I choose one or the other if dominating both is what makes me unique?” 

She has worked with Netflix, Disney, Universal NBC, Warner Bros, CBS, just to mention a few. Her talent and charismatic personality are the keys for getting into several productions, for which she's always being referred by someone she previously worked with. She has already lined up projects for the next four years.

Carolina receives so many scripts weekly, she has had to hire an assistant to help her read and sort the ones she wants to work with! When asked what she looks at when selecting the productions, she says: story, budget and director. As an artist she wants to be able to explore her creativity and create memorable sets. So, having a good story that can be visually appealing, the money to make it happen, and a director opened to suggestions, that let her create freely, is the way to get her!

Last year she worked on The Gliksmans, directed by M. Skolnick, starring the legendary actors Edward Asner and Cloris Leachman; The Open House, directed by Matt Angel and Suzzane Coote, and starring teen star Dylan Minnette.
She's now working on Open Mic with Award winning musicians Caro Pierotto and Willo Keys, in the pre-production of Keanu Reeves' next movie and post production of Downrange, directed by famous Japanese director Ryuhei Kitamura. Inoue was also the Production Designer of the pilot for the series Faulk My Life, which is expected to be distributed by a major studio soon.

"Every script is a new adventure. The story begins on piece of paper, then I as the designer, create the universe that surrounds the story told in the script. I consider where the story takes place, when it takes place, who is in the story, who the characters are, and what we want the audience to think of them. The characters range anywhere from a rich, organized, intelligent man, to a messy, dirty, poor, miserable old lady. Their homes and clothes all have to communicate that.
What I love about my work is that I tell the character's story when they aren't speaking. I can tell the character's whole background story through the set design and costume design. That's a big power and responsibility. If I don't study the story and the characters deeply and carefully, I could mislead the audience and they could get confused or misunderstand the story.

I am truly grateful for all the opportunities I have received. I am one of the few professionals in Hollywood who started as head of their departments. Most people start out as a PA and work their way up. I'm very blessed to be given the opportunity and trust to lead my department for both Production Design and Costume Design. Work in film isn't easy, but seeing the result up on the big screen is really rewarding. I have several projects in pre-production for the next three years. The industry never stops and I'm looking forward to being on set with some of my biggest idols, some of whom I have already had the opportunity to work with."
Carolina Inoue is a hard working, talented designer, with an impressive, growing list of credits. The sky's the limit!
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Carolina Inoue is available for interview by appointment, 
pending availability.

Contact: Steve Thompson / Thompson Communications