happy face

Canada | 2018 | 100 minutes | Director: Andrés Kaiser

Montreal, 1992. Estranged from his cancer-stricken mother, Stan, a quixotic 19-year-old, dons a disguise and joins a therapy workshop for disfigured patients in a misguided attempt to reconnect with her. Part autobiographical coming-of-age story, part Dungeons & Dragons fuelled fable, part antitode to the tyranny of beauty — no makeup, no sfx, no filter. This is HAPPY FACE!

Written by Alexandre Franchi & Joëlle Bourjolly and directed by Alexandre Franchi, Happy Face is based on autobiographical events as Alexandre grew up witnessing his single mother’s struggle with cancer. The other characters in the film are real persons with facial differences playing a fictionalized version of themselves.

After a successful banking career in Canada and in the Persian Gulf, Alexandre Franchi decided to quit the business world and follow his passion for storytelling. After several short films and completing the Canadian Film Centre’s directing program, Alexandre settled in Montreal where he directs television commercials. THE WILD HUNT (2009) was his feature debut and premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival where it won the award for “Best Canadian First Feature”. It also received the Audience Award at the 2010 Slamdance Festival. HAPPY FACE is his second feature length film.