One unique thing about the Cabos Film Festival is the way it brings together filmmakers from Canada, the United States and Mexico to discuss possible collaborations. While there are plenty of attendees from other countries in Europe and Latin America as well, bringing together three North American countries seems like a natural fit that hasn’t been emphasized by other festivals.
So Christina Choe, who has dual U.S. Canadian citizenship, seems like the ideal director to launch a project in the Discovery forum. Her narrative feature “Nancy” is a small and personal psychological drama budgeted at under $1 million that should resonate with audiences who have lately been fascinated with real-life imposters like Rachel Dolezal and the tricksters on the show “Catfish.”
“The idea of people imposturing is coming out a lot in the media,” Choe says. With the personas that people create on the Internet, “We all kind of do it on a day to day level,” she says.
The film’s protagonist Nancy is “not just a female anti-hero,” she says, “She’s a liar to get emotionally intimate with people and that’s her ultimate goal.”
“Nancy” was selected by IFP to participate in Discovery, where she and one of the film’s producers, Mayuran Tiruchelvam hope to get some productive conversations going about the project, which has a completed script. Choe has workshopped the project in the Film Independent directing lab, Hamptons screenwriters’ lab and Venice Biennale. “We’d love to talk to people at various agencies,” she says, since they’ve already started discussing various casting possibilities.
Tiruchelvam, who attended the fest last year, appreciates that the atmosphere in Cabo is completely different from many film biz events. “I’d met people before in a much more corporate setting,” he says. “Being in a beautiful environment opens people up more. They’re more friendly — we had great conversations. That open environment is unique.”
Choe says the goal is to get the film into a top tier festival, and the filmmakers are considering possibly taking on a Canadian partner and shooting in Canada.
Choe has a personal connection to the subject matter since one of her screenwriting teachers turned out to be an imposter. Although his resume was a complete lie, “He gave me the best notes,” she marvels.
“Hopefully it will have a life on many different platforms,” Choe concludes.