CASTING WOMEN FOR SHORT FILM • CHATTANOOGA, TN • AUGUST 17TH-19TH
FARD is an adaptation of the short story by Aldous Huxley of the same name. Directed by Amman Abbasi.
ROLES: Talent must be local to Chattanooga area
• SOPHIE: Hispanic female, Middle-aged heavy-set, immigrant maid
• MRS: Female, early 30’s, hip wife with warm eyes and inviting smile
DATE: August 17th-19th
LOCATION: Chattanooga, TN –
SUBMIT: The script will mostly be improvised within the parameters and direction of the treatment and scenario. EMAIL headshot and a video audition improv, based on the treatment below to email@example.com.
A Hispanic maid (SOPHIE) overhears the arguments of a young couple at the dinner table (MR and MRS) while she works in their house. SOPHIE, the maid, is often overworked and today is an especially trying day, as she not only has to prepare and pack for this young couple’s trip abroad but also hear them as they fight. Often, SOPHIE imagines a more innocent time by closing her eyes and remembering her childhood. The scenes of her childhood, though more innocent, were still grounded in labor. YOUNG SOPHIE (9) carrying potatoes back to her family, TEENAGE SOPHIE (13) sewing garments, YOUNG ADULT SOPHIE (19) enjoying cola in the field. SOPHIE reflects on those times as a place of purity for her.
The arguments of the couple and the crashing of the dishes jolt her back to reality as she continues to press their clothes. While SOPHIE is taking another pile of clothes out of the dryer she crosses MRS’s room. AS MRS is looking at herself in the reflection of a large mirror, she catches a glimpse of SOPHIE through the door. She asks SOPHIE to come in. SOPHIE, clearly intimidated and obedient, goes in and asks what MRS needs. She doesn’t need anything. MRS comments on SOPHIE’s facial structure. Claiming she is beautiful and how must have once been a great beauty when she was younger.
MRS asks SOPHIE why she does not wear any makeup to which she responds that she does but more on special occasions. MRS asks when is the next special occasion and SOPHIE says her sons graduation in MEXICO. There is a moment of quiet intimacy between the two of them. MRS and SOPHIE quietly connect over their conditions – MRS being in a relationship that she no longer wants to be in and SOPHIE being handcuffed to labor and being overworked.
Then MRS lightens the mood and says today can be a special occasion and proposes she does SOPHIE’s makeup. SOPHIE agrees warmly and lets herself open up to MRS. There, as MRS begins to talk through the process of doing makeup while she applies it on to SOPHIE’s face, SOPHIE talks to MRS about her son and his pursuit to be an engineer. She’s so very proud of him.
The time goes by as the two seemingly have a nice time only to reveal the image of SOPHIE’s face. MRS has in fact been doing a cruel application of makeup and continues to do so by holding Sophie’s face tightly. After, SOPHIE slowly understands what is being done and is teetering on the edge of tears. MRS smears lipstick throughout SOPHIE’s face to obscure a resemblance of make-up and when she is finally finishes she screams at SOPHIE, “Now get back to work!!!” Right then, we see a flashback of SOPHIE’s youth carrying the bag of potatoes but the sack splits from the bottom and they go tumbling everywhere.
This short film is an exploration of social hierarchy and the cruelty and betrayal that comes within it. Early in the story we notice MRS being yelled at by MR at the dinner table. From that, SOPHIE gathers that MRS is being treated unfairly and has been diminished in value substantially in the relationship. Later in the story, in what seems to be a moment of purity between MRS and SOPHIE during make-up, we understand that MRS is also trying to redeem herself by physically putting someone else down. Though MRS believes herself to be a tragic figure SOPHIE is truly the tragic figure and is finding ways to cope with the situation. Artistically, I want to find the intersection of poetry and absurdity, social order and unrest, love and hate.