Lead cast for British Chinese family comedy feature film
Job ID: 17035
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1997 was a big year in history. Titanic was released, the first Harry Potter book was published, Things Can Only Get Better blared through the streets, we won Eurovision for what turned out to be the last time and the Lee Family got the chance to appear on their favourite TV game show Fame To Fortune.
And the Lees really need this – their family Chinese takeaway isn’t doing very well and they are at risk of losing it when the tax man comes knocking. But as luck would have it, their many many prayers have been answered and they have been selected to appear on Fame To Fortune, the game show they pretend they’re on behind the takeaway counter on a quiet night led by youngest sibling Jenny Lee who has an unnerving obsession with unlikely crush Frank Fox, the show’s host.
But there’s a big problem. Oldest daughter Susan has never really shared in this passion. Her passion is to perform and she doesn’t seem to share much in common with her family at all. The black sheep, she’s been auditioning for a play behind her father Cyril’s rather traditional back. And she’s got the lead role. Cyril could probably forgive her for getting caught up in her silly dreams in time but it turns out opening night is the same night as Fame To Fortune….
Fame vs Family. Love vs Duty. Chekhov vs Chicken Feet?!
Fortune Cookies will be the 3rd feature film to be produced by social enterprise film company Screen Northants. Screen Northants makes features but does so in a non-profit model, supported by BBC Children in Need, where a professional crew also provide workshops and on set experiences for local young disadvantaged people from Northamptonshire to boost their confidence, skills and local pride through Film.
The viewer will not notice the difference in the end result but it allows us to make films in a unique way supporting the next generation of talent and allowing unprecedented access to the Film Industry for young people in an area under-represented by Film. We are supported by the likes of Panavision and Cooke Optics to make our small budgets go a long way. If it sounds like madness have a watch of this film which explains all https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zqxpTH39PrQ
You can watch the trailers for our last films here, for Macbeth https://youtu.be/d_yeVeJUZJI and Nene https://youtu.be/pRcU8WpSVF8 Both of these were made using the same model. Nene has its cast and crew screening on 7th November and Macbeth will be completed early next year.
We will be shooting in Northampton from Saturday 11th January for 5.5 weeks (5-day weeks). Accommodation will be provided for those who aren’t local.
Writer/Director: Brenda Lee (Mah Jong, I’m Still Me, One Good Deed https://youtu.be/mrrTYGAqiDU )
Director of Photography: Matt Riley (Macbeth trailer, Stella McCartney AW17 Kids, Burberry http://www.mattrileydop.com/work )
Everyone, including our crew, will be engaged as a volunteer. We can pay a weekly relocation fee of up to £150 to cover costs of relocating to Northampton each week – accommodation, expenses and meals will be provided on top of this but we realise there are other costs associated with being away from home, from more data on your phone to additional childcare hours. And we’ll pay £22 per day to cover use of your own clothes as costume as we envisage actors may wear some of their own items/shoes.
As the schedule stands at the moment that means:
Susan – £1300 Jenny – £1256 Joan – £1234 Cyril – £1278 Tony – £493 Hugh – £692 Lucy – £542
SUSAN LEE – female, 19 – British Born Chinese – 25 days
Susan doesn’t feel like her family supports her dreams and aspirations of being a performer. Her father Cyril seems particularly against it. She’s not content with the traditional future she sees ahead of her; marrying someone from the Chinese community, settling down locally and continuing the legacy of the family-run takeaway. It’s not for her: why can’t Cyril accept that?! To the confusion of her family Susan is more in tune with British than Chinese culture. Susan’s family consider her the weird one, but she considers them strange with their obsession over a television gameshow and its host, Frank Fox. Will Susan ever feel comfortable as a Lee?
JENNY LEE – female, 17 – British Born Chinese – 23 days
Jenny is sweet and innocent, the golden girl, the apple of her parents’ eyes. She doesn’t ‘misbehave’ like Susan does. Jenny is obsessed with Fame to Fortune, a television gameshow and the biggest fangirl of Frank Fox, the show’s host who you wouldn’t normally consider a heartthrob. Jenny respects Chinese traditions and goes about her family duties with a smile and a friendly chat (out loud) to her imaginary husband, Frank Fox. Jenny’s head is in the clouds and she’s a little odd: she’s a perfect Lee.
JOAN LEE – female, 45 – Chinese – 22 days
Joan moved here from Hong Kong with her husband Cyril in her 20s. She loves Fame to Fortune and has two beautiful daughters, Susan and Jenny. Joan wants to get her girls married. Joan will get her girls married. Joan is sizing up any potential male as husband material… literally… physical health, mental health, immunisation history… the lot. Joan loves her husband Cyril very much, but their business is struggling, and he doesn’t seem himself. They’ve never had secrets before but Cyril is hiding something…
CYRIL LEE – male, 45 – Chinese – 24 days
Cyril moved here from Hong Kong with his wife Joan in his 20s. Cyril is the man of the house. Cyril runs the Lee family. Cyril is the breadwinner and caregiver to the Lee family… or so he thinks! Cyril Lee is a proud husband, father and business owner who is struggling to gain recognition and acceptance within the local Chinese community. Cyril wants two things; his daughter Susan to stop wasting her time dreaming about a life that she’ll never have and he wants to be accepted into the Chinese Association so he can sort out his money troubles and run a successful business. His old school friend Tony Chung runs the Association… so he should be accepted any day now…
MR ‘TONY’ CHUNG – male, 45 – Chinese – 6 days
Tony, sorry… Mr Chung is the President of the Chinese Association. A nasty bully of a man who only has cronies and associates due to fear, rather than true friends. He’s a shark cruising around the community in an expensive car, deciding the fate of the individuals he comes in to contact with. Mr Chung is an old school friend of Cyril and Joan, from back home, but he doesn’t want Cyril to be part of the Association. He’s trying to destroy the Lee family… but why?
HUGH LAU – male, 19 – Chinese – 11 days
Good humoured and kind, Hugh peaks the interest of Joan Lee. He’s Number 1 on the list of ‘Potential Husbands’ for Susan and Jenny! Hugh senses that Susan’s guard is up so sets about befriending her and the two become allies, Hugh is a pillar of normality for Susan, Hugh does not watch Fame to Fortune.
LUCY – female, 20s – 11 days
Lucy is an Assistant Producer from the gameshow Fame to Fortune. She’s looking for her next big break, a brilliant family to place on the show, to impress the people at work. Lucy meets the Lee family to learn about them and create a behind the scenes video. Lucy is a guardian angel to the Lees (whether she likes it or not). Can she save the day?
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