Friday, November 4, 2016

Indie Short Film 'Charming' Looks Completely, Well, Charming!

Prince Charming recounts his disastrous search for true love in a re-imagining of classic Grimms’ fairytales with a contemporary touch.

This, very charming (it's difficult to find another word that suits as well), under-the-radar, indie film, is busy adding yet more laurels to its already-loaded list of accolades (and poster).

Sydney Indie Fest (Australia), just announced Charming as an award winner, something which is becoming a regular announcement from this team. (Congrats Charming crew!)

It should be noted, that the journey to those awards was long and difficult, including many years battling the Hollywood process, only to give up and work outside it. With help from crowd funding (via Indiegogo), it turns out, working around the studio system, might have been the smartest move to get their film made and seen around the world, and, hopefully, open the door for larger, projects down the road.

But what is this film about you ask? It's a lovely premise. Here's an extract from the Director's statement.
"Who is Prince Charming? As a kid, I always remembered him as the guy who swept in at the end of my sister’s favorite movies to kiss the princess, save the day, and ride off into the sunset, leaving everyone to live happily ever after. But why was he kissing all these princesses? What happened after the prince and princess rode off into the sunset? Can everyone really live happily ever after? 
So began Charming. My friend, Christopher Jones, and I wrote a feature length screenplay telling the untold story of Prince Charming’s search for true love by weaving together existing fairy tales with familiar characters. We optioned Charming to Inferno Entertainment (Killing Them SoftlyThe Grey) in 2012. After over a year of rewrites, Hollywood turmoil and our story languishing in the shadows, we received back the script’s rights and soon re-envisioned Charming into a twenty page short film containing the feature’s theme, tone and characters so that we might bring the story to life ourselves. 
Will Hawkes as "The King", Tom Albanese as "Charming", Mary Bonney as "Sleeping Beauty", Marian Frizelle as "The Queen" in CHARMING.
..So, after all those years of my mind wrapped in fantastic dreams and fairy tales, who is Prince Charming? Some hero valiantly fighting off dragons, saving the princess, and falling in love? No. I think he’s us. Just a guy doing his best… hoping one day he might live happily ever after."
-- Tom Albanese, Writer & Director
And here's the sweet teaser trailer:
Despite the general groans emitted when it was announced Hollywood was making a Charming film of their own (based on Cinderella's Charming), this approach, by Director Tom Albanese, gives us the absolute opposite reaction. The teaser makes you want to see the rest of the story, doesn't it?

Here's a little more insider info via a interview with Albanese:
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?The universally beloved ’fairy tale’ characters created by the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Perrault, etc. were firmly planted into pop culture after Disney immortalized them. “Charming” takes these characters and their various stories and weaves them into Prince Charming’s own, original story that hasn’t been told. It answers the question, “Why was Prince Charming kissing all those princesses?”
Besides that, it’s funny, cute, and teaches you a thing or two about that funky thing “true love”.
Beatriz Mendonca as "Snow White" in CHARMING
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?I’m fascinated with relationships. Why some work out and why some don’t. We’ve all had our hearts broken and most of us have been in love at some point (or at least thought we were). I’ve had many situations where I’ve wanted a relationship to work out but it ultimately wasn’t meant to be. You can’t make someone fall in love with you and “You Can’t Hurry Love” as the Supremes once said. “Charming” takes our hopes of finding true love and and applies it to these classic characters who ultimately want the same thing — to live “happily ever after”.
Sometimes the prince and princess might not actually be good for each other, despite all appearances and what’s on paper. Maybe “true love” doesn’t happen the way we’ve always been told it does.
Charming has also just been announced as part of the official selection at the Zamoxis Film Showcase, being held in Santa Monica Film Center (California), in mid-November, so it's likely we'll hear even more buzz about them shortly.

As the awards continue to roll in, we look forward to the end-of-year plan to make this film available to the public.

We could all use a feel-good, Shrek-meets-Pretty Woman type of story, with a more realistic, yet still hopeful, portrayal of 'true love', to share with all those young boys overwhelmed by Princess Culture, and our families.


  1. Interesting. Usually, when someone takes the approach that the "Prince Charming" from the various fairy tales is the same character in all of them, the result is to do some kind of send-up where the prince is some kind of shallow, arrogant ladies-man. It's been done in Into the Woods and Fables and Sisters Grimm. But the description for this one seems to suggest that he's just a guy who's unlucky at love. I hope I get to see this film someday.

    1. They're planning to release it to the public - online - at the end of the year (December, after the festivals I believe). Seem like nice people. If you contact them you might get a early preview via secret passcode. :) (Twitter seems to be best).