"Francine," starring Melissa Leo, opens theatrically September 12 with a one-week run at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, with a limited national release to follow. The drama is written and directed by Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, and distributed by Factory 25.
After serving time in prison, Francine settles down in small-town North America. Through a series of temporary jobs, she tries to regain a foothold in society. However, this security proves just as elusive as the connections she tries to forge with people in the town. As her human relationships falter, Francine looks to animals for support, a development that leads her in a tragically wrong direction.
Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky’s fiction debut "Francine," a near silent film, focuses on the title figure during a brief chapter in her life. Oscar winner Melissa Leo conveys the longings and woes of the distressed protagonist with remarkable precision, delivering a performance of tremendous force. The narrative provides no psychological backstory, and yet we grow increasingly close to this fragile person, whose life does not have a clear path but rather consists of a series of emotional states. As the protagonist moves through the film’s impressive locations, her path through life is much like an orbiting satellite: detached, lonely and ultimately destined to crash.
About the filmmakers:
Brian & Melanie are a husband and wife team who founded Pigeon Projects in 2005 as a means of producing their uncompromising fiction and non-fiction films. Living comfortably at the margins of documentary and narrative cinema, works created by Pigeon Projects forgo conventional storytelling methods in order to accommodate stark imagery, elusive characters and a deadpan realism. Together, Cassidy and Shatzky have shown their films at the Sundance, Berlin, Toronto, and Rotterdam film festivals and won awards at the European Media Art Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, and the Athens International Film Festival. Their films have also shown in museums and galleries including the National Gallery of Art and the Institute of Contemporary Art. In 2007, Filmmaker Magazine named them as one of "25 New Faces of Independent Film". In addition to Francine, Cassidy and Shatzky are currently on the film festival circuit with their documentary "The Patron Saints," a disquieting and hyperrealistic look at a nursing home.
Written and Directed by: Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky
Starring: Melissa Leo