FaciallyDifferent

Why I Cast Facially-Different Actors in My Movie ‘Happy Face’

Happy Face is not an advocacy film. Happy Face is an imperfect film about imperfect people in an imperfect world.

This film is above all a personal story through which I sought catharsis—a way to free myself from the guilt of having been ashamed of my own mother when, sick with cancer, she lost her “beauty.”

Happy Face is also the first part of my “Cancer Trilogy”—a project of three feature-length fictional/autobiographical films, based on the fears and fantasies resulting from my experiences with this disease. The film recounts the events surrounding my mother’s death when I was a young man and revolves around the theme evoked by the words “…animate your mind instead of your body and you will be immensely rich.” Words she wrote to me just before she died as advice for life.

In the story, Stan, a chimeric 19-year-old boy, is torn between

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