Mary and Louise

Mary and Louise is short narrative film, (RT:16:44), based on the fictional friendship of silent film goddesses, Mary Pickford, (Americas Sweetheart) and Louise Brooks (The Iconic Vamp). After the Talkie World explodes on the Hollywood scene, Mary and Louise find themselves suddenly out of work when they have a disastrous experience on the set of their first Talkie. With no job prospects in sight they decide to move in together to an apartment in Brooklyn. Seemingly stuck in her role as America’s sweetheart, and still living as though in a silent film, Mary’s resentment of Louise’s provocative antics goes politely unspoken until threatened with the loss of her one true love Mary must face her fears and expose the unused voice inside her if she is ever to get what she wants. A comedy with a twist, Mary and Louise explores the ups and downs of sisterhood and the challenge two women face finding their voices within the din of great personal and technological change.

  • Abigail Zealey Bess
    Play Ball!, Caught in Time, Random Acts of Intimacy, Fanfare for a Common Man, Here's what I like, Fruit, Here's What I like, Fashion, Here's what I like, Russian Literature
  • Amy Staats
    Here's what I like Web Series
  • Weird Sisters
  • Staats Factory
  • Sara Brett Patterson
  • Amy Staats
  • Abigail Zealey Bess
  • Amy Staats
    Key Cast
  • Diana Ruppe
    Key Cast
  • Wrenn Schmidt
    Key Cast
  • Jason Liebman
    Key Cast
  • Denny Bess
    Key Cast
  • Lou Liberatore
    Key Cast
  • Chris Ceraso
    Key Cast
  • Molly the Minature Horse
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    women, comedy, experimental, music
  • Runtime:
    16 minutes 44 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 9, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    29,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Britt Penrod Competition
    Best Trailer
  • LA Comedy Screenwriting Festival
    Best Short Screenplay
  • New York International Film Festival
    May 1, 2015
    New York Premiere
  • Maine International Film Festival
    July 10, 2015
  • Cayman Island International FF
    June 20, 2015
  • Mount Rainier Independant FF
    May 16, 2015
  • Accolade Film Competition
    Special Merit Winner Award
  • 31st international short film festival berlin
    November 21, 2015
    Official Selection
  • Festival Selection: New York City international FF
  • Mount Rainier International FF
  • Endless Mountain Film festival
  • Accolade Global Film
  • Video Festival imperia Italy

    Best International short Film
  • Festival Internazionale del Cinema d'Arte Italy
  • Jahorina Film Festival,
  • Short film sharer 2016

  • Garden state FF 2015
    New Jersey
    Best Composer Score
  • Cayman international FF
    Cayman Islands
    Cayman Islands
    May 18, 2016
    Official Selection
  • Silver Dollar FF
    Online Festival
    United States
    Official Selection
  • Maine International FF
    United States
    July 17, 2016
    Official Selection
  • Bedford Falls Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    June 15, 2019
    Best Film Winner
Director Biography - Abigail Zealey Bess

Zealey Bess, is an award winning filmmaker and theatre director with a résumé that features work with the legendary Sidney Lumet, John Leguizamo, Kevin Smith, Matt LeBlanc, Frank Whaley, Bruce Beresford and many others. Her work has crossed boundaries and platforms for many years as an independent director and producer in film and theatre.

She has specialized in new work since she arrived on these shores and established Weird Sisters, as a theatrical entity in 1997. Under the auspices of her company she has developed projects in collaboration with many writers both established and newly emerging on the New York scene.
She subsequently directed and produced her debut film, the award winning baseball trilogy: Play Ball! (Fanfare for A Common Man, Random Acts of Intimacy, Caught in Time) that screened throughout the globe including the Berlin Film Festival, Cannes Director Fortnight, and at over 40 USA festivals including New York, Newport, Seattle and Savannah.
In addition to garnering Best Film at seven USA festivals, she was awarded 1st Prize for Best Short Film by woman director at the LA Women In Film Competition. The panel of judges included Jamie Lee Curtis, Gale Ann Hurd, Amy Heckerling, Susan Seidelman, Allison Janney, Andie Macdowell and Catherine Wyler.

She continues to head Weird Sisters developing feature film projects and theatrical ventures and that promote and support prolific women artists and writers giving voice to new and exciting work. Latest Film Projects include the webisode series with Amy Staats, entitled Here’s what I Like and Now I’ll tell you Why (LA Comedy Shorts 2010, 2011, Trimedia Film Festival 2011, Garden State Film Festival, Winter Film Awards, Brooklyn Girl Film Festival, Chashama Film Festival)
She recently completed production on the award winning script by Staats, Mary & Louise, (Best Short film screenplay LA Film Festival 2012, Brit Penrod Audience Award 2014), a black and white/colour film that pays tribute to Mary Pickford and Louise Brooks.
She recently completed shooting Icarus Stops For Breakfast (Jerome Grant Finalist 2013), by Holli Harms, a magical love story set in a landscape overwhelmed by nature, which is now in post Spring 2015.
Full Length Features in development include Walking Shadows, the story of two unlikely Vets finding friendship and rebuilding their lives in the aftermath of Vietnam, by Chris Ceraso,
7 Variations on the Same Lover, a live animation feature length script, by Crystal Skillman and Little Girls, Big Trouble, a high jinx comedy feature, by Leslie Brockett.

She is a member of Ensemble StudioTheatre, the Actors Studio Director/Playwrights Unit, SDC, NYWIFT.
She is on the Faculty for the Graduate Film Program at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University and is represented by Linda Weaver at Access Talent.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Director Statement
From my early childhood, I can remember being totally captivated by Buster Keaton in such films as The General, College, Go West, and Seven Chances, to name a few, performing impossible high jinx feats with comedic timing beyond compare. I suppose you could say I never lost my fascination for the ability to tell a story with a visual style requiring no dialogue except the occasional scripted line appearing on the screen, and yet still managing to keep an audience at the edge of their seat with anticipation and laughter.

Since then, I have continued to enjoy and be influenced by many other silent greats: Clara Bow as the It Girl; Louise Brooks in Pandora’s Box, Diary of a Lost Girl; and, of course, Mary Pickford – one of the very first film pioneers in her own right – in The New York Hat, Sparrows, and Coquette. When Amy Staats came to me with the idea of making a film that would bring together the two silver screen goddesses, Mary Pickford and Louise Brooks, and make them talk, my interest was immediately piqued.

Mary and Louise, penned by Ms. Staats, is a nod to the timelessness and beauty of an era long gone but not forgotten, and brings together the classic combination of America’s Sweetheart and the Iconic Vamp. How could I resist? I was intrigued not only by how this script addresses the transformation of a world tilting into huge technological change, but also by the way the friendship of these two glorious characters is challenged, and how they must find a voice within to express their new identity in this modern day landscape.

Using visual black and white cinematography which explodes in to technicolour at the final climax and original music from the period Mary and Louise evokes the timelessness of this era long gone by. This silver screen tale captures both the humor and honesty that comes when these two Hollywood Stars must learn to face their fears and in doing so forge an even stronger bond. Mary and Louise is an edgy comedy with a twist that revels in the painful beauty of the human condition and the endless quest to stay true to the voice within and what we love most.
We hope very much you will join us on this ride across time.
With love,
Abigail Zealey Bess