Private Project


Despite what Hallmark tells you, throwing your entire life away for the love of a stranger doesn’t always result in a happy ending. Madeline learns this the hard way when her romance ends in horror. Abducted by a crowd of happy cultists and put to work in a Christmas village factory, she’s forced to confront the artificiality of her past and face the terrifying question of: “what now?”

  • Jessica Lauren Doucet
  • Jessica Lauren Doucet
  • Eloise Cameron-Smith
    The Deep Web
  • Tanya Jade
    Key Cast
    Yellowjackets, The Good Doctor, Kung Fu
  • Giles Panton
    Key Cast
    The Man in the High Castle, Chesapeake Shores
  • Tanis Dolman
    Key Cast
    Fire Country, Midnight Mass
  • Jen Oleksiuk
    Key Cast
    The Man in the High Castle, Motherland: Fort Salem, Siren
  • Joanne Miller
    Key Cast
    Diggstown, Pure, Cavendish
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Comedy, Horror
  • Runtime:
    12 minutes 7 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 2, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
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  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Crazy8s
    Winner! 1 of 6 films (out of 200 pitches) selected to be produced
Director Biography - Jessica Lauren Doucet

Jessica Lauren Doucet is an emerging filmmaker for whom storytelling has always been an anchor in a sea of uncertainty. Currently based out of Vancouver, she spent her formative years
moving between the US, Canada, and Europe. Stories were one of her few constants.
In 2015, she left university in Ottawa to fully commit herself to film and hasn’t looked back since. Though she began her career in front of the camera, she quickly transitioned to behind, finding consistent work as a lighting technician while writing screenplays and directing short films in her
spare time.
She has worked on films such as Mother! and On the Count of Three, and on TV shows such as A Million Little Things, The Watchful Eye, and Firefly Lane.
In January of 2023, after a long pitching process, her short film 'Hellmark' was selected for BC's Crazy8s competition. It was 1 of 6 short films chosen out of approximately 150.

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Director Statement

My first three years behind the camera were spent on back to back Hallmark and Lifetime movies. Looking back, those three years feel blurred, multiple projects coalescing into one movie with interchangeable actors. The plot’s so similar they became irrelevant. I was bearing constant witness to recycled storylines that promote the exact same worldview: that life behind a white picket fence was the only true way to find happiness. As a storyteller, this depressed me; and as a woman, it infuriated me.

I’ve since moved on from these movies, but the demand for them has only continued to grow. Hallmark is seen as comfort food, a simple story with a happy ending, something that requires little additional thought. However, if you look beneath the fairy tale, much of their formula is rooted in outdated patriarchal rhetoric. Hellmark satirizes this narrative, taking the hallmark formula to its logical conclusion and highlighting the horror in the happy ending.

Hellmark asks the audience to confront the malevolence in the gingerbread house. What would you sacrifice for your happily ever after?