You know what they say: If you can't stand the heat, best get out of the kitchen...

Project type: Fiction Short
Project status: Pre Production
Writer/Director: Frank Frascella
Producer: Annie Huang
Co-Producer: Neale Brown
Director of Photography: Matheus Bastos
Email: apricotshortfilm24@gmail.com
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A talented young chef struggles to grow her confidence during an intense service at a once legendary restaurant at risk of losing its coveted Michelin star.


Apricot tells the story of ROSE, a talented young line chef working at the once highly respected ‘Dal Coure’ restaurant in Los Angeles. Coming from a family of chefs, Rose has fought hard to wade through rivers of bullshit and gatekeeping to get to where she is now…and she is ready for more. She promises her father: “Today is the Day.” She will march down to the restaurant and ask militant Head CHEF RICCARDO for a promotion delivery of a special ingredient has current sous-chef AJAX in a panic, only to be compounded by news from Maître d’hôtel RIMON that a Michelin inspector may be coming tonight for a reevaluation. The ‘Dal Coure’ has been barely holding on to one Michelin star for years, and tonight may be the night they lose it.

Before Rose can ask for her promotion, Chef springs a new challenge on her: she and Ajax must each come up with a new dish to make up for the failed delivery. Ally and Rose get to work, excited for the opportunity to show their skills. Chef is stoically impressed by Rose’s creation, but can’t bring himself to let her win. He will incorporate both her and Ajax’s dishes. Oh, and Rose will co-sous with Ajax for the evening. With everyone thrown off their balance, a new dish to prepare, and the stakes higher than ever, a chaotic dinner service ensues, testing everyone’s confidence, drive, and heart.

Meet the Filmmakers

Frank Frascella – Writer/Director
Writer/Director Frank Frascella is no stranger to the frenzy of a working kitchen. After working in a popular Italian restaurant in New Jersey during his formative high school years, Frank completed his BFA studies at Emerson College in Boston and moved to Los Angeles to work in film production. Frank weaves together emotionally evocative work in a variety of genres and styles that value deep world-building and relatable characters, creating a uniquely exciting approach to storytelling that never loses sight of his humanistic ideals. He has had his work screened across the country at festivals from Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, all the way to Tucson, Arizona.

With Apricot, Frank hopes to bring his journey full circle, marrying the lessons he learned working in a restaurant with the ones he finds himself learning now. Through the story of Apricot, Frank channels his own challenge with the strength to move forward with that of Rose, hoping to find catharsis together.

Annie Huang – Producer
Annie Huang is a first-generation Asian American who grew up in Vietnam, Taiwan, and Hong Kong before immigrating to the States at age 11, where she started learning English as her 4th language with the help of American subtitled films. Annie has over 7 years of experience working in creative development, film production, and marketing strategy at Warner Bros. Studios, Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, CBS Studios, and Sony Pictures. In her current senior manager role at Sony Pictures, she helps foster filmmaker and talent relationships, as well as secure new project acquisitions for the studio, such as George Clooney’s Wolfs and Scarlett Johansson’s Project Artemis. Annie is a producer on a slate of indie projects with creatives from across the globe, with the goal of leveraging her studio knowledge and relationships to help rising filmmakers break into the studio realm.

Annie is a member of the inaugural class of the Academy of Motion Pictures GOLD program, a Forbes 30 Under 30 Scholar, a Women In Film Fellow, a Soho House x Creative Futures Fellow, and an APIASF NBCUniversal Award recipient. Her films have screened at the Asian Film Festival Los Angeles, the Silicon Valley Asian Pacific Film Festival, and the CineAsian Showcase.

Her work can be found at annie-huang.com.

Neale Brown – Co-Producer
Neale Brown is a Producer and Writer from Boston, Massachusetts based in Los Angeles, California. Neale has pursued his passion for storytelling – by any means necessary – since before he could remember, with experiences, art, and media that explore high-concept yet human stories. He got his start in the industry helping define the look for the best picture-winning film Coda as a location scout before making the jump to LA full-time, where he now supports some of the industry’s top agents at Artistry. He has produced a number of independent productions in his free time, from music videos to short films. Neale’s most recent work is the sci-fi short film Harvest Moon, which he produced, and co-wrote with Frank Frascella. Apricot is their next adventure.

Matheus Bastos – Director of Photography
Matheus Bastos is a New York–based Director of Photography. Growing up as a first-generation child of immigrants, Matheus found an avenue to the arts and a passion for storytelling through music and film, learning to express creativity with sounds and images instead of words. After spending nearly a decade as a professional musician, he pursued a life of filmmaking, becoming a full-time director of photography working in narrative, commercials, and music videos.

His recent narrative feature film, Gazer, was selected to World Premiere at the 56th Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and his short film, Tea, was an Official Selection at the 77th Cannes Film Festival Short Film Competition. His narrative work has also screened at multiple festivals across the world including SXSW, Tribeca Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Sidewalk Film Festival, Cinequest, and more. Most recently, he took over main unit photography for his mentor Eric Branco on Story Ave (Kino Lorber), which won the Special Jury Prize for Cinematography at the 2023 SXSW Film Festival. Matheus’ music videos have been nominated for MTV VMA Awards and featured in Rolling Stone, VEVO, and more.

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