Watering Mr Cocoa

Seven-year old Amber is convinced that she can bring her hamster back to life by watering his grave… now if it will only work for her father… and the body she saw her teacher burying in the woods …

Produced with a grant awarded by bravoFACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent), a division of Bell Media Inc.

Creative team

Writer: Mark Cutforth & Richard Dane Scott
Director: Mark Cutforth
Producer: Amanda Cameron-Portelli & Evan Thaler Hickey

Director’s statement

Director Mark Cutforth says:

Watering Mr. Cocoa uses light and colour to enhance the story. Bright, slightly over exposed scenes with vivid highlights, enhanced in post-production. Colourful flowers, blue skies, Amber’s bright red bicycle. Almost like child’s colouring book, all contrasting the menacing underbelly of Amber’s world.

Thematically, Watering Mr. Cocoa is about innocence, hope and the possibility for miracles to exist in our lives. Perhaps we adults are too jaded and cynical to believe in most things not backed up by a hard drive full of facts but not our children. Maybe we could learn something from them.

At least that’s in part, what this genre toys with. Watering Mr. Cocoa borrows from the literary genre of magic realism, in that the story takes place in a real setting amongst real people but contains fantastical, almost magical elements.

As an audience we’re never quite sure where we stand and the ending is entirely open to interpretation depending on what we choose accept and believe.

I think Sara Waisglass is wonderful in the role of Amber. But we care about her not because she is sweet but because she is brave. Death is all around her and she faces it with strength and determination.

It’s charming when Amber decides to water her hamster to try and bring it back to life. And when the hamster does show up, it’s touching that she would water her father’s grave to try and bring him back to life. But when Mrs. Corningstone is miraculously found alive and Mr. Corningstone is arrested, it’s like the hard drive has crashed and we’re not sure what to think.

Many of us start thinking, that’s absurd, was she buried alive? How gruesome. But for some of us it doesn’t matter. We are willing to suspend our disbelief because we care about and relate to Amber and her hopes. We believe that she’s going to get her daddy back one day and why not? Hope is good a thing, for all kinds of reasons.”

About Mark Cutforth

Mark-Cutforth

Watering Mr. Cocoa is Mark’s fourth short film after Shaolin Delivery BoyDeadly Game and Oppression.

Additional directing credits include Rhythm Country & Blues for VH1 and segments for Planet Rock and New York Happenin, along with numerous EPKs and music videos.

Mark was writer/producer of the feature film The Unmasked which was awarded a special jury prize at the Avoriaz Film Festival in France. He also produced the feature film Dead Certain starring Francesco Quinn and Brad Dourif.

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