Les Câlins Cheaps (Cheap Hugs)

  • Director

    Sarah Baskin

  • Country, Year, Length

    Canada, 2022, 15:00

  • Category

    Narrative Short

  • Format


  • Festival Year


Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!

ACCEPTANCE: 6 films about accepting the outcome.

April 22, 2024 @ 7:00PM • Kaufman Astoria Studios – Zukor Theatre

View the Trailer


Two strangers, reeling from the loss of their mutual friend, find themselves in an unexpected moment of connection on the streets of Montreal.


Sarah Baskin, Director
Sarah Baskin, Writer
Valéry Lessard, Writer
Bryan Fitzgerald, Writer
Bryan Fitzgerald, Producer
Valéry Lessard, Producer
Sarah Baskin, Producer
David Siegel, Producer, Montana Story, What Maisie Knew, The Deep End, Suture
Sow the Seeds Productions, Producer
Miryam Magri, Key Cast, “Mathilde”
Sarah Baskin, Key Cast, “Jordan”
Valéry Lessard, Key Cast, “Chloé”

Director Statement

I first came upon the short play ‘Les Câlins Cheaps’ by French-Canadian playwright Annick Lefebvre when I directed an English version of it in 2018. I was struck by the simple yet layered story of two grieving women moving through ordinary days that feel anything but when viewed through the lens of loss. The recent suicide of their mutual friend has re-colored the details of their lives, turning their respective worlds upside down. What I strove to capture in the film adaptation is how the juxtaposition of their movements through the city reveals their response to the question of how to live with this hole in their heart. One woman’s openness to the pain counters the other’s avoidance, ultimately leading them towards an unexpected connection that stirs something more hopeful in both of their hearts.

Although the original play is solely in French, I decided to make one character Anglophone (Jordan) and the other Francophone (Chloé). The character who committed suicide (Mathilde) was the bilingual connective tissue who moved between both language worlds. Montréal is a bilingual city and yet the communities are fairly segregated. I chose to lean into this tension, using its distinctive culture to gesture at separation at the beginning of the story, and connection at the end.

Working on this film has been a constant reminder of the profound effects that can come from even the smallest moments of connection. And that embedded within grief, there can be a quiet awakening to life.

Director Biography

Sarah Baskin is a NYC-based actor and filmmaker originally from Montreal. As an actor, Sarah has worked on stage (Off-Broadway, Regionally, and in downtown theater) and screen (HBO, Amazon, Hulu, CBS, NBC, several independent films). Upcoming work includes a supporting role opposite Zak Efron and Joey King in the Netflix feature Untitled Romcom (dir. Richard LaGravanese). She recently co-created the one-woman play A Poem and a Mistake, which premiered at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) as part of the exhibition, A Biography of Daphne. Influenced by her many years teaching master classes in acting, Sarah seeks to find the raw and unique moments in her filmmaking that bring characters and stories to life. Sarah’s award-winning directorial debut, Les Calins Cheaps (Cheap Hugs), is a bilingual short film currently in its festival run. Her next project, a tragi-comedy short loosely inspired by The Three Sisters, is currently in development. She is a company member of Subway Token Films, The Actors Center. BA: Vassar College; MFA: American Repertory Theatre / Moscow Art Theatre School at Harvard University. For more: sarahbaskin.com