LA FOCUS - Candy Apple

CANDY APPLE - A very nervous Madisen nods when confronted by the nurse, Sandy.

CANDY APPLE - A very nervous Madisen nods when confronted by the nurse, Sandy.

Logline: A young girl does whatever it takes to get inside a women’s clinic that she knows provides free condoms but her reason isn’t what you’d expect.

Length: 5 minutes

Director: Lauren Schacher

Producer: Nico Raineau, Lauren Schacher, Kristen Murtha

Writer: Lauren Schacher

About the writer, director and producer:

·      Lauren Schacher is a writer/director/actor/activist/dogmom based in LA. This is her first short film as a director. She’s a Nicholl, Austin and Sundance semifinalist for her feature script THE BANG BANG GIRLS.

·      Nico Raineau is CEO of LA-based production company Amfran Entertainment. He is also an award-winning filmmaker whose work has screened at over 50 film festivals.

·      Kristen Murtha is an award-winning independent producer as well as the production manager for NINJAGO for Warner Bros. Animation. Her work has been seen by audiences on large and small screens around the globe, receiving recognition at over fifty film festivals as well as millions of views online.

·      This is the second short film collaboration for Lauren, Nico and Kristen, the first being the award-winning short Mother’s Day, which has recently completed its festival run.

Key cast: Haley Lauren, Lauren Schacher, Michael Segovia

Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists

Release date: Online - After we’ve finished playing festivals

Where can I watch it?: You can see it Wednesday, June 8th at 5pm at the TCL Chinese Theatre with Dances With Films! Tickets here:

CANDY APPLE - Madisen scouts the clinic from the bushes.

CANDY APPLE - Madisen scouts the clinic from the bushes.

Congratulations! Why did you make your film?

Thank you! We originally made CANDY APPLE as a tone piece for a feature film we have in development called THE BANG BANG GIRLS, which I wrote and will be directing. As a first time director, it was paramount to have something to give financiers a taste of the film. I’ve been calling it a companion piece: the story was not taken from the script nor does it contain the same characters as the feature but rather characters who could live in that world.

Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?

When’s the last time you saw a film about a young girl doing everything she could to get her hands on free condoms?


How do personal and universal themes work in your film?

For me, and I think most filmmakers, all of my films are incredibly personal. One of the things making me the angriest on a day-to-day basis is the struggle for women’s sexuality and reproductive health to be taken seriously and without stigma; the fight to end slut-shaming is what my feature is actually centered around and of course the impetus for this film as well.

A reporter asked me recently why a young girl might think she has to break into a clinic for condoms, unseen by anyone and everyone? “Has it really come to that?”, he asked. Now, of course this is a comedy, but I think it has.

Our society is still one that teaches young women to be sexually appealing but not sexual and that only men should actively pursue sex; it’s incredibly damaging to us all. If you saw a teenage girl purchasing condoms or any kind of contraception, would you judge her? Would the person next to you?

Now consider the way that protestors waiting outside Planned Parenthoods, for example, attack and berate the women and girls going in for healthcare and/or contraception. Do you really judge this character for being too frightened to simply ask? I personally recall going to the ends of the earth for condoms, far away from anyone who might recognize me. That wasn’t that long ago and our world hasn’t really changed.

There are some other themes explored in the film as well but I fear that if I tell you, it’ll give away the ending! ;)

How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?

We made the film pretty quickly but I guess one significant change was the number of locations. While it was originally written for three locations, given the very low budget and that we had only one day to shoot, that wasn’t exactly doable. That and cast. I love writing big ensemble casts and that also wasn’t in the budget. I’ll save that for the next one.

CANDY APPLE -  Sandy discovers the kids.

CANDY APPLE -  Sandy discovers the kids.

What type of feedback have you received so far?

Great thus far, but I’m always down for being challenged. Luckily no one has seen the twist coming, so if you do… keep it to yourself. For reals.

What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on

I’d love for more people to get interested in the film and come out to see it at Dances with Films!

Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?

I have a great production team but we’re of course looking to play more festivals and distribution would be great. 

What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?

I’d like it to get people thinking about the stigmas placed on women and reproductive health, even if it’s just the tip of the conversation. Also laughter. It’s very important to me that people laugh.

What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?

Why might a young girl be frightened or intimidated to ask for or purchase condoms? Why should or shouldn’t she? (She shouldn’t be. If it wasn’t already clear how I feel about that. Ha.)

Would you like to add anything else?

Thank you so much for profiling our film! Like I said, we really made it as a companion piece for our feature so it’s very exciting to see people taking to the film on its own. I’d like to thank Planned Parenthood for always being so helpful with our productions and encourage people to donate to them if you can. They help literally millions of women (and men!) in this country with sexual and reproductive health care, education, information and outreach every single year.

What are the key creatives developing or working on now?

Lauren currently has two features in development as well as a sex-positive comedic series about consent called F*CK YES, which garnered over 150K views on YouTube in its first week. Of her two features, the first is THE BANG BANG GIRLS, on which Lauren is writer/director and which Nico and Kristen are producing alongside Meta Valentic (co-producer CANDY APPLE) and EP Bronwyn Cornelius.

Additionally, Lauren and Nico have written another sex-positive comedic feature in development. Nico is finishing up a very successful festival run with his short film Brix and the Bitch, which he directed and which Kristen also produced; and Kristen is production managing for Warner Bros while also producing a number of independent features including The Great Silence.


If you enjoyed reading about Candy Apple please check us out: We embrace new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you are a filmmaker - we'd love you to contribute. More info: Carmela Baranowska