Self-care is never a bad idea, but it’s also one that can be easy to get, well, not quite right. Such is the theme of actor-turned-filmmaker Zach Woods’ directing debut “David,” which finds the star of such projects as “Silicon Valley” and the later years of “The Office” using a necessary therapy session to interrogate two seemingly different men. The amusing short film stars Will Ferrell (Woods’ one-time “Office” costar and recent “Downhill” compatriot) and Emmy nominee William Jackson Harper as a pair of guys who come together in service to self-help, even if the path there is all wrong.
Per its official synopsis, the 11-minute short “tells the story of a severely depressed man reaching out for an emergency therapy session. But he’s not the only one who needs help.” Added Woods, “I wanted to make a movie about people who are funny and sad and trying their best. Which, in my limited experience, is most people.”
In its first trailer, “David” captures an uneasy amusement, and while bolstered by a generous dash of humor (there’s nothing quite like watching a barely-holding-it-together Ferrell in the moments just before he cracks), also seems to be allowing both Ferrell and Harper to tap into some character-based weirdness. The film also stars Fred Hechinger, who previously appeared in “Eighth Grade” and “Vox Lux” and is soon to be seen in “The Woman in the Window” and “News of the World.”
The film was the only short film from the U.S. to be included in this year’s Cannes lineup (it was also selected by Telluride which, like its French cousin, did not launch a festival this year, though both events named the films that made their cut). It will finally premiere at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, which earlier this week announced its short film lineup.
The film has been produced by Kevin Chinoy and Francesca Silvestri (Freestyle Picture Company), Jett Steiger and Lana Kim (Ways&Means), Woods, and Andrew Porter. Woods and Brandon Gardner co-wrote it. International sales and festival distribution are handled by Salaud Morisset, which also represents Yorgos Lanthimos’ and Jonathan Glazer’s latest works.
Check out the first trailer for “David,” exclusively on IndieWire, below.