Submit your film to festival

Message in the Fortune Cookie


As Joe and his five friends have just enjoyed their meal at a Chinese restaurant in lower Manhattan, he opens up his fate in a fortune cookie and discovers a message that shocks him into a stupor which leads all of them to ask themselves about the meaning of life. While his BFF, Tom, tries to reassure him in every ways, the other friends explain their various views, which correspond strikingly to their characters. Karim, influenced by existentialism and Albert Camus's idea of the absurd, thinking Joe has to embrace death instead of seeing it is as a bad thing. Rachel, a strong believer in God, urges Joe to be reconciled with God stressing enough that the end results of everything even beyond Galactic Center point is the God and have faith on God. Bert, an epicurean believes, Joe should 'live it up' and enjoy and consume himself every bit of life, especially food. Lastly, Maya expresses skepticism that Joe can know the future leaning towards Recurnation and thinks that Joe should always just keep doing whatever he’s doing now. Joe becomes immobilized in terms of deciding how he's going to face his ending of life, even if it occurs today. Can a lotto jackpot detour an average Joe’s death? Can Joe enjoy his luxurious life with money materials being a millionaire, even if he has no more nights, no more days and he leaves the world today?


19 minutes 38 seconds


Information for the Audience: 
Director’s Statement:
Conspiracy theorists might debate whether Neil Armstrong really landed on the moon or not, but we can agree that our birth and death are certain. Nobody knows exactly when, how and what's going to happen after we kick it. What if I somehow come to know that “this is it—that kick off day happens to be today” and I have no more days and nights to breathe in this world! Will my kids be happy and safe? Will my lovely wife bring flowers to my grave? Will I still have a plate at the brunch or dinner? Will I still have my spot on the couch? Will Starbucks coffee remain warm in my favorite mug? Will my buddies still expect and wait for me at the Chinese buffet? Am I gone forever? Or just on a trip across the river? Will we meet in heaven or some other world? Not sure, since I never died before! Some of these questions become metaphors in the surreal drama of the short film “Message in the Fortune Cookie,” which raises questions that all human beings might ask before leaving the world.
The journey of this project commenced a few years back when my childhood best friend, Mustafa Kamal Chowdhury, took off from the world at the age of 43 of a sudden brain stroke, orphaning his two adorable kids, widowing his sweet wife, and breaking all left behinds’ hearts, like mine. He inspired me to study filming as well as performing in drama and theater. As a tribute to my friend, I started the initial dramatic storyline of “Message in the Fortune Cookie” which was crafted into cinematic embroidery afterwards by dexterous hands across the globe. More than three years’ days and nights of dedication by talented composers from New York to Utah, vocalists from Toronto to Miami, animation & VFX studios from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India, Toronto, and most of all, the brilliant actors, actresses and crews from across Canada and USA are reflected and projected on the screen for just 29 minutes. Mountains of research, prototypes, tool developments, and unwavering efforts have culminated in the realization of this film. I can’t even express enough through words my feelings about the close collaboration and collective effort that went into this project.
It was my remarkable experience and great privilege writing the lyrics and spotting notes along with my talented composers and working online with a virtual team of gifted vocalists around the globe on a daily basis.
Good filmmaking does not consist of rules written in stone; rather it’s an art which ought to be boundless, as demonstrated throughout the filmmaking history by building the rule, setting the benchmark, and also breaking the conventional rules. In this project, we experimented outside of the box and intentionally crossed so many traditional lines to establish some new perspectives of filmmaking. I’m confident that these endeavors will be successful once the project catches to the attention of viewers!
Screenings / Awards: 

FocAct International Short Film Festival Dhaka, Bangladesh
February 19, 2016
World Premiere
Best Editing

Pune Short Film Festival Pune
May 27, 2016
Puna Premiere

Barcelona Planet Film Festival Barcelona
May 15, 2016
Barcelona Premiere

Los Angeles CineFest Los Angeles
United States
May 27, 2016
Los Angeles Premiere

Chandler International Film Festival (CIFF) Chandler, Arizona
United States
May 31, 2016

Ekurhuleni International Film Festival Johannesburg
South Africa
June 23, 2016
Johannesburg Premiere

Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival Hollywood, CA 90028
United States
June 28, 2016
All Lights India International Film Festival Hyderabad
September 24, 2016
Hyderabad Premiere

Headline International Film Festival Hollywood, CA
United States
November 26, 2016
Honorable Mentions

Miami Independent Film Festival Miami
United States
July 31, 2016
Miami Premiere

Top Indie Film Awards Los Angeles
United States
July 10, 2016
No Budget Spirit / Low Budgest Best Short Film

New York Sun Fest ​Ellington, NY 14732
United States
July 31, 2016

North American Film Awards 20 Randy Jones Way, Quispamsis, NB E2E 0B3
November 14, 2016

Los Angeles CineFest Los Angeles
United States
August 10, 2016
Best of Audience

Hollywood Boulevard Film Festival Hollywood, CA 90028
United States
July 28, 2016
Best Experimental Short

Lake View International Film Festival Punjab Bhawan, Near Bharat Nagar Chowk, Ferozepur Road, Ludhiana, Punjab 141001
August 24, 2016

Twin Cities Black Film Festival Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN
United States
October 9, 2016
Minneapolis Premiere

Queen City Film Festival (QCFF) 100 S George St., Cumberland, MD 21502
United States
October 7, 2016
Maryland’s premier

Sweet As Film Festival 58 Gray, Baie D'Urfe, QC
August 26, 2016
Official Selection

CITYFLIX International Film Festival Toronto
November 12, 2016
Toronto Premiere

Free Spirit Film Festival McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh
October 27, 2016

I Filmmaker International Film Festival Residencial Costa Nagueles 1 P1 BC Marbella, Malaga 29602
December 8, 2016

Canada Shorts Film Festival Toronto, Canada
November 20, 2016
Awards of Merit

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Film Festival 1, Aditya Apt., Opp Euro Kids, New DP Road, Vishalnagar Pimple Nilakh Pune, Maharashtra 411027
December 24, 2016

Rock 'n' Roll Film Festival, Kenya (ROFFEKE) Nairobi
January 31, 2017
Kenya Premiere

Canadian Diversity Film Festival Toronto
June 25, 2017
Best Experimental Film

Toronto Short Film Festival Toronto
March 17, 2017

Amazon Underground Film Festival Manaus, Amazonas
January 27, 2017
Brazil Premiere

Freedom Film Festival AMC Theater
United States
April 2, 2017

Directed by: 
Golam Mustofa
Writing credits: 
Golam Mustofa, Jonathan Rabson, Liam Sheppard
Michael Pearson as Joe Evan Boutsov as Tom Mehdi Kermally as Karim Lisa S. Dyment as Rachel Harpreet Sehmbi as Maya Agnes Zee as Bert Dilip Krishnamurthy as Salesman / Kumar Janice Song as Waitress Christine Shakespeare as TV News Anchor Niloofar Moloudi as Neli Madhu Kathuria as Madhu Jonathan Rabson as Restaurant Customer
Produced by: 
Co-Producer Golam Mustofa Anwar Kaisar Executive Producer Banzai Multimedia
Music by: 
Original Music Jonathan Rabson
Cinematography by: 
Yasar Shaikh B-Roll Cinematographer Katya Yakubov
Film Editing by: 
Golam Mustofa
Casting by: 
Golam Mustofa Nazmul Huda Babu Jonathan Rabson Mohammed Salauddin Allan Alon
Production Design by: 
Nazmul Huda Babu
Art Direction by: 
Yasar Shaikh
Set Decoration by: 
Nazmul Huda Babu
Costume Design by: 
Madhu Kathuria
Makeup Department: 
Niloofar Moloudi
Production Management: 
Nazmul Huda Babu
Other crew: 
Lyrics Golam Mustofa Vocalists John Korbel Ben Agro Vocal Recording MH Studio Toronto Audio Engineer Cengiz Ercan Derek Brown
Release Date: 
Friday, February 19, 2016
Official sites:
Total votes: 856

Convert your film to DCP

the most widely utilized format by US Exhibitors.