In the 1980s, The Tufts created a hit sketch comedy show in Canada. Sudden fame launched these 20-year-old kids into years of partying, dubious relationships and constant pressure.
In this documentary, they come together: friendships are remembered, grievances resurrected and a new opportunity presents itself.
Writer/producer: Len MacKeigan
Director: Lara Cassidy
The Tufts came to me as a script from one of my favourite comedy writers and former improv comedian, Len MacKeigan. I wanted to direct this film at first read. The concept immediately captured me as I believe it will anyone who experienced the incredible improv and sketch comedy boom of the 80s and 90s. New and exciting improv troupes were everywhere, The Kids in The Hall were mandatory weekly watching (or VCR recording) and Whose Line Is It Anyway was one of ABC’s runaway hits, just to name a few examples. Such a great time for comedy.
(Also, and please don’t tell anyone, but I’m a secret sucker for those bubblegummy “where are they now?” shows, so this film was pretty much a custom fit for me.)
In reality, The Tufts is a dark comedy posing questions about some pretty serious issues. What happens to people who are catapulted into stardom at an early age? What are the long-term effects of such fame? How many of these young stars can move on and create happy lives or do they remain forever trapped in their past? How were these incredible ensemble cast friendships affected by all that happened?
History demonstrates to us that frequently the answers to the above questions aren’t very pretty. I see this film as a set-up for a bigger story that one day I hope to tell in feature film form. And spoiler alert: it will have a happy ending, in honour of all comedians everywhere who are only truly happy when the audience leaves the show smiling.
About Lara Cassidy
Lara is what one might call ‘a lifer’ in the film industry. She began in the business at the tender age of 10 as a model and actor.
Since then she has built her life by performing various roles over time: make-up artist, talent agent, casting director, writer, producer and, most predominantly (and by far her favourite), director.
Lara embraces every opportunity available to be on set, working with her team and crew members, everyone using their passion, talent and skills to create a master vision, all in the name of entertaining others.
While Lara has directed projects in practically every genre, comedy is where her heart lives. When not on production, Lara practices forging artworks by renaissance artists … just in case she one day needs a side-hustle …