Short Film 'French Kiss' Blends Digital Marketing and Art

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Tyler Ritter and Margot Luciarte

The Kim Moses and Ian Sander production is part of Marriott Hotels’ campaign to encourage world travel.

Marriott Hotels rolled out the red carpet on Tuesday night for their new digital content venture with the premiere of French Kiss, starring Tyler Ritter (The McCarthy's) and Margot Luciarte, at the Marina del Rey Marriott in Los Angeles.

Producer duo Ian Sander and Kim Moses (Runner, Ghost Whisperer) teamed with the Marriott Content Studio and Marriott Hotels to produce the second piece in a series of short films. The shoot only lasted four days in Paris.

Moses said that she believes the short film is just the beginning of new collaboration opportunities between consumer brands and Hollywood. Marriott plans to release a slew of new digital content, including short films and webisodes as part of their Travel Brilliantly campaign.

“The idea that Marriott is now able to bring creators in like us for content to speak to people all over the world is a new way of marketing and advertising without making that content an advertisement itself,” Moses said.

The 20-minute film follows Ritter throughout Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to the Champs-Elysees, but you would never know the film featured the Paris Marriott Champs Elysees Hotel. Marriott International’s VP global creative and content marketing, David Beebe, expressed the key to appealing to millennial travelers is to blend in with digital marketing as subtlety as possible.

“Not once did we try to tell you something,” Beebe told THR. “We didn’t say, 'Welcome to the Marriott, here’s your key card.' You just experience the hotel. Really, the idea is to tell great stories where our hotels play a character.”

Paula Patton, Taryn Manning and Jamie Kennedy were also in attendance. Guests enjoyed hor d’oeuvres and dessert crepes at the reception on the hotel’s scenic rooftop overlooking Los Angeles.

In French Kiss, Ethan is a workaholic on on a business trip in France who spends more time catering to his job than his own personal needs. When Ethan loses his laptop, a mysterious female admirer (Luciarte), uses magic realism to lure him on an adventure through the city, making him open his eyes to enjoy the many sights of Paris. Ritter (son of the late John Ritter) told THR that he’s learned to balance work and personal life after watching his wife leave for monthlong work trips in the past. 

“It can be busy, but you never really know what’s next," said Ritter of working in Hollywood.
"You’re working on a job and you don’t know what’s around the corner. I think everyone at some point or another realizes that they need to re-calibrate their priorities. At least at this stage, early on, I’ve found kind of a healthy relationship with work."

“If there’s anything to take away from the film, it’s that it's important to stop and observe the beauty around you and not be so obsessed with your life that you miss it,” said director John Gray.

French Kiss debuted on May 19 on YouTube and will be distributed in select theaters, Marriott rooms and on Marriott’s website. Watch the short below.

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