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About Us

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We are a Full Service Production company that

supports  progressive 

cinema, Art,  and LIVE events for our partners

Major Malfunction Productions was born in 2011 at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts Steven Spielberg building in an undergraduate production class where Jean Balest and Sarah French would shoot on lo-fi panasonic dvx cameras. Both filmmakers shared an affinity for celluloid and hesitantly developed their voices for the digital format through the transition from analog to digital. 

Hanging out in French's dorm one evening, they realized that each had an interest in developing a film based on Leni Riefenstahl. From that moment on, the two formed a partnership to develop the project from the ground up. Cut to eight years later, the script landed on the Hollywood Bitchlist 2019, a tracking board of the top female centric content yet to be produced in the film industry.


Jean has directed a number of short films and music videos. In the fall of 2017, Jean went through a mentorship for emerging filmmakers sponsored by Apple and Red Digital Cinema during which she directed and produced La Buena Muerte. The film was released in January of 2018 and is a short documentary that observes mortality set against the backdrop of Hollywood Forever's Dia de Los Muertos celebration. The film played at the Directed by Women Festival in Brooklyn, NY and Independent Filmmakers Showcase in LA and was featured on Apple newsroom for its innovation with end to end pre-production, production and post-production accomplished on Apple hardware and software and the Red Raven Digital Cinema Camera. La Buena Muerte highlighted the democratization of film through technology. 

Since graduation, Sarah has worked predominately as an editor, 

working on music videos, short films, promos, and content for YouTube creators. She did additional editing on the short film U.F.O. Diary, finishing the work started by Emmy winning editor Mitchell Danton. The short went on to play at several film festivals

and was covered in American Cinematographer. She recently started working with influencer Kellie Brown, who created the style community And I Get Dressed and the #fatatfashionweek movement, as an editor on her YouTube channel. Sarah is also a writer who has been working on screenplays covering topics of identity, multiple dimensions, nuclear bombs, government corruption, and murder. 


Here's us with this nobody, Leon Vitali.

Our films are a reflection of the cinematic canon as filtered through our unique psychoses. We imbue our work with an appreciation for world cinema, but we aim to transcend mere pastiche. We are critiquing society and the art form through the lens of its history. Our narrative miniseries, LENI (In Development) is a complex look at the most controversial filmmaker in history, who if not for the decisions she made, could have been celebrated as the matriarch of modern documentary cinema. Our aim is to contextualize an artist's responsibility to humanity and reckon art can never be apolitical.

Behind Our Scenes
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