In our bi-monthly column, Who Lives Here, we ask a variety of cool local moms to tell us about themselves and what they love about living in Westchester. Meet actress and filmmaker Francile Albright Mullen, whose indie flick the Sun Belt Express (starring Tate Donovan) won the Grand Prix Award at the Chelsea Film Festival and can be rented on Netflix. She also has a really unique job at Pelham’s The Picture House, and she’s the mom of Finnegan, age 7. And now, the same 12 questions we ask everybody.
Name: Francile Albright Mullen
Where do you live? Pelham, NY
When did you move there? My husband and I moved with our 2 1/2 year old from the Upper West Side in 2012.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Manhattan, Kansas — the same house from the time I was born until I graduated high school.
How do you make a living? I’m the Director of Education at The Picture House Regional Film Center, a historic movie theater in Pelham, but I’ve also worked as a professional actress throughout NYC and done professional corporate voice over work for countless companies. My husband and I head a small production company, Alberio Films, which we founded in 2011. We produce, write and act in short films, have developed a successful satirical web series and co-produced Sun Belt Express.
What do you love about your job? I get to be creative every day. Designing curriculum with an eye toward unlocking a student’s imagination in addition to offering technical instruction is challenging, but very satisfying. I love it when a skeptical student suddenly becomes engaged in a class or a shy student comes out of their shell and finds their passion for their own ideas. I also get to learn myself. We have an incredible team of professional filmmakers and teaching artists that I get to collaborate with on a daily basis. Then of course, we’re The Picture House! I get to see amazing films, attend talk backs and events with incredible filmmakers, right in my own back yard.
What’s your idea of a perfect Westchester Saturday? Like most families, Saturdays are usually packed with activities, so when we get a free one, we like to keep it relaxed. Sleeping in past 7:00 a.m. and still getting in a run is the ultimate goal, and turning up the NPR and making breakfast together as a family is a great way for everyone to wake up and connect. Then heading out to the Tarrytown or Larchmont farmer’s market to pick up something to make for dinner, usually fresh seafood is involved. Maybe a local hike, Cranberry Lake Preserve is a favorite, or flying a kite at Glen Island Park. Wrapping up with a stop at Blue Dog Wine & Spirits (a local treasure) to get a great recommendation for a wine to have with whatever we’re making for dinner. Cooking, talking, nature, putting away the devices and the schedules – it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s my happy place.
What’s your favorite local restaurant? When I think local, I think someplace I can walk to. In Pelham, I like to have a seat at the bar with a spicy margarita at Cantina Lobos – fantastic food and atmosphere. I also like Caffe Regatta for seafood and Sergios for classic Italian.
What’s on your nightstand? Besides last week’s dust? Hahaha. Along with a little dust, usually a non-fiction, recently Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. Also, a small stack of old Mother’s Day and Birthday cards from my husband and son. I read through them when I need a smile.
What are your current addictions? Yankees games. I feel like there’s something missing when they’re not playing.
Talent you would most like to have. Compartmentalization. I’d like to leave work at work, family concerns at home, and be able to turn the light off and go right to sleep. That’s a super power, right? Also, whipping up a meal with whatever is left is in the fridge. My brother can do that, and I envy him for it.
What do you hope your kids say about you when they grow up? I hope my son says he can talk to me about anything. That he can count on me to give him good advice and an honest opinion. That he’s unafraid to be completely himself with me. And that I always have his back, no matter what.