Directed by Mariette Monpierre
A Dream for A Young Woman In Sear
ch of Estranged Father Becomes An Obsession in This Breathtaking Drama, The First Narrative Feature Film by a Female Filmmaker Shot in Guadeloupe
ELZA makes its U.S. theatrical premiere on Friday, November 30th at New York City’s new MIST Harlem Cinemas
“…beautiful, affecting performances, especially by the arresting [Stana] Roumillac as
Elza and [Vincent Byrd] Le Sage as her father.”
–Vanessa Martinez, Indiewire.com
New York, NY (September 10, 2012) — Based on the real-life experiences of the filmmaker and the growing issue of African American and Caribbean children who are estranged from their fathers, writer/director Mariette Monpierre’s feature film debut ELZA is a tale of hope, family and acceptance. A new film from the Caribbean, ELZA presents a touching story about a young college graduate who returns to her hometown in Guadeloupe in search of a fleeting childhood memory and a father she barely remembers. Presented by Autonomous Entertainment, the film will make its U.S. theatrical premiere at New York’s new MIST Harlem Cinemas on Friday, November 30th and will run for at two weeks.
ELZA makes its U.S. premiere following acclaimed screenings at film festivals around the world, including the Pan African Film & Arts Festival, where it received Special Jury Recognition for Best First Feature, British Academy of Film & Television Arts/LA Festival Choice Award and the Programmer’s Award for Narrative Feature. ELZA also was nominated for Best Picture of the Diaspora at the African Movie Academy Awards in Lagos, and won Best Narrative Feature at the Roxbury International Film Festival.
Elza (Stana Roumillac), a beautiful young woman who lives in Paris with her mother (Mariette Monpierre), has reason to celebrate, as she’s just become the first in the family to earn a college degree. But on the eve of her great achievement, Elza realizes that she has never come to terms with her sense of identity, prompting her to return to her hometown in Guadeloupe to make contact with her long-lost father (Vincent Byrd Le Sage). Bringing passion and perseverance to her shocking discoveries on the sun-kissed Caribbean island, Elza discovers hard truths beneath the beauty and lushness of Guadeloupe’s gorgeous landscapes.
ELZA is inspired by director Mariette Monpierre’s personal story of searching for her biological father in her native Guadeloupe. With a reported 50% of African American and Caribbean children estranged from their fathers, the issue that Monpierre addresses is a real one. In many cases, these communities have a history of slavery, while in others the father simply neglects his responsibilities. As the story unfolds, the deep-rooted ELZA presents a breathtaking look at the troubling hardships that lay beneath the sun-kissed Caribbean island.
A wonderful and altogether fresh combination of coming-of-age family drama, and search for sense of self, ELZA is set to a soundtrack of sensual ballads and vibrant beats by such entrancing Caribbean artists as Victor O, Soft and neo-folk-soul performer Stévy Mahy.
Born in Guadeloupe and raised in Paris, Monpierre earned her Master’s degree in Media and Languages at the Sorbonne University and Smith College before taking up residence in New York City. After sharpening her skills as a producer at BBDO in New York where she produced commercials for Pepsi Cola, Visa, Pizza Hut, Gillette and FedEx, Monpierre won acclaim with her short film Rendez-vous at the Director’s Fortnight at Cannes, which then went on to festival screenings around the world. ELZA is Monpierre’s first feature film.
Trailer available online at: http://www.imdb.com/video/wab/vi62367001/
ADVANCE SCREENERS ARE AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW CONSIDERATION
ARTWORK AND ADDITIONAL MATERIALS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
INTERVIEWS WITH CAST AND CREW ARE AVAILABLE
ELZA – Synopsis
The first feature narrative film written, produced, directed and shot in Guadeloupe by a female filmmaker Bernadette, a single mother in Paris is thrilled when her eldest daughter, Elza, completes her master’s degree and is the first college graduate of the family. But Elza ruins her mothers’ happiness when she leaves Paris to return to Guadeloupe in search of a distant childhood memory: the father she barely remembers. This feature directorial debut offers an insider’s view of a lush island culture, capturing the passion and contradictions of this family in transition.
MIST Harlem (My Image Studios) is New York City’s long-anticipated new cultural entertainment center that’s poised to become a leading showcase for independent black and Latino cinema from around the world.Designed by A. Jay Hibbs of Hibbs Architects in Wappingers Falls, New York, MIST Harlem boasts 20,000 square feet with three state-of-the-art theaters-two with 92-seats each and a third with 164 seats to present film, music, live spoken word, and theater from African and Latino Diaspora. The new venue also features a 130-seat restaurant named Harvist, a lobby bar, as well as an outdoor bar and dining area. OTELO BURNING will be the first film to premiere at the venue andin conjunction with the film’s release, MIST Harlem will feature a series of South African cultural events including live performances, celebrity appearances, and South African food and wine. For more information on MIST Harlem, contact Taneshia Nash Laird at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Autonomous Entertainment is headquartered in New York City with a comprehensive unit focusing on communication, strategic marketing and distribution consultation for independent media. The company’s mission is to present high quality film projects that are both entertaining and informative modules with integrated engagement campaigns.
ELZA will open at MIST Harlem located at 46 West 116th Street, New York, New York on Friday, NOVEMBER 30, while the premiere event will be held on November 29th, and will also be open to the public. http://www.myimagestudios.com/ELZA
Official Website: www.ElzaTheMovie.com
Official Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Lebonheurdelza
Official Twitter: @elzathemovie
Director: Mariette Monpierre
Writers: Mama Keita, Mariette Monpierre
Cast: Stana Roumillac, Vincent Byrd Le Sage, Chrisophe Cherki, Sophie Berger, Teddy Doloir, Mariette Monpierre; Eva Constant
Running Time: 82 minutes
Sound Format: Stereo
Country: Guadeloupe / France
Language: French with English subtitles