We have written several times about Mariette Monpierre’s Elza, a genuinely touching feature film dealing with a young woman’s attempt to re-establish a relationship with the father she’s never known.
In fact, I should now call the film an award winning film, since it has won several international film festival awards, including the Paul Robeson Award for Best Film of the Diaspora at FESPACO 2013. It's still being screened around the country, in film festivals and theatrically around the world - most recently in Morocco and Puerto Rico.
The film was also a New York Time Critics Pick (HERE).
Also last year, I conducted a rather honest and revealing interview with the
filmmaker which you can read HERE.
And there have been more positive developments in regards to Elza. First the film has been selected to be part of the Tournées Film Festival, a program of the French American Cultural Exchange (FACE), in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, which aims to bring the best of contemporary French cinema to American college and university campuses.
Mariette says that she is “excited” about since this is "a major accomplishment given the fact that there is only 24 films the Cultural Services of the French Embassy select to represent France this year and ELZA is part of it. Tournées Festival gives the film a longer life shelf and an opportunity to be seen by the young people. The students can discover the island of Guadeloupe and its specificities through this inspiring tale of a young woman’s quest to understand her past in one of the most beautiful places on earth and former french colony".
On top of that since September of last year Mariette has embarked on a US university tour screening Elza and doing speaking engagements raising various topics that are related to French Studies, African and Latin American Studies, Women Studies, Global and Film studies.
Her appearances on this still on going tour has included CUNY, Rider,North Carolina University at Chapel Hill, Ottawa University, Smith College, UMass, Rochester University, Howard University, Boston University, Hobart & William Smith, Denison, Kent State, Indiana State, Lycée Français, and the Alliance Française in London
And now to add to all the good news, is the announcement that Elza is now available on DVD both for home viewing and for public performance rights for educational and institutional screenings. But, in a positive and savvy entrepreneurial move, instead of being released by some video label, Ms Monpierre is distributing her film on DVD herself, which she has made available for sale through the film’s website.
To purchase the DVD and to find iout more about the college tour and the Tournées Film Festival go HERE to the film’s website.