On the Film Circuit

It’s a story, in itself, made for movies: A heroine, spurred to do something that she’s never done before. Which is exactly what our own Lead Art Director, Elise Plakke, did when she took a two-year hiatus from her nine-to-five, investing her life savings into writing, directing, and producing her first short film, 14 Minutes. And it paid off – going on to win a first place in the Manhattan Shorts Screenplay Competition and numerous Best Short Film awards. As a now-veteran of the Cannes Film Festival (her film was screened there in 2011), Elise tells us a little about her journey.

On 14 Minutes
“The narrative is based on my own story. The female lead is engaged and questioning her wedding. So she takes a trip to break away from her normal routine and from the people who influence her daily thinking. Along the way, she meets up with a photographer who shows her a unique perspective – a different definition of happiness. I’m hoping the film encourages women to question relationships when they aren’t fully happy and inspires them to go after what they truly want.”

On Being a First-Time Filmmaker
“I started this film as a novel but soon realized that I was seeing the story unfold. I then began to understand that it was a film … There was so much that I didn’t know. So I bought a lot of books. I would read them as I got to each step in the process, I drew every storyboard – it was very involved.”

On Cannes
“Cannes has an amazing energy of creative people and likely the largest international party I’ve seen. What I enjoyed the most were the opportunities to interact with all levels of filmmakers, actors, writers, producers, and executive producers. At every moment there is a whirlwind of excitement and activity. Even with all the buzz of seeing celebrities, it wasn’t the reason I was so excited – I was excited to have my film there.”

Interested in her project? You can watch “14 Minutes” the film here.

– By Sam Dulac, Senior Staff Writer

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