Leilani Franco wins at Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes!

Posted on: 15 June 2015
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Filed under: Graduate news

Leilani graduated from CMP in 2014 and now won at Beyond Borders 2015 with her graduate film ‘Eelan’.

Conceived by US Event Producer and Entertainment Publicist, Yolonda Brinkley, Beyond Borders: Diversity in Cannes is an independent global filmmaker movement occurring annually in France. Beyond Borders seeks to strengthen the cross cultural network of the various ethnic groups represented at Cannes.

Here are a few more details straight from the artist!

“Eelan is an experimental performance arthouse short film about a girl’s journey between life and death, nature and civilization. It was an amazing project, as I sent a blast on Facebook, asking if any of my artistic friends wanted to make a movie with me for fun. Before I knew it, I had more than 50 friends and friends-of-friends: filmmakers, acrobats, musicians, dancers, sound designers, circus riggers, makeup artists, costumers. It was truly an open collaboration with many talented artists I met on my own personal journey as a professional contortionist. My father and I pooled together funding, and Eelan is actually a requiem film, dedicated to my younger brother Benjamin Eelan Franco (1989-2012), to commemorate the anniversary of his passing. I produced, co-wrote, co-directed, and starred in Eelan.

I could not think of a more fitting festival to present Eelan at, as it promotes thinking outside of the box. I suppose the beauty of this day is that it brings together many filmmakers whose work could not be labelled. To have this complete freedom of expression is wonderful, and to be recognised for it is even more so.”

Here is how Leilani feels that CMP helped her:

“What I loved about my course CMP is that we had so much freedom artistically to create projects. I really enjoyed this, as my inspirations were not hampered, but rather refined with the help of the tutors. I loved the theory courses, as well as getting to play around in the media spectrum. I was also mentored by the head of CMP, the great Peter Dukes, who not only consistantly encouraged me to dream big, but to make my projects a reality. He consistently gave me references to other artists’ works, and pushed me to create. I never actually thought I would take myself seriously as an artist or even make a real film, had it not been for his mentoring. I now have multiple festival awards to show for it: Best Makeup at Sunset Film Festival 2015, London Independent Film Festival official selection 2015, And Best Experimental Short at LA Independent Film Festival Awards 2015.”

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Updates on the film can be found at: Eelan The Film

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