Krzysztof Kieślowski ScripTeast Special Mention 2019
STILLBORN is a portrait of a woman of change, in a country in change. A story of a woman in Poland, during the political/social shift from communism into solidarity, and her courageous pursuit of inspiring freedom and change thru her art, her essence and her mysticism.
Starting in October 1987 and ending with Poland’s Free Elections in 1989, STILLBORN is divided into chapters: “Ela’s room”, “Kocborowo”, “Wojtek”, “Slawek”, “The Family”, “Pancerne rowery”, “Riot” and “Change” – representing Ela’s journey, internally battling with identities, purpose, connecting to her art, her mother and accidentally becoming one herself.
ELA, 21, sits in the middle of her dark room. Cigarette in one hand, joint in the other, staring at a wall. She breaks her gaze and paints a full circle on the wall. She begins to “ohm” and meditate. Her family finds that deranged and takes her to the infamous Mental Hospital “Kocborowo”. There, every night, she rings WOJTEK, a boy madly in love with her, even just to hear him breathe. Ela studies other patients, never patronizing or judging. She connects with Zuzia, who can’t move past the hunting guilt of accidentally killing her child. Ela is released from the hospital on November 1st, the day of the dead, and joins her family at the cemetery. Her MOTHER is sitting on a bench sipping beer, seemingly overseeing the situation, in reality having no control at all. A failed sex attempt scars Ela & Wojtek’s playfully effortless connection. Ela finds comfort in her spirituality and the Tricity’s bohemia’s nightlife, parties, alcohol, drugs. Polish alternative music scene – David Bowie meets Ian Curtis for a game of vodka pong in a post-war ghetto. She meets SLAWEK, the narcissistic “artist of the year” she will eventually marry. One evening, after impulsively walking on stage she performs in her own, made up language and is asked to join the band “PANCERNE ROWERY”. They play a lot. Drink even more. Poland during its political revolution becomes their playground. But at home Ela is completely invisible, ignored by her oblivious mother. After one show Ela gets hit by a car. In the hospital she learns she’s pregnant – a suicide attempt follows. From that moment on, she starts taking polaroids of herself. The Nan Goldlin-like self-portraits appear, taking us on a journey through her pregnancy. Ela’s birth to a little girl instigates a new role, first she can’t just run away from.
Lena Gora is an actor and a writer/director. Born in Gdansk, Poland to Slawek Gora, a figurative artist and Ela (Malwina) Gora, a singer in a number of 80s alternative polish bands. Lena began acting at a young age in local theatres in Poland.
Moving to London at 15, she became a member of The-O Adams’ Company and acted as Head of Performance for London’s, Caligula (‘London’s answer to Studio 54’: Time Out.) In 2010 she relocated to New York where she became a member of the The Actors Studio.
Lena is now based in Los Angeles. Some of her most noteworthy performances include “Stand Alone”, “FAIL”, “Cops and Robbers”, “DJ” and VICE series “Dalston Superstars”. In spring 2016 she was one of 10 Strong Women portrayed by Alistar Guy, alongside Daphne Guiness, Melanie Griffith and Tippi Hedren.
In 2017 she premiered her directorial debut Hospital Green.
She is currently in pre-production of Lilith directed by Jeff Preiss and Stillborn directed by Olga Chajdas.
Born in 1983 in Poznan, Poland. She graduated in Film Production at the Lodz Film School. In 2009 she completed courses in Andrzej Wajda’s School of Film Directing.
Olga started as assistant to director, then 2nd and 1st AD on numerous feature films and TV series (among them Oscar nominated In darkness by Agnieszka Holland). She directed for theatre (Edward Albee’s “The goat or who is Sylvia”, Tuvia Tenenbom’s “The Last Jew in Europe”), award winning television series (The Deep End) and recently short films – 3xLOVE won Grand Prix at Distances Short Film Festival in Dublin and Morning has broken premiered at Raindance Festival 2017.
NINA, Olga’s full-length feature debut premiered in International Film Festival Rotterdam winning BIG Screen Award. She’s one of four women directors to direct first Polish Netflix series entitled 1983.
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BAFTA nominated, director of “My Son the Fanatic”, “The Yellow Hankerchief” and ”Opa!”, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, UK
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ScripTeast Head of Studies, Associate Professor – Screenwriting and Production at School of Cinematic Arts, USC, screenwriter and director, author of the script for the Oscar-nominated film “Shoeshine”, USA
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Golden Globe awarded author of “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Ed Wood” with two Oscars, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, USA