Zenith is a Columbia University Thesis film, New York, USA.
The synopsis: An adopted Black Mennonite is torn between her faith and her desire to explore the outside world. Her dilemma is further complicated by an unexpected connection with a migrant worker.
Shot on F55, director Ellie Foumbi was tackling a very difficult topic: the sense of belonging.
The difficulties of this short were: the variety of the landscapes, the fact that the Director was also playing the main protagonist and trying to get as close as possible to the very sensitive and rich look of American countryside.
We aimed for a very respectful approach and classical way to film rural America inspired by masters of light like Nestor Almendros “Day’s of Heaven” or Lubezki “Tree of Life”.
We also decided to keep a touch of European approach in terms of cinematography as a representation of that clash of culture the story is facing us with. The idea was that the American and European approaches of camera work and light would flirt and get to touch each others the same way the main two characters are doing so, despite their differences.
It was extremely special to work with Ellie Foumbi as she was playing the main protagonist on top of directing. In those cases the approach of cinematography slightly changes as I like to get to know more intimately my director and understand all the layers that brought them to do this and why. Definitely one of the most amazing production I worked on.
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
CUFF — IFP Audience Award
STUDENT ACADEMY AWARD — Semi Finalist
BLACK STAR INTERNATION FILM FESTIVAL (GHANA) — Best Student Director
BOGOSHORTS — Official Selection (Collections Competition)
SIDE WALK — Official Selection
BRONZELENS — Official Selection
ZANZIBAR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL — Official Selection
AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL — Official Selection
AFRICA MOVIE ACADEMY AWARDS — Official Selection