Midnight Kingdom Films
Home of filmmaker Elza Kephart
“Elza Kephart’s Slaxx does for jeans what Jaws did for the water.
It’s a jugular-ripping satire that shows the promise of an important new voice in horror.”
SLAXX75 minutes I Horror l 2020 I Co-written and directed by Elza Kephart I Produced by EMA Films & Head on the Door Productions
SLAXX tells the story of a possessed pair of jeans brought to life to punish the unscrupulous practices of a trendy clothing company. Shipped to the company’s flagship store, Slaxx proceeds to wreak bloody carnage on the staff that is locked in overnight to set up the new collection. When the body count mounts, the panicked staff disbands and the struggle for survival begins. It is up to new-hire Libby to uncover the reason behind Slaxx’s blood thirst before the store opens and its evil is released into the world.
“Mayhem with a message”
-The New York Times
“Amusing and sharp”
“Creative, original and gory as hell, Slaxx is a perfect fit.”
The Best Horror Comedies of the 21st Century (Den of Geek)
5 of the Strangest Sentient Objects in Horror (Dread Central)
5 Horror-Comedies to watch instead of ‘Five Nights at Freddy’s ’ (The Messenger)
Top 10 Horror Films of 2021 (Dread Central)
The 10 Best Horror Films Set in a Shopping Mall (Dread Central)
The 10 Best Horror Movies Where Ordinary Objects Turn Psycho (Starte Facts)
The 12 Best Straight-to-Streaming Films of 2021 (Concrete Playground)
13 Best Horror Movies of 2021 (The Academy)
The 15 Best Horror Movies of 2021 (Film School Rejects)
The (25) Best Horror Comedies (Wealth of Geeks)
The Best Horror Movies of 2021 ( CBR.com)
Best Horror Movies of 2021 - #4 (Rotten Tomatoes)
Best Movies All Genres - #60 (Rotten Tomatoes)
The 50 Best Horror Movies of 2021 (Thrill List)
Top 3 best-reviewed Movies of 2021 (Shudder)
Fantasia Film Festival (Winner Best Canadian Feature), Sitges International Film Festival, Frightfest UK (Winner Best Monster for the Killer Pants), Gérardmer Festival de Films Fantastiques, BIFAN International Fantasy Film Festival, Mile High Horror Film Festival, among others....
Canada: Vimeo OTT
International: Visit WTFilms
DVD : Amazon.ca
(Note: Amazon is not my favourite place to shop, so if you find it elsewhere, please buy it there instead!)
GO IN THE WILDERNESS61 minutes I 2013 I Fantasy I Written, directed & co-produced by Elza Kephart I Produced by Midnight Kingdom Films
Go in the Wilderness tells the story of Lilith, Adam’s rebellious first mate, and her guardian, as they forge an uneasy alliance on their journey back to Eden. Once in the Garden, they meet Adam and his new mate Eve, and realise that all is not as it seems in Paradise... Shot against the striking backdrop of Quebec’s remote North Shore, Go in the Wilderness presents a bold new version of the myth of Creation.
“Go in the Wilderness offers a seductive and daring interpretation of the Holy Scriptures.”
“Audacious, surprising, fantastical and absurd.... ... very impressive visually... loaded with mythic Girl Power!”
Festival du nouveau cinema, Sarasota Film Festival, Pineapple Film Festival
VOD: Les films du 3 mars
DVD : Available upon demand. For more info contact: email@example.com
GRAVEYARD ALIVE - A ZOMBIE NURSE IN LOVE82 minutes I 2003 I Horror I Directed, Co-written and Co-produced by Elza Kephart I Produced by Bastard Amber Productions
GRAVEYARD ALIVE follows the story of Patsy, a lonely, dreamy nurse who, after being bitten by a zombie, becomes a flesh-eating sex kitten. With her newfound powers, she tries to win back her old flame, the suave and handsome Dr. Dox, from Goodie Tueschuze, a bitchy young nurse. Shot in titillating Techniscope, Graveyard Alive is General Hospital meets Night of the Living Dead!
"Very cleverly made... terrific-looking"
“The most fun I've had with a zombie flick since... ever!"
“You might think you should feel guilty watching GRAVEYARD ALIVE... but it's fun!"
#2 on Essential viewing for fans of ‘Warm Bodies’ – Zombies In Love
Order on Blu-Ray
VOD coming soon! Stay tuned!
Pasteques: Vampires du Draa
(Watermelons: Vampires of the Drâa)
2:26 min | 2021 | Experimental | By Elza Kephart & Ali Mhidi | Produced by Les productions Ensemble (Anemun), Co-produced by Midnight Kingdom Films
|-Babul Eco Film Festival|
Winner: Honorable Mention - Festival International des Films d’environnement de Chefchaouen (Morocco)
Official Selection: Babul Eco Film Festival (India)
Pour en savoir plus sur les oasis du Drâa et leur assèchement lisez “Protéger les dernières oasis”
in search of a lost continent
2016 | Experimental | By Elza Kephart
Traverse Film Festival, Festival International Signes de Nuits (Paris), Festival internazionale Segni della note (Urbino)
in DEVELOPMENT //
Global Terror inc.8x25 min. Satirical action.
Created by Elza Kephart & Stephan Deraucroix
GLOBAL TERROR INC. follows a group of young climate activists who decide to take justice into their own hands by creating Global Terror, a satire of popular gameshows. In each episode, they kidnap “climate criminals” under the cover of a spectacular action and put them through absurd trials on their live show, revealing their guilt. They are then sentenced by their millions of online viewers. Part SQUID GAME, part THE BLACK LIST, with a sprinkling of INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS, climate activism has never been so much bloody fun!
Night of the Pendulum
5x50 min. Supernatural Mystery.
Created by Elza Kephart & Stephan Deraucroix
Set in a barren mining town in northern Canada, in the bleak mid-winter, Night of the Pendulum retells an ancient story with a modern twist. For the past 80 years, men working for the mine have been disappearing. No one pays any attention to these disappearances, for they are frequently workers from out of town. What no one realizes is that these men are being sacrificed to keep the three Harkness sisters, owners of the gold mine, alive. Since their mother’s discovery of a powerful, supernatural stone, enabling them to tap the gold-rich vein under their island home, they have collected untold riches. However, in exchange, they must sacrifice a man every seven years, or die from the stone’s curse. For, like Mother Nature, the stone gives, but it also takes away. Unless male energy is renewed on a regular basis, the Harkness women suffer and die from the stone’s curse; they are the both the blessed and blighted guardians of this fragile equilibrium.
8x50 min. Horror Drama.
Created by Patricia Gomez Zlatar & Elza Kephart
Lucas, a vampire living in the suburbs with his pregnant human wife, is tracked down by members of his blood drinking tribe. They face imminent extinction unless Lucas finds a cure for their inability to reproduce, something he has vowed never to undertake.
In Sweet Blood, vampires come from an isolated tribe plagued by a fatal allergy to the sun and lethal anemia. They live sheltered in their insular mountain stronghold, having created a society with its own rigid rules and religion, where most members are totally unaware of the outside world. Lucas left to forge a new life over a century ago, and is now quietly settled in suburbia with his pregnant wife Miriam. The series begins when two tribe members, Marek and Trina, have tracked him down because the tribe is dying off and is unable to reproduce. They need Lucas’s help and will not leave until he finds a solution. This turn of events will throw all their lives in upheaval.
*Selected to the Torino SeriesLab
*Selected to the Fantasia Frontieres Market
*Selected to the Series Mania Market
*Funded in development by SODEC, Telefilm and the Quebec Council for Arts & Letters
RSPK: Uncovering the Poltergeist10x25 min. Factual.
Created by Patricia Gomez Zlatar & Elza Kephart
Following the success of their latest horror film SLAXX, filmmakers and long-time friends Patricia Gomez Zlatar and Elza Kephart begin to develop their next feature film about a deadly poltergeist. The poltergeist, from the German poltern, noisy and geist, ghost, is no longer considered to be supernatural; instead, it is attributed to a living human, or “agent” who is plagued with a condition known as RSPK: Recurrent Spontaneous Psychokinesis, the involuntary ability to move items without touching them.
In each episode a famous case is researched and recreated. The friends will track down agents and witnesses of real-life RSPK, along with experts in the field, as well as visit sites of RSPK phenomenon. The filmmakers then go back to “the lab” for simple experiments where the skeptical Gomez Zlatar (a scientist by trade) attempts to disprove a key piece of evidence from the case, while Kephart, who has experienced paranormal phenomena all her life, makes a case for its veracity. Light-hearted, entertaining and informative, RSPK: Uncovering the Poltergeist is a show for aficionados of horror, or simply folks curious to find out more about the paranormal.
Chair ObscureFeature Film. Horror Drama. French language.
Written with Stephan Deraucroix & Elza Kephart
Optioned by EMA Films
A shrewd business woman, in the final throes of a fatal disease, moves into a haunted house looking for answers to life after death. When she successfully makes contact with a vengeful spirit, she strikes a bargain to save herself, unleashing the ghosts of her own painful past.
*Funded in development by SODEC
ELZA KEPHART //
WRITER. DIRECTOR. PRODUCER
Midnight Kingdom Films embraces dreams, mystery, strangeness. I love the horror genre as I believe its
powerful visual symbolism taps directly into our unconscious, like dark, modern fairytales that the child in us still relishes. By offering these stories, I take every viewer along for the ride.
For media, workshops or attendance on panels, contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Writing is a passion, so if you need help, I do that too! Check out my CONSULTING SERVICES.
ELZA ON PODCASTS:
No Film School Podcast
Elza Kephart writes and directs horror and fantasy films. Born and raised in Tiohtià:ke (Montréal) on the unceded territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk), she holds a BFA from Emerson College (Boston) and the Canadian Film Center’s Director’s Lab. At 24, she wrote and directed her first feature, Graveyard Alive – A zombie nurse in love. It played in over 20 international film festivals including Fantasia, Fantasporto and Sitges, winning the Kodak Cinematography Award at the Slamdance Film Festival. It was distributed on TMN, on DVD by Maple Pictures, and in theaters.
Her second feature film, Go in the Wilderness, premiered at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema, played in various international film festivals, and is being distributed on various platforms, including itunes. SLAXX, her third feature, had its World Premiere at the Fantasia International Film Festival and its International Premiere at the Sitges International Film Festival in 2020. Produced by EMA Films (Turbo Kid), it is being repped by WTF Films internationally and Entertainment Squad in the US. She is teaming up again with Slaxx producers Anne-Marie Gélinas and Patricia Gomez Zlatar for her next feature, Chair Obscure, a French-language possession film set in Québec.
Elza has likewise obtained development financing from Telefilm, SODEC and CALQ for the feature scripts Brothers in Arms, Chair Obscure, Le fantôme de la Libération, Night of the Pendulum and Sweet Blood. Sweet Blood was selected to the Frontières Co-Production Market and the Torino SeriesLab.
Elza has attended the TIFF Talent Lab, the Berlinale Talent Campus, and the Telluride Student Symposium and has been a panelist for Fantasia, Film Fatales, WIFT, the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, and From our Dark Side. She works as a consultant in screenwriting and directing and has worked for over 20 years on film productions such as The X-Men franchise, The Lodge, and Mummy 3. She is one of the co-founders of the Montreal chapter of Film Fatales, and one of the co-founders of Extinction Rebellion Québec. She lives part-time in Montréal, and part-time in Zagora (Morocco), with her husband Ali.
I became a climate activist in 2018, when I realised the absolute emergency we were in, after reading the United Nations Secretary General’s declaration. I then formed the Québec chapter of Extinction Rebellion, where I was active until the Spring of 2020 when COVID hit. I then formed a new smaller climate action group, the Ministry of the New Normal, and have been active in it ever since. I am also a member of SCALE (Sectoral Climate Arts Leadership for the Emergency), founded by Seth Klein (brother of Naomi Klein), and the Directors’ Guild of Canada’s National Sustainability and Climate Action Committee. My activism is greatly inspired by my maternal grandmother and grandfather, both activists in the French Resistance during WW2, and my father, an American who vowed not to get drafted into the Vietnam war and took life-altering steps to ensure he would not.
There are many ways we can act (see https://midnightkingdom.com/Cinema-for-the-Climate). One of which is to use our art to communicate about the CEE. I have decided to center most of my upcoming projects on climate change, extraction, and a more inclusive way to view our relationship with Nature.
I urge all artists who have access to an audience, to include, before their public appearances, their own personal declaration of Climate and Ecological Emergency. I have written my own, which you are free to use, or write your own. Artists can reach deep into people’s emotions, opening their audience’s eyes to the fact that our “business as usual” frame of mind must shift, and that we must take the Climate and Ecological Emergency to the heart of our lives. Nothing less than humanity’s survival depends on it.
"She's the she-devil of feedback, the priestess of criticism and she'll whip your script into perfect shape every time!"-Boris Rodriguez, Writer & Director (Eddy the Sleeping Cannibal)
"Her take on story is unique; and her advice should definitely be solicited if you want to look at your work from an angle that nobody else thought of."-Alex Franchi, Writer & Director (The Wild Hunt)
"Elza isn't interested in changing your screenplay, but helping you figure out what you want to say so you can have a more productive rewrite." -Jay Reid, Grand Prize Winner - Cours Ecrire ton Court (Phases of the Moon)
MISSION & APPROACH
Having written scripts and read for others for over 30 years, I am well versed in the joys & pains of writing and, more importantly, rewriting. I love helping creatives get to the core of their idea, push through blocks, and find out what process is right for them. It’s not about my giving you solutions, but helping you find them yourselves. It’s normal to get lost, to have doubts. In fact, it’s essential to the creative process. You have to explore different avenues before realising you knew the way all along. I will help you navigate through the ups and downs of creativity, without losing your aim, find your way to the core of your story and putting the puzzle pieces that are all there in the right place.
I specialise in fantastical projects (horror, supernatural, mystery, mythology & general strangeness), but am open to all genres.
Je lis et écris également en français.
SERVICES & RATES*
Script read with notes - $450 CAD
Includes script read, 4 pages of notes. Covers concept, genre, structure, and execution, looking at the project’s potential, what I feel you’re trying to achieve, and how best to improve it.
Script read with a meeting - $450 CAD
Includes script read, 60 minute meeting This is an hour-long discussion covering concept, genre, structure, and execution, looking at the project’s potential, what I feel you’re trying to achieve, and how best to improve it.
Script read with meeting and notes - $600 CAD
Includes script read, 4 pages of notes, and a 60 minute meeting
GRANTS & PITCH CONSULTING
Grant application consultation - $450 CAD
Includes read, margin notes and 60 minute meeting
Pitch document consultation - 250$ CAD
Includes read and margin notes
Proofreading, formatting, dialogue pass (English) - 50$/hr (Minimum 1 hr)
Translation (French to English) - 0.20$/word
Directing Consulting - Price based upon individual needsIf you need a refresher, or have a team that would benefit from my advice, I will be happy to set up a consulting workshop tailored to your needs.
Artistic Doula - Price based upon individual needs Is there a project you have been wanting to birth for a long time but don’t know how to start? Let’s get you started together! I help guide the idea from your heart and head to the page, and accompany you as the project evolves.
Amelia Moses, Producer, Screenwriter & Director “Bleed with Me”
Annie Macdonald, Screenwriter & Owner Cinemannie
Kaye Adelaide, Screenwriter & Director
Louise Lapointe, Producer
Mariel Scammel, Director, Screenwriter & Producer
Pierre Larouche, Screenwriter
Sid Zanforlin, Screenwriter & Director
SODEC (Société des entreprises culturelles)
*All prices are in Canadian dollars (CAD). Prices are before tax.
Meetings can be online or in person.