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.
Writing is a passion, so if you need help, I do that too! Check out my CONSULTING SERVICES.
Elza Kephart writes and directs horror and fantasy films. Born and raised in Tiohtià:ke (Montreal), 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.
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.
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 what will be needed to turn our society around.
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. We must make as many people as possible realise we cannot live in a “business as usual” frame of mind, but must now take the Climate and Ecological Emergency to the heart of our lives. Nothing less than humanity’s survival depends on it.