Franklin Countys First News

Mt. Blue grad’s movie ‘Elysia’ showing in Waterville on July 14, 21

The "Elysia" crew prepares to roll camera on the banks of the Sandy River in New Sharon last year. (Photos by Amber Kapiloff)

Director Noah LePage gives notes to one of the creatures from his fantasy film "Elysia."

WATERVILLE - A movie created by a New Sharon native and shot in that area's woods will show at the Maine International Film Festival this Saturday, July 14. It will also show on Saturday, July 21 at 3:30 p.m. at the Waterville Opera House.

Elysia was created by former New Sharon resident, Mt. Blue graduate and New York University film student Noah LePage. A combination of grounded fantasy and a documentary, the 24-minute movie stars Elysia Roorbach, a MBHS student, as a young woman invited into the afterlife for a day.

For LePage, the movie is the culmination of years spent in and around the woods of New Sharon. He recalled playing in the woods as a child and later adding a video camera after the 7th grade, when he decided he wanted to make movies. The short film he made to get into NYU's prestigious film program was shot in the woods, staring his father, and when he prepared to make Elysia, he said the location was obvious.

"I wanted to film something that's honest," LePage said, "and Maine is the most honest place there is."

The film pulls the character Elysia into an artistic and at time dark world of the afterlife as she searches for her mother, played by Elysia Roorbach's real-life mom. LePage said that he was technically inspired by old Russian movies from the 1960s and 70s that had measured, artistic build ups and were often silent. Emotionally, Elysia's roots lie in the aftermath of recent deaths in LePage's own life.

"The film is about memory," LePage said. "It's about grief and loss and how we relate memories to that."

It is LePage's biggest production thus far; the Elysia team raised money through a crowd funding site for costumes, and it was staffed by 15 other NYU students. Filming took five months, and LePage said one benefit was getting to show off New Sharon to friends from NYU. There was some culture shock, LePage previously said, but they generally loved it.

"It was great to make a movie in the place I started to love movies," LePage said. "I'm really proud of it, and I'm mostly proud to show that Maine is a very, very important place to me."

Elysia was selected to be shown at the Maine International Film Festival in Waterville on Saturday, July 14 and Saturday, July 22 at the Waterville Opera House. It will appear as part of the "Maine Shorts" program, beginning at 3:30 p.m. both days. Tickets are available through the WIFF website, located here.

For those who can't make either viewing, LePage said that future local screenings are possible. A teaser for the movie can be seen here.

The cast and crew of "Elysia" film an intimate scene in New Sharon.

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2 Responses »

  1. Congratulations, Noah!

  2. Elysia was an INCREDIBLE film...the amount of local talent that made Noah's amazing vision come to life is incredible. Don't miss the chance to see this stunning piece next Saturday..
    Congratulations Noah and the entire cast....I hope I will get see it again!!!!