“Desperate measures are taken to escape a violent world concealed within an isolated cottage.”
Morgana McKenzie is an award-winning filmmaker, creating her own short films and working as a cinematographer and colorist for other filmmakers. Morgana’s films have screened internationally at over 100 festivals and won over 30 awards.
Morgana’s latest short film “Ellie” has screened at 13 festivals and won 5 awards including the Gerturde Löwengren Award for Best Fiction film from TIFF Jump Cuts (Toronto International Film Festival). Morgana was awarded Best Director Under 25 at the 2015 Ottawa Independent Video Awards, and Best Emerging Female Filmmaker award at NFFTY 2014 (National Film Festival for Talented Youth).
In 2015 Morgana finished two short films. “We All Go the Same“, a narrative music video for the song of the same name by Radical Face, has screened at over forty festivals and won ten awards including Best Music Video, Best Cinematography, and Best Makeup. “Kurayami no Wa“, a dark thriller set in winter, has won awards including Best Thriller (Junior Division) at CineYouth in Chicago and and Best Youth Short at the Kingston Canadian Film Festival.
Morgana’s 2014 short film “GIFTS” was accepted to over twenty film festivals, and won ten awards, including: Best Emerging Female Filmmaker at NFFTY (National Film Festival for Talented Youth); the top prize of the Future of Cinema Film Festival at the Interlochen School of Arts; the Best Narrative award at the Calgary International Film Festival youth division; and, Best Thriller at CineYouth in Chicago.
“Ellie” included so many “firsts”. It was my first time using my new Canon C100 camera (after saving up for a year); it was my first opportunity to work with a casting director; and my first experience hiring professional (ACTRA union) actors.
Ellie was only possible because of the generosity of so many people. Instead of a summer vacation, my parents rented the cottage that serves as the location for Ellie. A successful Kickstarter campaign paid for equipment rentals and the actors’ wages. And my casting director provided her services for free.
With the exception of my mom and dad (who provided catering, transportation, encouragement and support), the Ellie crew were all teenagers — my classmates and friends.