EUZHAN
PALCY​
© 2019 — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED — EUZHAN PALCY
© PHOTO ( HOME & CONTACT ) EDDY BRIERE

DESIGNED BY

EUZHAN PALCY'S

BIOGRAPHY

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Born in Martinique, Euzhan Palcy is a film director, writer and producer. In 1983, she directed Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres) putting the French West Indies on cinema’s world stages. This critically acclaimed movie went on to win the prestigious Cesar award (French Academy Award) for best first film making Euzhan Palcy the first black director (male or female) to be granted this prestigious award. 

Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres) won more than 17 international awards including the Silver

Lion and Best Actress awards at the Venice Film Festival.

 

[...]

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HER FILMS, SERIES & 

DOCUMENTARIES

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SUGAR CANE ALLEY
A DRY WHITE SEASON
SIMÉON
EN VOIR PLUS
 

COMPLETE

BIOGRAPHY

​—

Born in Martinique, Euzhan Palcy is a film director, writer and producer. In 1983, she directed Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres) putting the French West Indies on cinema’s world stages. This critically acclaimed movie went on to win the prestigious Cesar award (French Academy Award) for best first film making Euzhan Palcy the first black director (male or female) to be granted this prestigious award. Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres) won more than 17 international awards including the Silver Lion and Best Actress awards at the Venice Film Festival.  


Euzhan Palcy successfully brought back Marlon Brando to cinema screens with the anti-apartheid film, A Dry White Season. She travelled to South Africa defying the special section of the apartheid regime with the help of Dr. Nthato

Motlana, Nelson Mandela’s personal physician and friend, who smuggled her into Soweto undercover. She received the Orson Welles award for this film in Los Angeles in 1989. 

After his historic release from Robben Island in 1990, the newly elected President Mandela watched the film and invited her to South Africa in 1995 (during the first anniversary of his election). Therefore, she directed and produced the never before seen interview titled My Chat with President Nelson Mandela.

In 1992, she wrote and directed the musical and fantasy film Siméon with Kassav, the Godfathers of Zouk Music. There after she filmed the documentary trilogy Aimé Césaire : A Voice For History (1994, reissued in 2006 as Aimé Césaire : A Voice For The 21st Century ) and directed and co-produced Ruby Bridges (Disney, 1998). At the movie’s premiere President Bill Clinton and Disney CEO Michael Eisner introduced the movie. The film The Killing Yard (Paramount/Showtime) followed in 2001. She received a Silver Gavel Award for “Best Film About Justice” by The American Bar Association. Her films have undoubtedly had a huge impact initiating humanitarian efforts globally for causes extremely important to her core values as a filmmaker and person. She is currently a distinguished recipient of the French Legion of Honor for her work and social causes.

 

In 2006, she directed the French documentary Parcours de Dissidents (The Journey Of The Dissidents)

which tells the incredible story of 5,000 French West Indians, young fighters (boys and girls) during

World War II. Her struggle for their national recognition was officially acknowledged by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy who presented to her France’s highest award : the Legion of Honor on behalf

of all those courageous war veterans.

 

In 2007, she directed the historical drama, The Brides Of Bourbon Island (Les Mariées de L'Île Bourbon), about the colonization of the Reunion Island during the 17th century. That same year to mark the Bicentennial of the 1807 Abolition of Slave Trade Act in the UK, The National Maritime Museum screened her movie Sugar Cane Alley (Rue Cases Nègres). In a poll by the BBC/British Film Institute’ citing The 100 most Iconic Black Screen Icons of the Last 100 years, Euzhan Palcy ranked among the top three in both the female and director's categories.

 

In 2011, President Sarkozy asked her to direct the film that launched France’s National Tribute to Aimé Cesaire at the Pantheon ; Cannes Film Festival and the MoMA (New York City's Museum of Modern Art) honored her for this work. Later that year, Palcy was decorated with the Officer Medal of National Order of Merit by President Sarkozy. 

 

On June 1, 2014, for the 70th anniversary of  WWII Normandy and Provence landings, President Hollande hosted the presidential screening of Parcours de Dissidents (The Journey Of The Dissidents) at the Elysée Palace as a National Tribute to the Dissidents. The heros in her film received a full week of tributes at the Invalides, the National Assembly, the Senate, the Panthéon and in Normandy.

 

Euzhan Palcy‘s films have undoubtedly a huge impact initiating humanitarian efforts globally for causes extremely important to her core values as a filmmaker and a person. 

She manages her time between her humanitarian work (helping disabled or very ill young people to rebuild themselves and achieve their dreams) and the development of new European and American film projects. 

 

The Filmmaker holds the keys to the cities of New York, Atlanta, New Orleans and Sarassota, Fl. In France, she is a distinguished recipient of the French Legion of Honor for her work and social causes. A high school, a movie theater and a road bear her name. 

Euzhan wanted A Dry White Season to be "Cinema Verité" — that is to reflect the truth — at all costs. She was so passionate about creating an accurate portrayal that she traveled to Soweto undercover to research the riots. With a false cover of a recording artist looking for singers for her new album she was secretly interviewing victims of the apartheid regime thus eluding the South African secret services. The regime felt particularly threatened at this time and had stepped up it’s actions against the opposition. By the year 1988, they showed their ability to kill anybody. On March 29, 1988, walking out of her Paris office, Dulcie September was assassinated, shot five times from behind

with silencers. The South African anti-apartheid political activist was the Chief Representative

in France, Switzerland and Luxembourg of the African National Congress (ANC).

 

In the midst of this era of terror just four weeks later on April 28, 1988, Euzhan began principal photography of A Dry White Season, 300 miles from the South Africa frontier in neightbourhing Zimbabwe. The French black female filmmaker was protected by two bodyguards throughout the shoot. The set was completely closed, prohibited to anyone not directly involved with the filming, especially journalists.

 

A Dry White Season was finally released in September, 1989. South Africa banned it, enraged by the truths exposed of what they were actually doing to the people who opposed them. MGM had to continue engaging the two bodyguards to protect Euzhan throughout the promotion of the film. She was prohibited among other things to go home alone after 10pm.

 

When the promotion was over, the director returned home to Paris exhaused and depressed. The filming had been tough and she was especially haunted by the testimonies of apartheid victims.

 

She remained in this state for almost two years until the writing of Siméon gave her the spark.

MAYA ANGELOU

(1928 - 2014) author, poet, and civil rights activist

SOME

DISTINCTIONS

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Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor (France)

Officer of the National Order of Merit

Knight of Les Arts et des Lettres
Grand Companion of OR Tambo (South-Africa) 

Honorary Citizen of New York, New Orleans, Atlanta & Sarasotta.
Gold Medal of Martinique

2018 10 Black Women Achievers for the Centenary of the Women's Vote in the UK (International Slavery Museum of Liverpool)

2018 The Telegraph (UK) 35 Women who changed the History of Cinema

2016 The WRAP Women's Month: 17 Women Who Revolutionized Hollywood

2015 Tribute to Euzhan Palcy by the American Cinematheque

2013  Unveiling of the Euzhan Palcy road

2013  Henri Langlois World Cinema Honour Award

2013  First woman President of the Fespaco Grand Jury

2011  Elle.fr magazine's 17 Most Influential Women of the Planet

2011  Euzhan Palcy's Retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

2011  Tribute to Euzhan Palcy by Cannes Film Festival

2010  The Most Powerful Black Women in Europe

1994  John Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts

1989  People magazine's 10 Most Inspiring Women

1989  First black female director produced by a major Hollywood studio

1984  First black director winner of a French Oscar

1983  First black winner of a Venice Film Festival Lion

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COMPLETE

FILMOGRAPHY

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2015  My Chat with President Mandela

 

2014  Saving Nadine

Humanitarian rescue

 

2011  Aimé Césaire

Short film portrait for the National Tribute of France at the Panthéon.

An excerpt of Aimé Césaire : A Voice for History  introduced the eulogy

of French President Sarkozy for the National Tribute of France to

Aimé Césaire at the Panthéon.

 

2010  The Journey of the Dissidents

& French West Indian DVD collector 8h30 of video

 

2008  Césaire / Senghor : l’Ami Fondamental

 

2007  The Brides of Bourbon Island

 

2006  The Journey of the Dissidents

Hosted by French President Hollande in 2014 at the Élysée Palace for

the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy and 

Provence WWII Landings.

 

2001  The Killing Yard

Best film about Justice by the American bar Association

 

1998  Ruby Bridges

The film was introduced by President Clinton on ABC from the White House.

 

1994  Aimé Césaire : A Voice For History

Reissued Aimé Césaire A Voice the 21st Century

 

1992  Siméon

 

1990  "How are the Kids" / Hassane

A UNICEF & Red Cross-sponsored six-films anthology depicting

childhood horrors  around the world produced for the signature

of the UN convention for the rights of  children

(with Jerry Lewis, Jean-Luc Godard…)

 

1989  A Dry White Season

A Dry White Season was screened by President Mandela. He then invited 

Euzhan Palcy to visit him for a week in South Africa.

 

1983  Sugar Cane Alley 

 

1982  The Devil’s Workshop (short film)

1975  The Messenger (short film)

 

AWARDS

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1990  Orson Welles Award

1990  Tokyo International Film Festival

Grand Prix nominee

1990  Political Film Society Award for

Human Rights nominee

1990  Chicago Film Critics Association

Best Film award nominee

1990  Academy Award, Golden Globe  

& BAFTA nomination for

Marlon Brando

1990  Tokyo International Film Festival

Best Actor Award

1985  Fespaco Public Award / First movie

to receive the award

1985  Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame

Award

1984  Houston International WordFest /

Special Jury Award

1984  César for Best First Film*

1983  Venice Film Festival Silver Lion*
1983  Nominated to the Golden Lion*

1983  Best Actress Award*

1983  Unicef Prize

1983  OCIC Award (Now Signis award)

 

         * First for a black director

 

2013  Cannes Classics official selection
1995  Fespaco Thomas Sankara
 Award

1993  Brussels International Fantasy 

           Film Festival : Silver Raven Award

1993  Philadelphia Festival of World

           Cinema: Public Award

1993  Montreal Vue d’Afrique Film festival

           Ban Zil Kreyol award

1993  Milan Film Festival Youth Award

SUGAR CANE ALLEY
A DRY WHITE SEASON
SIMEON
EN VOIR PLUS

2002  Silver Gavel Award by the

American Bar Association

1999  Christopher Award
1998  Humanitas Prize (for screenwriter)

1999  National Educational Media

Network / Gold Apple Award

1999  Young Artist Award  / Best

Performance by ayoung artist under 10 

1999  Young Artist Award Best

Performance - young ensemble nominee 

1999  Image Award nominee

1999  Young Star awards nominee

1999  American Cinema Editors nominee

 

RUBY BRIDGES
THE KILLING YARD
AIMÉ CÉSAIRE : A VOICE FOR HISTORY
EN VOIR PLUS

1997  National Black Programming

Award of Excellence

 

HONORS

(PARTIAL LIST)

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2015

Sabela International Recognition award  for exceptionnal contribution to the South African Film Industry 

 

2015

25th Anniversary of A Dry White Season – Mandela Day – Durban International Film Festival

 

2015

Guest of Honour of the Paris - Champs Elysees Film Festival with William Friedkin & Alan Parker

 

2015

Tribute to Euzhan Palcy by the American Cinematheque

 

2014

Screening of the Journey of the Dissidents at the French Presidential Palace hosted by President Hollande for the 70th anniversary of the WWII D-Day & Provence landings

 

2013

Henri Langlois World Cinema Honour Award

 

2013

Unveiling of the Euzhan Palcy road in Martinique

 

2011

17 Most Influential Women of the Planet by elle.fr

 

2011

Opening of the Women’s Forum for the Economy & Society (aka Davos for Women)

1997

Naming of the Euzhan Palcy junior high school in Martinique

 

1994

John Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts

 

1990

Candace Award by the Coalition of the 100 Black Women at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (with Dr Maya Angelou & Judith Jamison)

 

1989

Glamour’s 10 Most Inspiring Women of the Year (with Diane Sawyer, Iris Long, Takado Doi : the highest ranking Japanese female politician in modern history…)

 

 

Medal of the City of Bordeaux given by mayor Alain Juppe (2013)

 

Officer of the National of Order of Merit given by President Sarkozy (2011)

 

Knight of the National Order of the Legion d’Honneur (2004)

 

Knight of the National of Order of Merit (1994)

 

Knight of the National Order des Arts et des Lettres (1984)

 

Gold Medal of Martinique (First recipient)

 

Honorary Citizen of New York,
New Orleans, Atlanta & Sarasotta.

2011

Filmmaker in Focus: Euzhan Palcy, the retrospective by the Museum of Modern Art of New York City

 

2011

Tribute to Euzhan Palcy by the Cannes Film Festival

 

2010

The Most Powerful Black Women in Europe, the Powerlist

 

2008

Cinema Verite Prize, Commitment (with Nobel Laureate for Peace Pr. Wangari Maathaï & Jane Fonda)

 

2009

Unita Blackwell Award by the U.S. National Conference of Black Mayors (with Dorothy Dandridge, Jesse Jackson & Minister of Culture of Colombia Paula Marcela Moreno Zapata)

 

2007

Rank #3 - BBC/BFI poll: The 100 Black Screen Icons of the last hundred years

 

March 25, 2007

Launch the Euzhan Palcy Retrospective at the National Maritime Museum / Royal Museums for the Bicentennial of the 1807 Abolition of the British Slave Trade Act

 

2000

Inauguration of the Euzhan Palcy cinema & stage theatre in Picardy Region in France

 

1998

Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame