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Martha Elcan's LADIES MOST DEJECT To Screen At The 3rd Annual Female Filmmakers Fuse – Film Festival

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Martha Elcan's LADIES MOST DEJECT To Screen At The 3rd Annual Female Filmmakers Fuse – Film Festival

"Ladies Most Deject," a dramatic short film directed by Martha Elcan, will screen at the 3RD Annual Female Filmmakers Fuse - Film Festival, Thursday November 14, at 10PM. The festival runs from November 14 - 16th at the Sheraton Hotel in Old Town Pasadena.

In the tradition of "Winter's Bone" and "Mud," "Ladies Most Deject" is the story of 17-year-old Charlie who struggles to free herself and her three siblings from the grip of their unstable addict mother and drug dealing uncle in rural Appalachia. The emotionally impacting film recently won top prize at the LA Femme International Film Festival, as well as accolades at PUSH Film Festival, Southern Shorts and Brooklyn Women's Film Festival.

The screenplay was co-written by Conner Wharton, who plays Charlie, and ARAY Productions' Mark Salyer; Helen Cho Anthos served as Director of Photography, and Emmy Award-winner Nena Erb, ACE, edited the film. Production Designer Kleev Guessford and Sound Designer/Music Composition Brian Hawlk complete the creative team.

Filmed entirely in the Appalachians, the film's producers strove to represent the authentic and gritty reality of life in the mountain communities in America today. ARAY (Appalachia Right At Ya) Productions tells stories by and about the people of the Appalachian Mountains. Created by Appalachian artists Melissa Palmer and Mark Salyer, ARAY develops projects for television, film and new media. Current projects include "Mysteries of Appalachia", a docu-series about the mysticism and folklore of the region; and "Where I'm From", a travelogue for young people about cultural exchange.

Initially drawn to this touching story because it was set in her home state of Virginia, Director Elcan quickly learned how true-to-life this drama was. "Charlie finds herself desperate with nowhere to turn when she and her three young siblings must leave home to escape their mother and her meth addiction. Though Charlie's kind teacher Mrs. Neeley finds them a safe place for that night, the children's dire situation forces Charlie into adulthood before her time in this cautionary tale for a society immersed in a national opioid addiction crisis."

Conner Wharton (Charlie and Co-Writer) is a student at UCLA majoring in English and minoring in Film Studies. She was 19 years old when she and Salyer wrote the screenplay for Ladies Most Deject, inspired by the people of her tiny hometown in Central Appalachia which is dealing with a drug crisis of epic proportions. "I want to tell stories about people dealing with extraordinary circumstances - heroes and heroines making a difference," she said. Asked how a teenage girl from the mountains ended up at UCLA making films, Conner said, "I always knew I wanted to be in California working in this industry. I may very well be the only Appalachian girl at UCLA."

Other cast members include Robin Mullins, Ben Mackel, Pepper Binkley, Ellie Williams, Sofia Adams, and Josiah Wells,

"Ladies Most Deject" will screen Thursday, November 14, 10PM at the Sheraton Hotel, 303 Cordova Street, Pasadena, 91101. Director: Martha Elcan, Producers: Melissa Palmer and Mark Salyer; 15 min.

For tickets:

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