Filmmaker ELISE ROBERTSON Explores Peter Pan as a Misguided Heroine’s Journey in Celebrated Period Short ‘DARLING, DARLING, WENDY’
Multi-Festival Winner Continues on 2020 Virtual Circuit
LOS ANGELES (July 31, 2020) – Director Elise Robertson (PBS, Freestyle) explores the emotional unraveling of Wendy Darling 15 years after her return from Neverland in the multiple award-winning dramatic period short film, DARLING, DARLING, WENDY.
Since premiering on the festival circuit, DARLING, DARLING, WENDY has earned numerous top prizes, including: ‘Grand Remi Award – Best Short’ at Worldfest Houston 2020; ‘Indie Spirit Award – Best Short’ and a Mary Austin Achievement in Directing nomination at Idyllwild Int’l Festival of Cinema 2020; ‘Best Short’ at Louisville Int’l Film Fest 2019, Culver City Film Fest 2019 and a nomination at Beaufort Int’l Film Fest 2020, ‘Audience Award’ at Highland Park Independent Film Fest 2019; as well as awards for cinematography, costumes, score, and SFX.
This dark and emotionally complex tale continues on the virtual festival circuit, including screenings at Sonoma Int’l Film Fest, San Diego Film Week, FilmQuest and various others.
DARLING, DARLING, WENDY follows Wendy Darling (Katherine Sainte Marie) who, once upon a time, travelled to Neverland with Peter Pan and had a magical experience—she fought pirates and won battles. Then she decided to go home. Fifteen years later, living as a woman in turn-of-the-century London, she has a daughter of her own, but no independence and no rights. Aching to be free again and consumed with jealousy at the thought that Peter Pan (Ty Shelton) might take her daughter on a new adventure, Wendy camps out in the nursery determined to convince Peter to take her to Neverland instead.
Robertson got involved with the project when writer/producer/actress Katherine Sainte Marie brought a scene from Darling, Darling, Wendy into an acting class Robertson was teaching. “It was fascinating to explore the psychological consequences of Wendy’s trip to Neverland in contrast to the boys in the story. They come home and grow up to become responsible adults,” Robertson explains. “But that’s the Hero’s Journey. Wendy returns from Neverland to 1904 London where, as a female, she has no rights and so cannot really become a true grownup. Since returning was her choice, she is trapped in a prison of her own making, and it destroys her. She wishes she’d stayed with Peter Pan.”
Once Robertson signed on, she and Sainte Marie assembled a team of nearly all women to bring the piece to life, including cinematographer Beth Napoli with her female camera crew, Production Designer Frida R. Oliva and editor Mengfang Yang. “It was really lovely to have so many women in the room,” says Robertson, “the vibe on set was really mellow and supportive considering the crazy long nights we filmed.”
As a storyteller, Robertson is best known for her dramatic adaptations of literary works for PBS, including Peabody-nominated Ralph Ellison's King of the Bingo Game and dramatic scenes from Invisible Man for the American Masters documentary on Ellison. She won a Northern California Directing Emmy for her work on the family series Adventures With Kanga-Roddy, and has created acclaimed parenting web comedy for both Nick Mom and MomMayhem. In 2012, she took a different tone directing the feature-length dark period thriller Donner Pass, and continues to excel with period settings and stories with meaningful social commentary.
Many audiences will recognize Robertson from her work in front of the camera. She has appeared in over 100 film, television and commercial projects, including the Academy Award-nominated film American Sniper, and hit TV series such as NCIS, Masters of Sex, Criminal Minds, American Vandal, This Is Us. A Pittsburgh, PA native, Robertson graduated from Northwestern University's theatre department with a minor in fine art.
Coming soon, Robertson can be seen as the wife of Danny Trejo in the film From a Son, alongside Amanda Plummer and Judy Davis in an episode of Neflix’s Ratched, in the television movie thriller Deadly Sugar Daddy, and on the virtual Zoom stage in White Nights, Black Paradise, presented by the Museum of the African Diaspora in late August. Robertson is also currently writing a one-woman show about Rachel Carson, matriarch of the modern environmental movement.
DARLING, DARLING, WENDY – Upcoming Festival Screenings:
Sonoma International Film Festival
August 1, 2020 – virtual
Tickets $10 through Eventive
IFF on the Beach, Bulgaria
August 8, 2020 - in person
Women in Film and Media Pittsburgh
August 15-16, 2020 – virtual
San Diego Film Week
August 19-30, 2020 – virtual and in-person (outdoors at Hacienda Vineyard)
Royal Starr Film Festival, Michigan
September 11-20, 2020 - in person
Albequerque Film + Music Experience
September 22-27, 2020 – virtual
October/November 2020 – in person
For Festival updates and info about ‘DARLING, DARLING, WENDY’ visit:
Learn more about ELISE ROBERTSON at: https://www.EliseRobertson.com
Film stills courtesy: Questhaven Films
BTS images photographer: Carrie Lazar
Elise Robertson image photographer: Damu Malik