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Euzhan Palcy

Euzhan Palcy

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Martinique Profession: director, screenwriter, singer, songwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Euzhan Palcy was a French filmmaker who made history in 1989 when she became the first black woman to direct a film produced by a major Hollywood studio, with the historical drama "A Dry White Season." Born and raised on the French island of Martinique, Palcy knew at the age of 10 that she wanted to become a filmmaker. Her parents encouraged her to pursue her passion, and before long Palcy was absorbing all types of films from past masters like Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles. She had had her sights set on becoming a director, but first she wanted to receive a proper film education. With that in mind, Palcy moved to Paris in 1975, where she earned film degrees from the University of Paris and the world-renowned film school Louis Lumière College. After graduating from university, Palcy decided to embark on directing her very first feature, a low budget period drama called "Black Shack Alley" (1983). Despite being shot for under $1 million, the film, about a poverty stricken family living on a sugar cane plantation in 1930s Martinque, was a critical success, eventually going on to win the Cesar Award, which is the French equivalent of the Academy Award for Best Picture. For her follow-up feature,...

Euzhan Palcy was a French filmmaker who made history in 1989 when she became the first black woman to direct a film produced by a major Hollywood studio, with the historical drama "A Dry White Season." Born and raised on the French island of Martinique, Palcy knew at the age of 10 that she wanted to become a filmmaker. Her parents encouraged her to pursue her passion, and before long Palcy was absorbing all types of films from past masters like Alfred Hitchcock and Orson Welles. She had had her sights set on becoming a director, but first she wanted to receive a proper film education. With that in mind, Palcy moved to Paris in 1975, where she earned film degrees from the University of Paris and the world-renowned film school Louis Lumière College. After graduating from university, Palcy decided to embark on directing her very first feature, a low budget period drama called "Black Shack Alley" (1983). Despite being shot for under $1 million, the film, about a poverty stricken family living on a sugar cane plantation in 1930s Martinque, was a critical success, eventually going on to win the Cesar Award, which is the French equivalent of the Academy Award for Best Picture. For her follow-up feature, Palcy decided to do the impossible by luring the legendary Marlon Brando out of retirement to co-star. Brando had not made a film in 9 years, but he agreed to co-star in "A Dry White Season" (1989) and earned an Academy Award nominated for Best Supporting Actor. In directing "A Dry White Season" Palcy also made history for being the first black woman to direct a film that was produced by a major Hollywood studio, as well as the first and only woman to have ever directed Marlon Brando in a feature. Palcy directed several more films after "A Dry White Season," most notably "Siméon" (1992) and the 2006 documentary "Parcours de dissidents." In recognition of her amazing work to the international film community, Palcy was decorated with the National Order of Merit medal in September of 2011, one of the highest honors awarded to a French civilian, by the country's then-President Nicolas Sarkozy.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Killing Yard, The (2002) Director
2.
4.
  Simeon (1992)
6.
  Sugar Cane Alley (1983) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

:
Worked as film editor, screenwriter and director of shorts in Paris
:
Wrote and directed drama for Caribbean TV, "The Messenger," at age 20
1983:
Feature directing debut with "Sugar Cane Alley" (partially funded by grant from French government)
1975:
Moved to Paris
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Education

Sorbonne, University of Paris: -
Ecole de Vaugirard: -

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