Author: Institute of Caribbean Studies | Date: 05 June 2019
Euzhan Palcy is a film director, writer and producer from Martinique. Palcy grew up studying the films of Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder and Orson Welles. She left for Paris in 1975 to earn a master's degree in French Literature, in theater, at the Sorbonne, a D.E.A. in Art and Archeology and a film degree (specializing in cinematography) from renowned Louis Lumière College.
She is notable for being the first black female Director of a film produced by a major Hollywood studio (MGM). The film was A Dry White Season (1989),as well as being the only female filmmaker to have directed Marlon Brando, whom she brought back to the screen after a gap of nine years. Palcy is the first black director (male or female) to direct an actor to an Oscar nomination, and the first black director to win a César Award, the highest French film award. She is also the first black director to win a Venice Film Festival Award (Silver Lion).
Palcy's drive for the life and compassion for humanity inspire each and every project with which she is involved. Her passion spills into all areas of cinematic lexicon to include the animation, thriller, comedy and action genres. For Fox Studios, Palcy developed an animated feature, currently entitled Katoumbaza.
She is actively developing a feature film, on Bessie Coleman, for which she recorded the very last witness of the first African-American woman aviator journey in France, and an action comedy set in Los Angeles and Paris. Palcy has chosen Teaching Toots, a comedy drama on illiteracy - a project close to her heart - to be her next film to co-produce and direct.
Her interest in humanitarian work and supporting the younger generation has been known for years. Her last production has been Moly, a biographical short on young disabled one-legged Senegalese filmmaker Moly Kane. The film was screened in Cannes to rapturous public acclaim. Palcy announced on stage that Moly Kane would receive the prosthetic leg of his dreams so that he could be free to film with his camera.