By Petra COSTA


First film - Completed 2012

ELENA recounts the journey of Petra, a young Brazilian woman who dreams of becoming an actress but is warned not to do so by her mother. Against all admonitions, Petra moves to New York City where the reasons she was advised against this path begin to unfold.

& Awards

Brasília Festival of Brazilian Cinema 2012
Documentary Category - Best Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction, Audience Award for Best Film
BAFICI (Buenos Aires) 2013
Films de Femmes 2013
Best Feature Documentary
PLANETE+ DOC Film Festival 2013
Canon Cinematography Award: Best Cinematography
ZagrebDox Documentary Film Festival 2013
Special Mention
Cine Música – Conservatória Film Festival 2013
Best Original Score
Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival 2013
Best Feature Documentary
Havana International Film Festival 2013
Best Feature Documentary
    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • First film, Documentary
    • Countries
    • BRAZIL
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0.3 - 0.6 M$
    • Duration
    • 82 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Petra COSTA
    • Writer(s)
    • Carolina ZISKIND, Petra COSTA
    • EIDR
    • 10.5240/9B3A-2901-C1E0-8339-3332-0
    • Producer(s)
    • Petra COSTA (Busca Vida)
    • Synopsis
    • Elena, a young Brazilian woman, travels to New York with the same dream as her mother, to become a movie actress. She leaves behind her childhood spent in hiding during the years of the military dictatorship. She also leaves Petra, her seven year old sister.
      Two decades later, Petra also becomes an actress and goes to New York in search of Elena. She only has a few clues about her: home movies, newspaper clippings, a diary and letters. At any moment Petra hopes to find Elena walking in the streets in a silk blouse.
      Gradually, the features of the two sisters are confused; we no longer know one from the other. When Petra finally finds Elena in an unexpected place, she has to learn to let her go.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Jan 01, 2010