London. Present day. Molecular biologist Dr Alison Evans (late 30s) has dedicated her life to finding a cure for the hereditary skin disease fatal to men in her family for generations. On a bad date, Alison comes across a painting of her ancestor Charles Taylor, painted by Eleanor Hallward in 1883. Haunted by the portrait, Alison embarks on a quest for answers outside her lab, retracing the life of the forgotten painter.
Kent. 1883. Eleanor (40s) meets Charles (late 20s) when her twin brother James is commissioned to paint the young art dealer’s portrait against the Kentish landscape. During his stay, Charles finds out why Eleanor gave up her professional career as an artist – illness, heartbreak and sexism – and discovers that she is Elzeario, a gifted painter whose identity is hotly debated. A collaboration begins between them that will change their lives forever.
Elegant, sophisticated and meticulously researched, this film tells the story of two women’s struggle for a place in the male-dominated fields of art and science – reminding us that while we have come a long way, our quest for equality is far from over.
Nadia Cavelle is an award-winning playwright as well as an actor, screenwriter and film director. Her second stage play, SUBJECT MATER, received rave reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019, and won a Scotsman’s Fringe First Award for innovation and outstanding new writing. Her debut short, LASCIVIOUS GRACE, received nominations for the Best Screenwriter and Best Actor Awards at the BAFTA-qualifying Underwire Festival and was selected at the BFI Flare & the Oscar-qualifying BIFF 2018.