Pictured Above: Petra Costa



Dylan Marchetti, Variance Films, dylan@amplifyreleasing.com

Susan Norget Film Promotion, susan@norget.com

Tascia Barile, Syndicado, tascia@syndicado.com


Syndicado and Variance Films team up to release

Petra Costa’s international sensation ELENA

Executive Producers Tim Robbins and Fernando Meirelles

to present the Brazilian documentary, which opens May 30

 New York, April 15, 2014 – Syndicado and Variance Films announced today that they would team up to distribute Petra Costa’s award-winning documentary feature ELENA to theaters in the United States and Canada. Most recently featured at SXSW, among other top international festivals, the film will open on May 30 at New York City’s IFC Center before expanding to Los Angeles’ Laemmle Royal and additional theaters in the US and Canada beginning June 13. A digital and home video release will follow in September.

Executive Produced by Academy Award® nominees Tim Robbins (The Shawshank Redemption) and Fernando Meirelles (City of God), ELENA tells the story of Elena Costa, who moved to New York in 1989 with dreams of becoming a film actress. She left behind two things she loved: her home in Brazil, and her 7-year-old sister Petra. The letters and calls became less and less frequent, until one day they stopped entirely. Elena was never heard from again. Two decades later, Petra relocates to New York with similar dreams, but also the hope of piecing together the story of the beloved big sister who abandoned her.

In the spirit of Tarnation, ELENA obliterates the line between documentary, diary, and waking dream, and is at once captivating and devastating. The film (and the filmmaker) cannot escape the similarities between Petra and Elena’s stories, and as they overlap, they begin to blur. One of the most successful documentaries of all time in Brazil now comes to America, and the truth about what happened to Elena will be revealed.

“It is extremely rare for a Brazilian film, especially a documentary, to reach North American theaters,” said Petra Costa, producer and director of ELENA. “But thanks to the faith that Syndicado and Variance have showed in my film, it will find its way onto screens across North America. We are truly honored with this partnership which is particularly special for us since so much of the story of ELENA takes place in New York. “

“ELENA is a film unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, and from the moment we saw it we knew we had to help Petra and her team get it out to the world,” said Dylan Marchetti of Variance Films. “Audiences are going to be spellbound.”

“While screening the film at SXSW there were times I forgot I was watching a doc. I was lost in the soul-wrenching story of Petra’s recounting her sister’s life through found footage, letters and stunningly beautiful scenes of New York,” said Greg Rubidge, President of Syndicado. “ELENA touches you on both a visual and hauntingly raw emotional level. It reminds the audience how cinema is truly an art form, and one that can move us in a way unlike any other medium.”

ELENA was produced and directed by Petra Costa, written by Petra Costa and Carolina Ziskind, and was executive produced by Julia Bock, Daniela Santos, Tim Robbins and Fernando Meirelles. ELENA is a Busca Vida Pictures production and was made with the support of Ancine, The Ford Foundation, and Tribeca Film Institute.

TO DOWNLOAD PHOTOS:  http://www.variancefilms.com/elenapress


Syndicado Inc. is a leading film and TV distributor focused on digital distribution through the industry’s leading cable VOD and Internet platforms. The company partners with traditional distributors, producers and sale agents to manage all aspects of VOD distribution, strategy and marketing, on the leading digital service providers in North America and Europe. The company’s expertise and business model allow distributors and other rights holders a cost effective strategy to fully exploit emerging digital opportunities, while remaining focused on their core traditional business.