ELENA (82 min)


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.


• 45th Brasília Festival of Brazilian Cinema: Documentary Category
Best Direction
Best Film Editing
Best Art Direction
Audience Award for Best Film

• Films de Femmes 2013
Best Feature Documentary

• PLANETE+ DOC Film Festival
Canon Cinematography Award: Best Cinematography

• 28th Guadalajara Film Festival
Special Mention

• 9th ZagrebDox Documentary Film Festival
Special Mention

• 7th Cine Música – Conservatória Film Festival
Best Original Score

• 6th Los Angeles Brazilian Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary

• 35th Havana International Film Festival
Best Feature Documentary


Director – Petra Costa
Screenplay- Petra Costa and Carolina Ziskind
Cast – Elena Andrade, Li An and Petra Costa
Production Company – Busca Vida Films
Executive Producers – Tim Robbins and Fernando Meirelles
Associate Producers – Tiago Pavan, Moara Passoni, Sara Dosa, Stefan Davi
Supervising Producers – Julia Bock and Daniela Santos
Producer in New York – Caroline Onikute
Production Coordinator – Vanessa Elias
Producer (Release) – Bernardo Bath
Executive Production Assistant – Isadora Ferreira
Photography – Janice D’avila, Will Etchebehere and Miguel Vassy
Art Directors – Martha Kiss Perrone, Alonso Pafyese and Lorena Ortiz
Film Editing  – Marilia Moraes and Tina Baz
First Editing – Idê Lacreta
Additional Editing and Direction Assistant – Virginia Primo
Sound Designer – Olivier Goinard And Guile Martins
Sound Mixer – Olivier Goinard
Sound Recordist – Edson Secco
Soundtrack Supervision – Fil Pinheiro
Original Soundtrack – Vitor Araújo, Fil Pinheiro, Maggie Hastings Clifford and Gustavo Ruiz
Post-Production Coordinator – Laura Futuro
Post-Production Assistant – Fabio De Borthole
Editing Room Assistant – Andre Gustavo Requião
Screenplay Consultant – Daniela Capelato
Screenplay Doctoring – Aleksei Abib
Acting Coach – Martha Kiss Perrone
Editing Consultant – Xavier Box


Busca Vida Filmes co-produced the short Olhos de Ressaca (Undertow Eyes) and produced the feature ELENA, both by director Petra Costa. It is currently co-producing the documentaries Lira Paulistana and Vanguarda Paulista by Riba de Castro, and Orestes by Rodrigo Siqueira, and the play Rózà by Martha Kiss Perrone and Joana Levi.


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