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Bajou/The Economist: a Feature Film Trailer

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Bajou/The Economist: a Feature Film Trailer
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A woman (Bajou) mourning her brother's death in the Iraq war tries to be all she can be. www.estellebajou.com


My name is Estelle Bajou

I'm an actor, writer, producer, and musician-composer.

The script for The Economist, my first feature film project as a writer, is currently in revision. Recently, I received an Opportunity Grant through my fiscal sponsor, the New York Foundation for the Arts, to work with writer-director Anthony Drazan (Hurlyburly (1998), with two-time Oscar-winner Sean Penn; La Vida Norteña (2012), dir. Oscar-winner Alexander Payne) as a script consultant.  

Composer-pianist David Cieri (two-time Oscar-nominee and Emmy-winner Ken BurnsThe National Parks (2009), Baseball: The Tenth Inning (2010)Prohibition (2011); Michael Buscemi's Dos C, Two Birds), will be composing and supervising the music.

As the script nears completion we are raising funds to shoot a short trailer. The trailer will be used as we move forward with the development process, approaching potential production houses, funders, and additional collaborators.

The last few months have, thankfully, been busy for me:

Chaplin of the Mountains (2010), my second lead role in a feature--by writer-director Jano Rosebiani, featuring Taies Farzan and Zack Gold--which we shot on location in Iraq last year, screened at the 2010 San Sebastian Int'l Film Festival.
I had the great fortune to work with two-time Oscar-nominated director Bruce Beresford on a small role in Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (2011), starring two-time Oscar-nominee Catherine Keener, two-time Oscar-winner Jane Fonda, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

In May, I attended the Venezuelan premiere for subHysteria (2010), my first lead in a (Cassavetes-style, fully improvised) feature, where the film enjoyed an extended national theatrical run. It opened in Columbia in October, and will screen in Europe and North America soon. The film is directed by Leonard Zelig, and features Ginger Kroll (Notorious (2009), Fugly! (2011)), Osvaldo Benavides, Hector Palma, and Sally Gifford.   

In June, I originated the titular role (complete with Slavic fiddle playing) in a new musical 'Jidl,' based on the 1937 Yiddish film 'Jidl with his Fiddle,' adapted by screenwriter-novelist Stephen Glantz, which we performed at the Berkshire Int'l Film Festival. A New York production is in the works.

In July, I scored with pianist-composer David Cieri and played a Violinist in Sarina's Song (2011) (short) (post-production), featuring Oscar-winner Michael O'Keefe, the wonderful Michael Buscemi, and Francesco Saviano. Early in 2011, I'll be playing the lead in writer-director Angelique Letizia's next film, Rules of Love (2011) (short).

In August I played Maria in an outdoor production of Twelfth Night (TimeSpace Theatre Company) in Central Park. I also starred in a short film by writer-director Marina ShronLullaby for Ray (2010) (short) (post-production), featuring Alfredo Narciso, Jerry Zellers, and Alex Demers. The majority of the film's dialogue and action is improvised.
In September some of my violin-playing was chosen to introduce Al Capone in two-time Oscar-nominee and Emmy-winner Ken Burns' upcoming documentary series Prohibition (2011).
Halloween weekend, I starred as Rosa in the graphic, violent, and emotionally charged Grand Guignol play, 'Orgy in the Lighthouse' (Endtimes Productions), at Under St. Marks Theater.

This spring, I'll play Maggie, a large supporting role in American Country (2012), a feature by writer-director-actor Salvatore Lumetta

At age nineteen I earned a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from Bard College at Simon's Rock, and in 2008 I earned an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama under the great guidance of two-time Emmy-winner and Golden Globe-nominee Ron Leibman, SAG Award-nominee Austin Pendleton, Emmy-nominee Robert Lupone, and three-time Emmy-nominee Robert Walden, among many others. I've since had the good fortune to study with acclaimed acting coach Larry Moss as well. 
I've relished working on leading roles in many Off-off Broadway plays (La MaMa ETC, The Workshop Theater59 East 59th, Abrons Arts CenterUnder St. Marks, etc.) and regional theatre productions, as well as leads in two national tours with the North Carolina Theater.
Recent theatrical roles include Rosa in the Grand Guignol's Orgy in the Lighthouse (Endtimes Productions), Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank (National Tour, North Carolina Theater), Carnelle Williams in The Miss Firecracker Contest (Temple Theater), Girl in The City Beneath (Reading, La MaMa ETC), the Pupil in Ionesco's The Lesson (The New School for Drama), Marie Antoinette in David Adjmi's Marie Antoinette (The New School for Drama), Lea in My Sister in This House (Peace Theater), Karen in The Children's Hour (Shetler Studios), and April in Savage in Limbo (Flying Swine Theater).
A few press/buzz excerpts: 

"Estelle is without peer in my experience. She is absolutely brilliant in every way. The character of her motivation and the nature of her goals in life transcend those one normally finds in the field of dramatic arts... Her curiosity and concern extend to the state of society as a whole. It is my sense that she will skillfully create social dialogue through salubrious storytelling." Robert S. LaVelle: Actor opposite Oscar-winners Al Pacino, Marisa Tomei, and Estelle Parsons; Broadway, Off-Broadway, Film; Professor of Acting at the graduate level.

"...the acting merits recognition, especially for having been improvised...and particularly performances by Estelle Bajou, Brian SchlangerGinger Kroll and Osvaldo Benavides... The merit of [Leonard] Zelig and his team lies in having had the courage to undertake such a risky endeavor as this."  Carolina Figueras (1001 FPS)[Spanish], on subHysteria (2010)

"Very, very funny...almost unbearably poignant. Estelle [Bajou] is excellent as Rootie." Robert W. McDowell (Classical Voice of North Carolina), on Graceland/Asleep on the Wind

"Sparkplug performances...cleverly staged, funny. In its crude tomfoolery and brightly fake, local color, it's a bit like Spamalot; in absurdity, it suggests Tzara; in spirit it recalls Futurism... Mostly it's dreamlike. Bits of reality collide with absurdities. The former make the characters interesting; the latter make us laugh." Jon Sobel (Blogcritics.org), on IXOMIA

"Estelle [Bajou] bursts onto the stage as Carnelle Williams... A fine performance that's both funny and touching. In her Temple Theater debut, [Bajou] plays her role to the limit." Faye M. Dasen (The Pilot), on Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest

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