Ellis films in Madison

At Little Libby's Catfish & Diner, actors Michael Esper, from left, and Allie Gallerani prepare for a scene with writer/director Ursula Ellis on set of "For George On His 30th Birthday," which filmed in Madison and Huntsville. (CONTRIBUTED)
At Little Libby’s Catfish & Diner, actors Michael Esper, from left, and Allie Gallerani prepare for a scene with writer/director Ursula Ellis on set of “For George On His 30th Birthday,” which filmed in Madison and Huntsville. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Former Madison resident Ursula Ellis returned home for scenes in “For George on his 30th Birthday,” a film that she has written and is directing.

Ellis’ cast, crew and cinematographer joined her in Madison and Huntsville on Sept. 3-6. Little Libby’s Catfish restaurant on Lime Quarry Road was one Madison site they chose for filming.

Now based in New York City, Ellis works as a filmmaker, writer, actor and musician.

In 2008, she graduated from Bob Jones High School. Involved with Patriot Players, she portrayed Ado Annie in “Oklahoma!” in 2007. Studying film in the Chicago area, Ellis then entered Northwestern University and earned a bachelor’s degree in radio/television/film with a minor in European and British history in 2012.

While at Northwestern, Ellis wrote and directed four grant-recipient short films and one music video. Recently, Ellis completed her second year of graduate school at Columbia University in NYC and is working on her thesis in the master of fine arts program for directing and screenwriting.

The cast for “For George on his 30th Birthday” includes Michael Esper (George), Allie Gallerani (Deena) and Danny Vinson (VFW Man).

In the film, George Dougherty, an ex-musician turned disgruntled pizzeria employee, is shocked to hear from old flame and elite college student, Deena Sanguine. After years of not speaking to George, Deena visits his small Alabama town where they try to reconnect, despite differences exacerbated by time and distance.

Unexpectedly, George and Deena are forced to spend a night together. George grapples with his feelings of failure, while Deena clings nostalgically to a past that maybe never even existed. Eventually, they concede to understanding what their relationship was and will be.

“For George on his 30th Birthday” will premiere at Columbia NYC in early 2016. Ellis hopes also to have an Alabama premiere.

Her films have screened at festivals in Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico and in Chicago. Her parents are John and Gena Ellis.

For more information, visit ursulaellis.com or browndotproductions.com.

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