Searching for Paradise

Gilda Mattei, just graduating from highschool, is infatuated with the sexy and enigmatic Hollywood movie star Michael De Santis. With her new video camcorder she documents her fascination with him, her internal world of dreams and fantasies, and her strained though loving relationship with her dying father. After her father dies, Gilda discovers evidence of his long affair with an Italian woman. Her crush on Michael De Santis takes an obsessive turn and she decides to go on a search to find him. Posing as an Italian journalist with the same name and persona as her father’s mistress, she succeeds in making it on to the film set where De Santis is shooting and to a private interview with him. She finds that De Santis is both exactly what she hoped for and nothing of the kind – just like her father.

Year:

2002

Format:

35mm

Starring:

Susan May Pratt

Chris Noth

Jeremy Davies

Festivals:

Festival du Cinema Americain Independent d’Agen, France
Tiburon International Film Festival
IFP West/Los Angeles Film Festival – Competition
San Francisco International Film Festival
Boston Film Festival – Competition
Hamptons International Film Festival – Competition
New Orleans Film Festival – Competition, Austin Film Festival – Competition
Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival
Milan International Film Festival – Competition
Hawaii International Film Festival – Gala Presentation
Newport Beach Film Festival
Philadelphia Film Festival
Southern Circuit Film Festival
Rhode Island International Film Festival
San Diego Film Festival 

Download stills here.

"Paci's sensitive, multi layered script is helped considerably by some first-rate performances. The little-known Susan May Pratt does a fearless star turn"

Janice Page, The Boston Globe

"writer-director Myra Paci has created a film of delicate emotions and techniques packed with enough muscle and freshness to compare favorably with such recent coming-of-age films as Tadpole and Igby Goes Down."

Shawn Levy, The Oregonian

"Writer-director Myra Paci makes a strong feature filmmaking debut [...] Pratt delivers a confident performance in this film bolstered by an array of good work."

Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle

"Myra Paci crafts a structurally innovative film [...] Pratt herself is shimmering and magnetic"

Nate Berne, Willamette Week

"A sweet and surprisingly realistic depiction of young confusion that you can't help but love."

Katie Shimer, Portland Mercury

"We like [...] Searching for Paradise, Myra Paci’s tale of a beautiful, depressed girl’s obsession with a vain insincere movie star (Chris Noth).”

New York Magazine

"Chris Noth has great fun playing the self-involved, pretentious star, and Susan May Pratt is touching as a young woman confused and consumed by grief."

Brooke Holgerson, The Boston Phoenix

"Paci and her razor sharp cast work without a safety net in a frank, uncompromising film about a dreamer who crashes head long into life’s harsher truths."

Paul Malcolm, Los Angeles Film Festival

"Among the [films] that I saw [at the Milan International Film Festival], the most beautiful and the most interesting was without a doubt Searching for Paradise. [...] It is a beautiful, innovative film which succeeds in portraying a young woman who is both complex and simple at the same time. "

Donatella Massara, Donne e Conoscenza Storica

Awards

Festival du Cinema

Americain Independent

d’Agen, France

Grand Prize – Best Feature Film

Winner

Hamptons International

Film Festival

Kodak Award for Cinematography

Best Fiction Feature Film/Video

Winner

Nominee

Milan International

Film Festival

Best Actress Award

Winner

Cast and Crew

Cast (in credits order)
Susan May Pratt: Gilda Mattei
Chris Noth: Michael De Santis
Jeremy Davies: Adam
John Pierson : Jim Johnson
Michele Placido: Giorgio Matte
Laila Robins: Barbara Mattei
Josef Sommer: Carl Greenslate
Mary Louise Wilson: Evelyn Greenslate

Produced by
Ruth Charny: producer
Janet Grillo: producer
Myra Paci: writer / director
Jonathan Shoemaker: co-producer

Original Music by
Carter Burwell

Cinematography by
Teodoro Maniaci

Film Editing by
Robin Lee
Beatrice Sisul

Casting by
Karen Meisels

Production Design by
Dina Goldman

Art Direction by
David Schlesinger

Costume Design by
Sarah J. Holden

Makeup Department
Susan Reilly LeHane: key makeup artist
Sanna Riley: assistant makeup artist

Production Management
Sophia Lin: production manager
Derek Yip: production manager: additional photography

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Lerman: first assistant director

Art Department
Charlotte Newman: set dresser

Sound Department
Michael Axinn: supervising sound editor
Dan Ferat: production sound mixer
Fredrick Helm: adr recordist
Bruce Lacey: dialogue editor
Kent Sparling: sound re-recording mixer
Doug Winningham: assistant sound effects editor

Other crew
Dan Brillman: key production assistant
Anne Childers:production coordinator
Matthew Clark: gaffer
Sylvain D’Hautcourt: first assistant camera
Matthew Hale: best boy grip
Deidre Lally: best boy electric
Brian McKee: key grip
Alison Menorca: accounting assistant
Irwin M. Rappaport: production attorney
Dan Riley: legal assistant
Dwight Tudor: second assistant camera
Derek Yip: production accountant

Cast (in credits order)
Susan May Pratt: Gilda Mattei
Chris Noth: Michael De Santis
Jeremy Davies: Adam
John Pierson : Jim Johnson
Michele Placido: Giorgio Matte
Laila Robins: Barbara Mattei
Josef Sommer: Carl Greenslate
Mary Louise Wilson: Evelyn Greenslate

Produced by
Ruth Charny: producer
Janet Grillo: producer
Myra Paci: writer / director
Jonathan Shoemaker: co-producer

Original Music by
Carter Burwell

Cinematography by
Teodoro Maniaci

Film Editing by
Robin Lee
Beatrice Sisul

Casting by
Karen Meisels

Production Design by
Dina Goldman

Art Direction by
David Schlesinger

Costume Design by
Sarah J. Holden

Makeup Department
Susan Reilly LeHane: key makeup artist
Sanna Riley: assistant makeup artist

Production Management
Sophia Lin: production manager
Derek Yip: production manager: additional photography

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Lerman: first assistant director

Art Department
Charlotte Newman: set dresser

Sound Department
Michael Axinn: supervising sound editor
Dan Ferat: production sound mixer
Fredrick Helm: adr recordist
Bruce Lacey: dialogue editor
Kent Sparling: sound re-recording mixer
Doug Winningham: assistant sound effects editor

Other crew
Dan Brillman: key production assistant
Anne Childers:production coordinator
Matthew Clark: gaffer
Sylvain D’Hautcourt: first assistant camera
Matthew Hale: best boy grip
Deidre Lally: best boy electric
Brian McKee: key grip
Alison Menorca: accounting assistant
Irwin M. Rappaport: production attorney
Dan Riley: legal assistant
Dwight Tudor: second assistant camera
Derek Yip: production accountant

Cast (in credits order)
Susan May Pratt: Gilda Mattei
Chris Noth: Michael De Santis
Jeremy Davies: Adam
John Pierson : Jim Johnson
Michele Placido: Giorgio Matte
Laila Robins: Barbara Mattei
Josef Sommer: Carl Greenslate
Mary Louise Wilson: Evelyn Greenslate

Produced by
Ruth Charny: producer
Janet Grillo: producer
Myra Paci: writer / director
Jonathan Shoemaker: co-producer

Original Music by
Carter Burwell

Cinematography by
Teodoro Maniaci

Film Editing by
Robin Lee
Beatrice Sisul

Casting by
Karen Meisels

Production Design by
Dina Goldman

Art Direction by
David Schlesinger

Costume Design by
Sarah J. Holden

Makeup Department
Susan Reilly LeHane: key makeup artist
Sanna Riley: assistant makeup artist

Production Management
Sophia Lin: production manager
Derek Yip: production manager: additional photography

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Michael Lerman: first assistant director

Art Department
Charlotte Newman: set dresser

Sound Department
Michael Axinn: supervising sound editor
Dan Ferat: production sound mixer
Fredrick Helm: adr recordist
Bruce Lacey: dialogue editor
Kent Sparling: sound re-recording mixer
Doug Winningham: assistant sound effects editor

Other crew
Dan Brillman: key production assistant
Anne Childers:production coordinator
Matthew Clark: gaffer
Sylvain D’Hautcourt: first assistant camera
Matthew Hale: best boy grip
Deidre Lally: best boy electric
Brian McKee: key grip
Alison Menorca: accounting assistant
Irwin M. Rappaport: production attorney
Dan Riley: legal assistant
Dwight Tudor: second assistant camera
Derek Yip: production accountant