Time Is Eternal has received nominations for Best Picture (Zef Cota-Labelle-Lir-Bennett), Best Director (Lir-Bennett), Best Actress (Labelle), Best Costume Design (Wilford Lenov), Best Music (Jeffrey Weeks), Best Narration (Labelle), Best Set Design (Benedict Samuel), Best Art Direction (Nicholas Faiella), Best Cinematography (Michael Rizzi), and Best Sound Design (Fady Garas).
The festival will take place at The Lot La Jolla in San Diego and be live broadcast by streaming services TikiLive, SimulTV and DiscoveredTV with a combined reach of over 1 billion viewers worldwide. Labelle’s 15-minute film has been chosen as only one of six to screen in large format at the festival on Saturday, July 30 at 8 p.m. Select one-on-one press interviews are being scheduled with Labelle, Lir, Bennett and other nominated team members.
Set in present-day Los Angeles, Time Is Eternal goes inside the mind of a renowned female writer, penning her latest novel, which imagines the fictional meeting of two legendary women. Cleopatra VIII, queen of Egypt during the first century B.C., comes face to face with the English writer-women’s rights activist Mary Wollstonecraft, mother of Frankenstein author Mary Shelley.
A powerful ode to female strength and equality, the film chronicles a soulful discussion between these two trailblazers. Both known as lovers and as warriors for a cause, the fighter and the writer contemplate their differing approaches to leadership, culminating in a shared passion that intertwines eternally.
“We wanted to highlight the power of women across history, in a previously male-dominated world,” says Lir. “I strongly related to Berite’s purpose to inform a younger generation about the impactful (and under-represented) contribution of these women to the creation of our culture.”
Labelle deftly champions four roles in her debut film— playing the writer, Cleopatra, Wollstonecraft, and a mermaid, who symbolizes swimming through another dimension in time.
“You can create anything with imagination and love,” says Labelle. “I wish to create beautiful moments from my imaginary world. Gratitude, knowledge and patience are the other elements I needed to conceive Time Is Eternal. Follow me in my journey of discoveries through time in motion pictures.”
Shot at The Paramour Estate in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles, with opulent early twentieth century period décor, the surreal, dreamlike visuals have a fashion focus.
“I want audiences to be overwhelmed with beauty and brought into a world of magic and inspiration that helps them forget their troubles and all we have been through as a human race in the last two years,” says Bennett.
Hollywood stylist and costume designer Lenov (who has worked with Saweetie, Bebe Rexha and Iggy Azalea) sourced mostly vintage pieces for the film.
“It was really cool to recreate historical moments through the fashion lens in the film,” says Lenov. “Every character was about women’s empowerment, and I wanted to the push the envelope and bring a fashion element to the characters and a sexier twist. I thought, ‘What can we spin off in the feminine energy for Gen Z and beyond?’ I really want to thank designer Michelle Hebert and Elie Madi for helping bring Mary and Cleopatra, respectively, to life as I envisioned them.”
Since October, Labelle has covered five international editions of Vogue, Glamour and Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire. She has an Affiliate Fine Arts (AFA) degree in Acting on Camera from the New York Film Academy in Los Angeles.
Dream Team Directors has collaborated with the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Bella Hadid, Juliette Lewis, Lea Michele, Coldplay, Paris Hilton, Adidas, Smashbox Cosmetics, Atlantic Records and Chrome Hearts. Their 2019 short film, Tombstone Pillow, has drawn widespread acclaim and won 33 awards.