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'Aurinko in Adagio' Shows the Complex Relationship Between a Child Musical Prodigy and His Father

In an interview with QG, Elisee Junior St Preux discusses how he changed careers, created Aurinko in Adagio, and family relationships.

With a degree in information technology and a promising future ahead, St Preux entered the working world. But after some time in the field, he discovered that a career in IT wasn't for him and rekindled his interest in film. Although film hadn't been an official part of his academic endeavors, he still devoted time to creating film blogs and writing movie reviews. As a self-taught director, he researched screenwriting, which led to where he is today.

"I started out acting in theater, working on scenic design in theater and started writing on the side. And when I transitioned to the digital format, that's when I noticed that directing was an aspect that I could be able to enhance storytelling the most, I would say," he explained. "I'll be able to create it almost from the ground up. And if not, then there's a script out there already, and I can start just putting my own spin on it. And that's when I found my style."

Elisee Junior St Preux

Aside from film, music was also an influential source of creativity, particularly in his childhood. In the short film, Aurinko in Adagio, he reimagines moments from his childhood that reflect the importance of music. The result is a what-if scenario for St Preux, and the unfolding story explores pivotal moments in a young boy's life as he strives to become a musician. Growing up, St Preux wasn't afforded the opportunity since his family viewed being a musician as an unstainable livelihood.

When reflecting on the father-son bond, which is the heart of the film, he considers his relationship with his own father and said, "My father and I are very close. But he's a very, very strict man. And he's also a musician. Pretty much every man in my family for generations was a musician. So, I felt like there was a lot of weight on me, in terms of getting that right. But it was never you have to play music. It was just always if you're going to play, you have to be really good at it."

Honing one's craft, gaining inspiration from your environment, and being uplifted by family support are a few of the themes audiences can expect from Aurinko in Adagio.

He was fortunate enough to have his short film featured at the Tribeca Film Festival and Urban World. According to St Preux, both film festivals offered unique opportunities, such as storytelling labs and various networking events to connect with other industry professionals. He praises Urban World particularly for being one of the largest African American film festivals.

After considering how storytelling can be impactful and the importance of cultural representation in film for every genre, he said, "A film is just the human experience on screen. And then, with the buffer of everything else that makes entertainment, we're pretty much showing the human experience. And I think the human experience comes from all races. So the black experience does have its own touch on it, but we do walk the day-to-day life just like everybody else. And I think that's what we need to see more [of] on-screen. That's what's important because once that's on-screen in every aspect, then our people would start to see themselves on screen. They will start to relate a lot more."

St Preux's dream project is a feature film with a focus on college life, which he describes as a blend of Inception, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Kingsmen.

"Education is a topic that I tend to speak about in all of my films," he states. "But I want to go back to the 60s for a moment. And I'm going to do a reimagining of Ivy League HBCUs in that time and kind of switch it up a bit. Still keep what was going on in that era but add a little fantasy element to it."

St Preux has a promising documentary and an in-progress short film on his roster that he hopes to expand into a feature-length film.

"I plan to get that greenlight this year," he said. "That is on my biggest goal list of all. And we have the script ready, and we're ready to take it to wherever it needs to go, ready to get the support behind it as much as possible. But that's my next project. I want to focus on that feature this year. And I recently made a small documentary on self-care and mental health in the black community. And that's being edited right now."

To learn more about Aurinko in Adagio and St Preux's other film projects, please visit the website.

Check out the video below to watch Aurinko in Adagio.


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